Renault is not a virgin in the emerging electric car segment, but the French automaker continues to traverse through territory that remains to be charted. Truth be told, the segment hasn’t seen the explosive growth that many had anticipated. The company is hoping to change things with the Renault ZOE electric car, the first mass-market, all-electric car in France and one of the first in the world.
Possibly sharing technologies with the Nissan Leaf, the Renault Twigo-based ZOE is powered by a pure-electric powertrain that produces 88-horsepower (65kW) and 162 (220Nm) of torque, offering a theoretical range of more than 130 miles on a full charge. With its ‘Chameleon charger,’ the tiny hatchback can be charged in an hour at 22kW.
Electric cars can be ‘deadly’ quite (pun intended); luckily, the ZOE is equipped with “Z.E. Voice,” an alarm (selectable in three different sounds) that warns pedestrians that the vehicle is approaching.
Unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, the Renault ZOE electric hatchback will go on sale in autumn 2012 with prices starting at €15,700 (US$21,521). It looks to be a European-only affair.