Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

Miles per pound (mpp) Miles per pound (mpp)

Electric motors, home charging 12.5 - 15.4 mpp
Electric motors, public charging 7.0 - 8.6 mpp
Low figures relate to the least economical version; high to the most economical. Based on WLTP combined fuel economy for versions of this car made since September 2017 only, and typical current fuel or electricity costs.

Fuel economy

Electric motors 3.5 - 4.3 miles/kWh
  • It costs only £3-7 for a home charge
  • Competitive finance costs
  • Slow charging compared with rivals

How much is it going to cost to run?

Renault Zoe running costs are extremely low – including free road tax and very cheap company car costs. Plus you can have a 7kW wallbox charger installed for nothing.

The price of a charge will vary on how much you pay for your electricity and which version of the Zoe you own, but the manufacturer quotes a maximum figure of £7 for a full charge, or £3 overnight on an Economy 7 tariff.

The Zoe comes with a 52kWh battery regardless of specification, and this is included in the price with an eight-year, 100,000 mile warranty.

Range and charging

The 52kWh battery can delivery between 238/245 miles for the R110 and R135, dropping to something more like 149 miles in the winter. That puts the Zoe at the top of its class for range. If you’re tempted to consider the Zoe for longer-distance commuting, it’s worth bearing in mind that the range drops markedly with sustained high speeds.

Renault claims 69mph will bring the effective range below 150 miles – in real-world testing, with B-mode for regeneration on downhills, a 130-mile motorway round trip gives a 163 mile range – and that’s in deserted conditions that make sticking to a constant speed easy.

It points to a different future, though. If more autonomous driving is allowed, with a fall in maximum speeds and a rise in average speed, the Zoe shows that a deceptively simple electric car can easily cover long distances.

How long does it take to charge?

These cars are quite simple because they all come with the same 52kWh battery – expect a full charge in 9hrs 25mins from your 7kW wallbox, or three hours at a public 22kW charger. Plugging it into a domestic three-pin 13A socket will deliver a full charge in 30 hours.

There’s also the option to pay extra for an onboard 50kW DC charger – this will get you a 0-80% charge in 1hr 10mins. If, however, you merely top your car up rather than fully charging it from empty every time (who does this?) Renault suggests the following figures:

  • 3kW (three pin) – full charge overnight
  • 11kW – 75 miles in two hours
  • 22kW – 75 miles in one hour
  • 50kW – 90 miles in 30 minutes

Servicing and maintenance

The Zoe comes with a five-year, 100,000-mile warranty and the battery is coverd for eight years and up-to 100,000 miles. Renault offers an EasyLife Service Plan, which gives you servicing for the first three years or 30,000 miles with an up-front or monthly payment rolled into your finance.

Reliability

  • Generally promising, though the tech is still new
  • Few moving parts in an electric motor
  • Lots of parts shared with Renault Clio

The Zoe scores an average mark in the reader reviews section, but much of that is down to the range not delivering the claimed 245 miles, with few comments about overall reliability. Having said that, the Zoe is one of the earliest electric cars to reach mass production. During its production run, it’s had five recalls relating to build issues, none of which were unique electric car issues.

New buyers can therefore expect the usual failure rate for things like infotainment, heater and trim issues, and needn’t worry about the novel electric motor and battery.

The potential upside is that electric motors and batteries use fewer moving parts than conventional engines. It it still remains to be seen how satisfied Renault Zoe customers will be, but residual values are strong. One area that could be a concern is battery life. Renault only guarantees it will retain a percentage of its original performance. Less charge means fewer miles. Only time will tell how this plays out.

Ongoing running costs

Road tax (12 months) £0
See tax rates for all versions
Insurance group 14 - 25
How much is it to insure?
Find out more about all electric cars here