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Renault tests Zoe EV in Oz

Who’s fooling who: Renault’s Zoe EV shown testing in Melbourne wearing camouflage, despite having been fully revealed in Geneva last month.

Low-cost Zoe EV tests in Australia as Renault looks forward to local release

3 Apr 2012

RENAULT has been testing its forthcoming Zoe low-cost electric car in Australia as part of an assessment for introducing the car locally, perhaps as soon as next year.

The company released photos of a car being driven in Melbourne and Perth wearing heavy camouflage – even though the car was fully unveiled at the Geneva motor show last month.

Renault Australia managing director Justin Hocevar made it clear the company wants to bring the diminutive EV to Australia, where it would join the Fluence EV (due here later this year) and Kangoo EV (due here mid-2013), as well as the related Nissan Leaf that is already on the market.

“Renault is deeply committed to the success of electric vehicles and to the Australian market,” said Mr Hocevar.

“Globally, Renault is a leader in the development and mass-market roll-out of affordable, accessible electric vehicles.

"The aim of testing the new Zoe in Australia is to ensure that we are responding to the specific demands of the Australian market – from daily driving range to cooling systems for our climate.

35 center imageLeft: The Renault Zoe on test. Below: The production Zoe.

“Zoe represents the future of Renault. It embodies our new design language, showcases our technological excellence and heralds a new era in motoring. And it has been designed to be as affordable as possible.

“I look forward to being able to offer Zoe to the Australian market in the future.”

Renault has big ambitions for Zoe, which will be launched in Europe in the third quarter this year, priced in France from just €15,700 (A$20,100) after applying a €5000 (A$6400) government subsidy, making it the cheapest EV in Europe.

It is the first mass-market electric vehicle to be homologated with a range of 210km, as tested under the European cycle, and is the first Renault designed from the ground up as an EV.

The long driving range is said to be the result of more efficient regenerative-braking and air-conditioning systems, and unique Michelin tyres.

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