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Renault boosts range of ZOE EV to 400 km with new 41 kWh pack option

29 September 2016

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.

September 29, 2016 in Batteries, Electric (Battery) | Permalink | Comments (24)


Good progress. Not there yet. Autopilot is missing. And no real fast charging over 120k Watt and a network of charging stations. However, much better than previous zoe. The demand for this is going to be interesting to follow.

As an old Zoe owner, I'd be interested in knowing if this new battery pack can be used to upgrade when my current (100 mile range) one needs replacing. Not that there are any signs of that being necessary...

Zoe is so efficient, it does not need a huge pack to get range.

I'm curious as to what is the expected lifetime of these batteries nowadays. Is it reasonable to expect 1000 cycles? Will that get one close to 300,000 km?

The next step improved batteries may take the range from 400 KM to 600+ KM to make the Zoé an almost extended range small BEV.

Making it (and 100+ others) an ADV will probably be done by 2025 or so.

Where do they get these ranges from ?
I would use a rule of thumb that you get 3.0 - 3.5 Miles / KwH, so, taking 3.5 (as the Zoe is a small car), we end up with 41 x 3.5 ~ 144 miles, not 186 as Renault say or 249 is NEDC says.

Here is a list with the US figures which are much more realistic.

I would love to be proved wrong, but the EV ranges given (by NEDC and manufacturers) are nearly as bad as the NOX and CO2 figures for ICE cars.

I'm with @mahonj on this one. I'd love to believe these numbers, but they're talking ~10km/kWh while the best out there today get more like ~6.4km/kWh.

So how are they suddenly going to make essentially a 55% jump in efficiency of an EV? Maybe they're talking some VERY generous EU cycle that is not related to the real world?

Hell, I'd be very happy if they'd just get it up to 175mile range in real world conditions. It's not a good idea to put wild numbers out there and then under deliver when you hit the market.

@mahoni and DaveD
But your 'rule-of-thumb' ignores reality. This is not some theoretical new car but an upgrade to one with years of driver experience. I used to get ~4 mile per kWh in a Phase 1 Leaf but with the Zoe this is closer to 4.5, not the 3.5 figure you used.

With this new battery pack I'd be confident in getting over a 175 mile range. The Renault real world figures for the original Zoe are not that far from my experience on Motorways and A roads (i.e. Highways). They clearly distance themselves from the NEDC figures so why give them an hard time with no practical experience of real world Zoe driving?


No, we're doing math.

"the new 41 kWh Z.E. 40 battery, ZOE now has a range of up to 400 km (249 miles) NEDC"

That means they're claiming up to 10km/kWh (6.2miles/kWh). If they can indeed do this, GOOD FOR THEM! But I'll believe it when I see it. As you said yourself, you were getting closer to 4miles/kWh which is exactly the figure I was using.

The math says they're talking about going from 4->6.2 which is straight forward mathematics...That is a 55% increase in range per kWh.

As you say, they do reference real world driving and try to distance themselves from NEDC...but people see the big numbers and zero in on them. Just leave them out of the press releases. :)

Well you are doing different maths then as mahonj explicitly used 3.5 miles per kWh.
I don't understand your maths for the Renault claims. My maths on the Renault real world claims comes out at 4.8 miles per kWh for the current (22kWh) Zoe ('real world' 106 miles) and 4.5 miles per kWh for the new 41kWh pack giving their claimed 186 miles 'real world'. How do you get an increase per kWh when their figures give a slight reduction (due to extra weight)?

These figures are only slightly higher than what I would be comfortable getting.

I am not sure of the advertising regs in all jurisdictions but not giving NEDC figures may be problematic. Certainly, when the other manufacturers are quoting official test figures it is actually quite useful to allow apples-to-apples comparisons. I don't know how Renault's 'real world' stacks up against BMW's 'real world' or the world according to Ford... That is one reason we have standardised test cycles.

Roll on NEDC reform in 2018(?)...

I was totally looking at the NEDC numbers which are the first things that drew my they were the first numbers in the article! When I see someone say something impossible in the first paragraph I have a hard time getting past that to read the rest of their press release and take it seriously.

I'm not saying that's right or fair, it's just what happened. I'm a fan of the Zoe. But once I saw that first paragraph I stopped taking the whole article seriously. I only went back and bothered to read the rest of it because of your comments to be honest.

I don't know regulations over there, but I doubt they say you have to lead in a press release with NEDC numbers rather than list the real world numbers first. I'm just saying... :)

The range on NEDC (400 km) will be the biggest number, so of course that will be shown first!

I have seen elsewhere that real world range (whatever that means) of around 300 km is expected. That is 7.3 km (4.5 miles) per kWh, which is in a plausible range.

The Zoe is a 3000 pound car with an 75 hp motor, it is not programmed for "ludicrous" mode, it is designed for range.

The real world capacity of a nominal 41 kWh battery is more like 30 kWh since the battery pack would have a very short cycle life if it was cycled from 0 to 100% state of charge.

So, these optimistic range numbers (e.g. 400 km) border on the ridiculous, which unfortunately taints a range that is probably closer to 250 km, which would be quite acceptable for the vast majority of users.

