15.6.2012 Renault ZOE breaks EV distance record
Renault's 100% electric super mini, the ZOE, has set a new world record for the longest distance travelled in 24 hours by a production electric car.
Completing 363 laps of the Aubevoye speed ring in Normandy, France, a distance of 1,005 miles, it bettered the former record of 795 miles by a quarter.
Two Renault ZOEs set out on the speed ring at the Aubevoye technical centre in Normandy, with fifteen different drivers taking turns at the wheel, driving and charging each car as and when necessary.
Twenty-four hours later, they crossed the finishing line, with mileages of 1,005 and 936 miles respectively. In the process, both cars clearly highlighted the impressive performance and reliability of the French brand's forthcoming electric vehicle.
For this result, the ZOE was also able to profit from a major technological breakthrough: the Chameleon charger. This world-first system makes ZOE compatible with any socket and any power level. ZOE was therefore able to be fast-charged at 43 kW, regaining 80% of battery capacity in under thirty minutes.
This challenge was also made possible by the best-in-class NEDC range of 130 miles. Overall, the fastest ZOE was fast-charged 18 times in 24 hours, at the 43 kW powered charger. Fast charging points charging points are becoming a much more common sight both on UK roads and in car parks – meaning that when the ZOE is available to purchase, charging will be quicker and easier.
An official observer was present to check the legitimacy of the challenge, which is currently pending a Guinness Book of Records entry. The procedure took two months to plan, but the results provide a realistic and reassuring indication of how far a ZOE electric vehicle really can travel in a day, if fast charging facilities are available.
A major concern that hinders consumer uptake of currently available electric vehicles is high up front purchase costs – the ZOE will be available in the UK with an on-the-road price tag of just £13,650. Although there are additional battery leasing costs of £70 per month, this is more affordable than competitors and will make electric motoring more accessible to a greater audience.
Renault is the first mainstream electric vehicle manufacturer to offer a battery leasing model, which is likely to be a popular model. It removes the uncertainty of battery degradation, as Renault own the battery units and guarantee that they will be maintained and updated.
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