Renault ZOE review: range, battery & charging
The Renault ZOE offers strong range for an electric supermini, however we wish it came with DC rapid charging a standard
|Range||Wallbox charge time||Rapid charge time* (if applicable)|
|239 miles||8hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)||56mins (10-80%, 50kW)|
The Renault ZOE’s official range of 239 miles is impressive for an EV at this price point, and currently betters all of its rivals, including the Peugeot e-208, Vauxhall Corsa Electric (prior to their 2023 update) and even the larger Nissan Leaf. It’s just a shame you have to pay extra for rapid charging, which isn't standard on the entry-level Techno model.
Renault ZOE range
The ZOE’s official range figure of up to 239 miles on the WLTP combined test cycle is seriously impressive – especially as that translates to efficiency of some 4.6 miles per kWh, one of the best numbers we’ve seen from an electric car. Of course, it goes without saying that this figure is certain to drop in lower temperatures, which isn't helped by the fact the ZOE doesn't come with a heat pump, which can help preserve range in the colder months.
As standard, the entry-level ZOE comes with a Type 2 socket and cable that'll allow you to plug into the majority of public chargers found in town centres, supermarkets and shopping centres. The fastest charge you’ll get is 22kW (so if you plug into a faster AC unit, you'll still only charge at a maximum of 22kW in the base ZOE), which works out at 40 miles of range added in 30 minutes.
At home, a 7.4kW wallbox will complete a full top-up in nine-and-a-half hours. The good news is that Renault can supply and install a charger, although the exact cost will differ depending on the work needed. The ZOE also comes with a three-pin cable for plugging into a standard socket at home, which will charge the car up at a rate of up to 2.3kW. It’ll take some 24 hours to get to 100% at that rate, but it’s still a useful backup if it’s your only option when visiting family or staying away.
Go for the range-topping Iconic model – or a base Techno car with the R135 Boost Charge setup – and the socket in the ZOE’s nose gets two extra pins. This allows you to plug into public rapid chargers of the type commonly found in motorway service areas and A-road charging hubs, boosting the maximum charging speed to nearly 50kW, which will get the battery from near-empty to 80% capacity in just under an hour. Unfortunately, this is still much slower than what’s possible in rivals such as the Citroen e-C4 which can charge at speeds up to 100kW, managing the same 10-80% top-up in just half an hour.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe cutesy-looking Renault ZOE remains a solid small electric car pick thanks to its hi-tech cabin and strong range, although it’s missing several important safety and charging features
- 2Range & charging - currently readingThe Renault ZOE offers strong range for an electric supermini, however we wish it came with DC rapid charging a standard
- 3Running costs & insuranceAlthough more expensive to buy than a comparable petrol Renault Clio, the ZOE offers rock-bottom running costs
- 4Performance, motor & driveThe Renault ZOE provides smooth and satisfactory performance, but offers little in the way of driver engagement
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfortThe Renault ZOE has a well-appointed interior and comes with a large array of standard equipment
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityThe Renault ZOE is sufficiently spacious for supermini standards, but other EVs offer greater practicality
- 7Reliability & safety ratingThe ZOE has sold in big numbers and proved to be reliable, but a zero-star safety rating from Euro NCAP in late 2021 came as a shock