Long term report: Renault Zoe


There wasn't much time to shed a tear over the Twizy's departure as we've just got stuck in to living with a Zoe – Renault's more practical 100 per cent electric supermini.

Most tests carried out on EVs use them in their normal urban environment, but we're doing something different. I live deep in the New Forest and 40 miles from the office which makes for a nervous journey every trip.

Why? Well, the Zoe's supposed full range is 130 miles – but due to the cold weather I've only managed to charge it up so it displays a range of 84. And my daily commute is 80...

So, this test is going to establish whether someone can live with a Zoe when they don't live in the city.

First impressions are mixed. The Zoe has all the toys any other car of its size would get, and it's without doubt the most 'normal' electric car we've seen.

It will do typical motorway speeds with ease – a steady 60mph is best for battery consumption– and as with all electric cars, the power delivery is swift; it will keep up with most things out there and embarrass a few up to 30mph.

Long term report: Renault Zoe

Long term report: Renault Zoe

But now for the the bad things. I don't like the weak headlamps, the radio only has FM, the steering is very light and the brakes grab as the regeneration switches off causing some sudden stops.

However saying that, it's a good-looking thing and does get a lot of attention. Can I live with it every day? Only time will tell.

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: 325

This month's highlight

The looks you get from passers-by and the New Forest's animals