Long term report: Renault Zoe

Given the awful weather we've continued to see down here in the south, the Zoe has been relegated to second car for much of the month.
The cold, wet weather doesn't help the Zoe's range, particularly when you need to fire up the heater to de-mist the screen on a regular basis.

Fully charged, we're seeing a range of just over 80 miles at present, however on one particularly cold and wet Monday, the traffic was at its worst, and as a result the Zoe had its battery and range tested to the max.

On my way home, with 20 miles to go, the car's warning light came on – showing just nine miles remaining in the tank (or battery). To use a football parlance, it was "squeaky bum time".

I powered on regardless, turning off all but the essential electrics, including the headlamps. The last eight miles of my journey took me cross-country on narrow, darkening roads. Not the kind of place you want to break down, or in my case, run out of power.

As I drove on, I did contemplate what would happen if I ran out of juice. Is there a backup that would allow me to keep the hazards on? Or would I be stuck on a dark and cold blind bend?

Thankfully, I didn't have to find this out the hard way as the car made it home, despite showing zero miles remaining on the digital display and a red warning light for the final four miles of my journey.

On top of the winter worries, the service light came on as we rounded 2,000 miles. We assume that this is its first service, as the official schedule states every 18,000 miles. So we'll be booking the car in to our local Renault dealer where we will also get the damage on our rear bumper sorted from a couple of months back.

Hopefully with the longer days, we'll be getting more out of the Zoe but for now it is firmly relegated to the short jaunt in and out of town rather than my long commute home.

The knowledge

Model: Renault Zoe Dynamique Zen
Price: £16,250 (as tested, Govt. grant incl.)
Engine: Electric motor
Power: 88bhp, 219Nm
Max speed: 84mph
0-60mph: 13.3s
Emissions: 0g/km
Mileage this month: 105

This month's highlight

Making it home without breaking down in the middle of nowhere

Author: Andy Entwistle
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