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Renault Zoe gets boosted EV powertrain

Purple rain: The new Renault Zoe will be offered in a new ‘Aconite’ colour, but its Australian fate is still up in the air.

Australia hopeful for more potent Renault Zoe EV, will wait until at least 2019

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Renault logo20 Feb 2018

By ROBBIE WALLIS

RENAULT has revealed a more potent version of its diminutive Zoe EV hatchback featuring an uprated 80kW electric motor, with Renault Australia hopeful of receiving the new version in the future.

The latest Zoe variant employs Renault’s new R110 electric motor which boosts power from 68kW in the current Zoe to 80kW, while torque remains steady at 220Nm.

Renault Australia corporate communications manager Emily Fadayev told GoAuto that Renault Australia was hopeful to receive the uprated version of the Zoe, but it will not arrive locally until at least 2019 if the green light is given.

After being on sale in Europe for years, the Zoe was launched in Australia last year, initially sold directly to businesses and government customers in a sales model that mirrors the Kangoo ZE all-electric van.

However, regular consumers are able to contact Renault to purchase a Zoe, with ownership determined by the company on a case-to-case basis.

The current Zoe is offered in two specification levels – the Life for $44,470 plus on-roads, and the Intens from $45,970. A more powerful version can be expected to trump the existing variants on price.

Given that it cannot be charged from a standard 240V power outlet, owners have to install a 7kW wall charger which costs around $2000, or a more potent fast charger for $3000.

As for the R110 version, it is expected to have a range of around 300km of real-world driving range, matching the distance of the existing Zoe.

Using the same sized motor as the 68kW example, it will take around 7.5 hours to fully charge from a 7kW socket.

While the extra power will not provide quicker acceleration off the line, its 80-120km/h time is said to be reduced by around two seconds.

Renault has also released shots of the Zoe’s interior which features an Apple CarPlay- and Android Auto-compatible R-Link infotainment system, and cabin trims that match the vehicle’s exterior.

A new dark metallic purple paint colour, called Aconite, will be offered.

If it arrives in Australia, it will face competition from the likes of the BMW i3 and next-gen Nissan Leaf, which is expected to land Down Under later this year.

Renault Australia will announce whether the 80kW Zoe will be coming Down Under at a later date.

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