Without referring to this specific battery set.

1K battery cycle life to 80% retained capacity would be at the low end of the suite of manufacture's specifications.

If NP's suggestion of 250klm is a fair representation of this example, it would be very fair to expect 300k Klm.

The reported consensus on real life experience of battery performance has been that age is (was) a bigger factor in capacity loss than cycles.

From grid backup studies, high yearly mileage including limited discharge for grid services is the most economical use of the resource.

With at least 10 years trouble free reported as the sweet spot.

Thanks Arnold
I live in a part of the world that is highly dependent on producing oil for the world and out on the street I sense a lot of optimism that demand for oil will be around for a "long time". But from my perspective I just don't see it. The $100 per kwh batteries will have a cost of 10 cents per kwh if you don't include the capital costs. That works out to 2 cents per km for a small car. Two cents for battery + 2 cents for electricity. At today's deflated gasoline prices a similar car would have at least 7 to 8 cents per km fuel costs. More like 10 at the oil prices that the producers would like to get. It really looks like its game over for oil.

It will be game over for the oil and gasser engine industry when we get fully self-driving cars by 2020.

Most people do not get it yet because they think conventionally.

The thing is that a fully self-driving BEV taxi has indefinite range and zero charging time as you just jump into a new car if the first one runs out of electrons. So that 100% solves the only two problems that made BEVs less attractive to gassers and FCV.

Moreover, self-driving BEVs can take full advantage of the much better durability of the BEV powertrain when compared to gassers and FCV. BEV powertrains can last a million miles and gassers and FCV can only last 200k miles. However, the cost savings from superior durability of BEVs cannot be realized until we have fully self-driving BEVs that can do about 100k miles per year. If you only do 15k miles per year you will never be able to take full advantage of the extreme durability of BEVs as it will take forever (67 years) to drive 1 million miles.

It is easy to see the cost savings on the drivetrain when you calculate it as cents per mile. A small 120k watt gasser drivetrain cost 2000 USD for transmission, 3000 USD for engine and 2000 USD for exhaust system so 7000 USD and it last 200,000 miles so 3.5 cents per mile (7000/200,000).

A small 120k watt BEV with a 55kwh battery and some 230 miles real world range cost about 8000 USD for the battery (assuming 150 USD per kwh at the pack level and including a gross margin) and 2000 USD for the electric motor and power electronics (assuming mass production over 300k units per year). So 10,000 USD for the drivetrain that last 1 million miles or only 1 cents per mile (10,000/1,000,000).

So really game over for oil and gassers is when we get fully autonomous taxi BEVs.

Well, as we have discussed, the Renault supplied 300km real world range figure seems more credible. But on the point of battery longevity, Renault lease the batteries so it's actually their problem. will you convince families, with 3+ ICEVs for the last many decades, to scrap/discard their beloved ICEVs and use UBER like ADVs instead?

It would be a drastic but beneficial change (a lot less vehicles on the streets/roads), but it may take a few decades to implement.

Starting with taxis and small/medium size city e-buses may be a good way to prepare people for the change?

@HarveyD: It will not happen overnight, but faster than you think. Once EV's and HEV's take hold, gas stations will start converting to Starbucks with plugs. Gas will be harder to find, just as hydrogen is now. In addition, a lot of those gassers are owned by low income individuals who may quickly shift when they find they can save $1000/yr on insurance, $1000 on gas, and ~$2000 in repairs for the old vehicle they drive. However, truck owners, many of whom are outdoor enthusiasts or craftsmen, will have to have hybrids for a long time.

Self driving vehicles will always be in the shop for Suspension and Wheel repairs. This is a Risk that cannot be quantified right now.

JM> they can save $1000/yr on insurance

Where can an EV driver save $1,000/yr on insurance?

Harvey people will be convinced by 20 cents per mile taxi driving on demand from anywhere to anywhere. That is half the price of driving a low cost gasser yourself. And you will save the time driving that can be used to something useful instead.

Plus many people do not have an alternative to self-driving taxis because they do not have a driver license or simple can’t drive like kids and old people. There will be no shortage of customers for those self driving vehicles they will be utilized 100% as fast as they can be produced by Tesla and others. By the end of 2020 Tesla will have a million of these taxis in service either owned by Tesla or by private people making them available for taxi driving when they do not need the vehicles themselves. By 2025 all new vehicles sold will have this tech. I estimate 20 million new driverless vehicles will be sold in 2025 and more the year after. There is a global fleet of 1.5 billion vehicles that needs to be replaced with driverless vehicles so the demand for this will be good.

Hope you're correct Henrik and that many local taxis and buses will be e-ADVs by 2025. Meanwhile, the only all electric local taxis company in our city is going from 50 to 100 e-vehicles, including many TESLA S models with clean $15/hour uniformed drivers.

UBER is allow to operate on a one year trial. Regular taxis with questionnable drivers are on partial strike.

What will be the total effect of XXX thousands e-ADV taxis on city core traffic density, unless many are mini-bus type or customers are willing to share?

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