- Renault's small electric car facelifted for 2019
- Ugraded hardware with 52kWh battery and 100kW electric motor
- New dash with improved quality and tech
Having been on sale since 2012, Renault has unveiled the third evolution of the Zoe with a facelifted model for 2019. Seven years is typically long enough to see a car being replaced with an all-new model, but the Zoe’s platform is here to stay.
It’s a case of continuous improvement for the firm’s small electric car as sales continue to grow year on year. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?
Still, the front of the car bears a new face and all the lights are now LED, but while the 2019 facelift looks familiar on the outside, it’s what’s beneath the bodywork that makes all the difference.
As technology constantly improves, the battery capacity in the Renault Zoe is now more than double what the original 22kWh model had back in 2012.
Despite being the same physical size, the latest battery pack is upgraded to 52kWh. Aptly named Z.E.50, this takes the official electric range up to 242 miles under WLTP test conditions.
That’s a 25% increase over the outgoing Z.E 40 model and its 41kWh pack, with its claimed 186 miles. There is a 25kg weight penalty with this more powerful battery, but, while details on suspension and chassis settings are yet to be confirmed, the brakes should reign in the extra performance as you now get front and rear discs as standard.
The range of electric motors have been beefed up too. The R110 model introduced in the Zoe’s last update dramatically improved the Zoe’s mid-range performance, due to an 80kW motor developing 107hp and 225Nm of torque.
This continues to be offered and now serves as the entry-level motor in the range, while a 100kW motor, named R135, now serves as the flagship.
Power figures are yet to be confirmed but torque is bumped up to 245Nm, and the 0-62mph time will drop below 10 seconds. Mid-range performance will see a noticeable jump too, with the 50-75mph time dropping 2.2 seconds down from the R110, to 7.1 seconds.
Renault Zoe charging and charge times
The other big change relates to the socket behind the front diamond badge. What used to be an AC charge socket hidden behind here is now a CCS combo plug, allowing the choice of AC or DC charging. The AC socket allows the battery to recharge up to a maximum of 22kW of power, while the DC socket can charge up to 50kW.
Charge times using a 7kW wallbox will take 9 hours and 25 minutes from 0 to 100% battery power, while Renault estimates a 22kW charger will top up the Zoe’s battery with approximately 78 miles of range in one hour.
The full-fat 50kW DC terminals on motorway stations could see roughly see 93 miles of range added after a 30 minute charge.
Additional B mode available
A new driving mode has been introduced on the 2019 Renault Zoe and can be accessed by nudging the gearlever from D to B mode. This introduces the regenerative braking function, allowing the car to harness back some battery charge in heavy city traffic conditions with frequent stop-start manoeuvres.
We’ve seen this on the BMW i3 and Nissan Leaf before, allowing you to effectively drive the entire time with just the accelerator pedal.
Inside the 2019 Zoe
The facelifted Zoe receives a redesigned dashboard using a mix of new materials and tech.
There’s a hint of the new Clio in terms of design and structure, with a higher level of perceived quality. There’s a new steering wheel, gear shifter, electronic parking brake and two rear USB ports as standard, while textile dash inserts made from 100% recycled material and wireless charging can be added at extra cost.
The driver’s display is now significantly larger, being a taller 10-inch screen, and can now also show sat-nav information. The touchscreen media display on the centre console is also vastly improved, with a 9.3-inch portrait display that features both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
When is the facelifted Zoe on sale?
The 2019 facelift should arrive in the UK by autumn. Prices are yet to be announced but Renault claim the Zoe will remain the most affordable small electric car available.
Specs are to be confirmed but three new colours will be available, from the Celadon Blue seen here in the pictures, to Flame Red and Quartz White; with a total of nine shades available altogether.
The wheels have also been redesigned, ranging from 15 to 17 inches in size.