At the Paris Motor Show, Renault introduced its enhanced-range ZOE electric vehicle. Equipped with the new 41 kWh Z.E. 40 battery, ZOE now has a range of up to 400 km (249 miles) NEDC—twice the distance of the original launch version of the ZOE. At the same, ZOE owners can benefit from a range of new connected services and equipment upgrades. Order books for the new ZOE line-up are open. The new ZOEs fitted with the new Z.E. 40 battery are made at Renault’s Flins plant in France and will be available for delivery before the end of the year.
Renault said that new Z.E. 40 battery delivers a real-world range of 300 kilometers (186 miles) in urban or suburban areas. (The ranges are for ZOEs equipped with either the 75- or 90-horsepower version of the standard R75/90 motor, previously known as the R240 (earlier post). The figure used for this motor’s name now refers to the power output instead of the NEDC range as was previously the case. The R90 motor is available for all versions of the ZOE, with the exception of the French market’s entry level version which features the R75 motor.)
The standard ZOE battery has a capacity of 22 kWh, with a corresponding range of 240 km NEDC (149 miles) and estimated real-world range of 170 km (106 miles).
The Z.E. 40 battery’s charging rate is similar to that of the standard battery; just 30 minutes are required on average to charge the battery for an extra 80 kilometers (50 miles) of driving range when plugged into one of the many public charging points in operation in Europe. The ZOE continues to be equipped with the Quick Charge function to take full advantage of the maximum capacity of fast charging points located predominantly along motorway corridors.
Developed in close partnership with LG Chem, the battery uses high-energy density lithium-ion technology. Renault and LG engineers have succeeded in increasing storage capacity without making the battery any bigger or much heavier. It was optimized by working on the chemistry of the cells in order to increase their energy density, rather than stacking additional battery modules, a commonly used technique.
The electronic management system of the battery optimizes the ZOE’s energy use on the move, while the new air circulation system maintains the temperature of the ZOE’s bttery at a constant level, making the car economical to run in very hot or very cold weather.
Like the 22kWh battery, the new Z.E. 40 battery is assembled at Renault’s Flins plant, near Paris. The same factory is responsible for the production of the Renault ZOE, alongside the Renault Clio. The ZOE was designed and engineered at the Renault Technocentre in Guyancourt, also near Paris.
The R75/90 motor is made at Renault’s Cléon factory in Normandy, a flagship facility in the field of engine and transmission production for the group. Launched in the spring of 2015 and originally known as the R240, this motor was entirely developed by Renault and led to the filing of 95 patents.
The housing that permits the battery’s integration in the ZOE, as well as the model’s front and rear suspension systems, were all conceived by Groupe Renault’s Chassis and Electric Vehicle Engineering Division and are manufactured at Renault’s Le Mans plant.
New connected services: Z.E. Trip and Z.E. Pass. Renault also introduced two new services to simplify charging at the ~80,000 public charging stations in Europe: Z.E. Trip helps customers to locate charging points, while Z.E. Pass gives access to a high number of charging stations.
Z.E. Trip allows drivers to locate all public charging points in some of the main European countries. Z.E. Trip can be accessed directly via the Renault R-LINK navigation system using the steering wheel-mounted controls or via the internet to prepare trips in advance. The service indicates the real-time availability of each charging point, as well as its type and whether it is compatible with the car. The driver can select a charging point based on its charging capacity so the speeds suit their requirements. Z.E. Trip was made available to ZOE customers in Europe in September 2016.
The Z.E. Pass app makes charging the ZOE easier at most public charging points in Europe even though they are owned by various operators. The driver can pay using the smartphone app or with an RFID badge. They can also locate available charging stations and compare prices at different stations nearby using their smartphone or tablet without having to be a registered member of each network. Developed in association with Bosch, the service was released in Germany in September 2016 and will be rolled out over the next few months in France, the UK, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.
Smartphone app. New features will be added to the Z.E. app in the first half of 2017 to make journeys in the ZOE even easier, including door-to-door navigation. Thanks to this feature, the user can enter his or her complete trip using their smartphone app and then forward it to the ZOE’s navigation system (Renault R-LINK). Once in the car, the driver can access their pre-programmed itinerary automatically.After parking, the app takes over from the ZOE’s navigation system to indicate the final part of the journey on foot. The driver can also use the app to help find a parked ZOE or to look up trip history and any other information in the trip computer.
The Z.E. smartphone app keeps ZOE drivers connected to their car, even when they are not driving, in order to optimize battery charging. ZOE owners can remotely check information, such as the car’s charge level, the estimated remaining range, the time remaining until the vehicle is fully charged, etc. It also receives messages when charging begins and is completed.
The app can operate some of their car’s functions, including the cabin’s pre-conditioning system (cabin temperature) and activate the battery charging process, as well as taking advantage of off-peak electricity rates and different CO2 footprints depending on type of generation.