The Renault Zoe
The all-electric Renault Zoe has been very well received but CAP says its complicated battery leasing arrangements will hold it back in the company car market
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The Renault Zoe
Renault’s new all-electric Zoe has limited range but the taxman has to ignore it

RENAULT has announced UK prices and specs for its new battery-powered supermini, the Zoe, which means that businesses can now do the sums to try and work out whether this is an electric car that makes sense for company car drivers – especially with 0% company car tax.

Renault Zoe prices start at £13,650 on the road after the government’s £5000 Plug-in Car Grant has been applied, although that will rise to £13,995 after an across-the-range increase on 5 April.

That’s far less than existing pure electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf, and also undercuts other plug-in cars such as Toyota’s plug-in Prius hybrid or Chevrolet’s Volt range-extender.

The price still looks good even when you consider that Renault requires customers to lease the Zoe’s battery pack separately at a cost of at least £70 per month.

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Even the cheapest Zoe model, the Expression, is well equipped, with sat nav – vital for range estimation and charging point location – as standard. Two further trim levels, Dynamique Zen and Dynamique Intens, take the top price up to £15,195 after the April increases.

One innovation seen for the first time in the Zoe is what Renault calls the Chameleon charger, which can cope with all power levels from the 3kW typically available from domestic installations to up to 43kW, available at fast-charging facilities, with a full charge taking between 30 minutes and nine hours.

Zoe is also the first Renault to be sold with the company’s new multimedia system, R-Link, as standard. R-Link features a seven-inch display, steering wheel-mounted controls and voice recognition. It can also run a variety of motoring-related apps from Renault’s R-Link Store.

The Zoe’s limited range will rule it out for many business motorists but for anyone who mainly does short urban journeys, the new car’s zero company car tax, zero road tax and 100 per cent first-year capital allowance will be big attractions.

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