Published on October 19th, 2019 | by Jake Richardson0
2020 Electric Renault Zoe Goes For A Sardinian Cruise
October 19th, 2019 by Jake Richardson
The electric Renault Zoe doesn’t receive nearly as much press as Tesla’s vehicles, but this subcompact EV has made an impact. Produced for the French market first, it was available 7 years ago (in 2012) in France, and in 2013 in other European countries. The first of these small, nondescript EVs had a 22 kWh battery with a rated range of about 140 miles | 225 km (though considerably less in real-world driving conditions — the European rating system has never been adequate to provide consumers with real-world range).
Today, the Zoe can be had with a 52 kWh battery and a rated range of about 240 miles | 386 km. Fully Charged recently released a video review of the new Zoe. Appropriately, it was filmed in Sardinia, the Italian island, which is also a “blue zone.” These are areas with the longest human lifespans, and Sardinia has one of the largest concentrations of centenarians. It’s also an island known for natural beauty, open spaces, and pleasant weather.
The environmental connection between an all-electric car and a beautiful island is obvious, the blue zone one might not be. The electric Zoe has no tailpipe emissions. Vehicles like this don’t directly create air pollution, which is not only an environmental hazard, but is also bad for human health.
In Sardinia, there is a mix of fossil fuels and renewables for electricity production. (According to this source, about 40% comes from renewables.)
Electric cars that are charged from fossil-fuel based electricity are part of the carbon energy economy. They don’t generate air pollution themselves, but the fossil fuel power plants do. One important difference is that the power plants are usually located some distance from population centers, so their air pollution is not being produced on highways and roads, like what comes out of internal combustion engine vehicle tailpipes. Another point is that as the world transitions to clean energy, EVs will be using electricity from fossil fuel power plants less and less. Eventually, they will all be running on clean, renewable energy. A third point is that electric powertrains are so much more efficient than gasoline or diesel powertrains that EVs are already much cleaner, in net, than those conventional vehicles.
In the video, we see an EV quietly traversing the roads of a beautiful Mediterranean island. It’s almost like a dream. The driver and video host, Robert, make an essential point about EV charging while cruising around the lovely island: if you are waiting while you are charging, you are not planning your trip well. With an EV, you can have a snack or a meal, take a rest break, read a book, listen to an audio book or a podcast, have a chat on your phone, watch a movie, do some work on a mobile device, take a nap, meditate, write in your journal, take a walk, and so forth. In other words, you can multitask while charging.
As it relates specifically to the Zoe, he mentions the newest version is the result of a long process of iteration — the current Zoe is a third-generation model. The latest generation has the longest range and uses 100% recycled plastic in the interior.
The Zoe is the top selling electric vehicle in European history. It is still a solid choice for consumers in Europe who want a small electric car at a good price. Though, it seems the Tesla Model 3 will win the title this year.