Electric range boost for Renault Zoe

  • 250-mile range for Renault electric supermini
  • New top-spec trim added to the range
  • Priced from under £14k, plus seven-percent BIK

Renault has updated its all-electric Zoe supermini, offering tweaked trim levels, new colours and, more importantly, extra range.

It’s available to order now with first deliveries due in the new year, but what do these changes mean for company car drivers?

Low seven-percent BIK

The main thing business users will be concerned about is which BIK rate the Zoe falls into. As with any other electric vehicle, the updated Zoe falls into the lowest seven percent BIK group meaning monthly payments of around £30 per month for 20 percent tax payers and £60 per month for 40 percent tax payers.

Boosted range

Renault now claims the Zoe has the longest range of any mainstream electric vehicle on sale with 250 miles on a single charge. In reality, it’ll manage between around 125 and 185 miles depending on the weather conditions, but it’s a big improvement over the outgoing car.

The reason for the boost in range is a new Z.E.40 battery pack, available in familiar Dynamique Nav and Signature Nav trim levels, the latter being a new addition at the top of the Zoe range. There’s also an entry-level Expression Nav model available exclusively with a 22kw battery that returns between 71 and 106 miles on a single charge (weather conditions-dependent).

The new battery is also available with a Quick Charge facility to reduce charging times by around an hour, while home chargers are included in the car’s price if you’re a private buyer.

Apps to keep you on the move

One of the biggest concerns with running electric vehicle is the range, but a suite of apps is available on the Zoe to keep an eye on how much juice you’ve got left. There’s a Z.E. Trip app to help plan journeys by locating all public charging points in Europe where you’ll be able to charge your Zoe, while a Z.E. Pass app allows drivers to charge at most public charging points regardless of operator.

These are likely to prove invaluable if you’re a business user jumping in and out of the Zoe regularly throughout the day or attempting longer-distance journeys.

How much does it cost?

There are two ways of purchasing a Renault Zoe – buy it outright with battery costs included, or buy the car and lease the batteries.

If you buy the car outright, model names have the letter i in front (e.g. iSignature Nav), with prices ranging from £18,995 to £26,245 with the Government’s Plug-in Car Grant included.

If you lease, prices range from £13,995 to £20,645 after the grant, but you’ll need to pay a monthly fee for the battery pack which can be anything between £49 and £110 per month depending on how many miles you expect to cover.

Could it work as my next company car?

Potentially. As with any other car that requires a plug socket, you’ll need to be able to charge the car at both ends of your journey to really reap the benefits of zero-emissions motoring. The low BIK rates of an electric car are incredibly appealing to company car drivers, so the appeal of the low-cost Zoe is only increased by the much-needed boost in range from these updates for 2017.

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