Renault expects Zoe electric vehicle to outsell the Nissan Leaf

Article by Anita Panait, on May 12, 2012

In a battle of electric vehicle sales between partner auto companies, Renault expects its Zoe electric car to outsell the Nissan Leaf. Renault's EV project director Thierry Koskas, in an interview with  Automotive News Europe, cannot help but compare the Zoe and the Leaf, which are both five-passenger hatchbacks.

According to Koskas, the Zoe's main selling point is that it is laden with more advanced technologies for a lower price compared with the Leaf. The Zoe is also more compact that the Leaf; the former measuring 4,084mm in length and the latter at 4445mm.

Koskas noted that the Zoe sports some technologies not found on the Leaf, like the braking energy-recovery system, a heat pump, and a special series of energy efficient tires. Koskas said that the Zoe is a next-generation car, with its launch scheduled two years later than the Leaf. 

Another key selling point of the Zoe is that it offers a maximum range of 210 km for a single charge, a relatively long distance considering that the Leaf could only be driven up to 175 km on a single charge. The Zoe has a typical range of 150 km in mild weather and 100 km in cold weather. Renault said that Nissan's rollout of the Leaf is helping convince European buyers that electric cars could also do what mainstream cars could do. 

According to Koskas, the Zoe is being targeted to appeal to the needs of the mass-consumer market in Europe, with a starting price of only EUR15,700 in France. It will have the same pricing trend in most western European markets.

In comparison, it Leaf counterpart is almost twice as expensive, having a starting price EUR30,990 in France. The Zoe is expected to be the volume model among Renault's four-model EV range, which includes the Fluence ZE, Kangoo ZE and Twizy. Renault has allotted a 150,000-unit annual production capacity for the Zoe.

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