In-depth reviews

Renault ZOE hatchback - Range, charging & running costs

With very low running costs and a theoretical 245-mile range, the Renault ZOE is flexible and cost-effective

Carbuyer Rating

3.6 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.3 out of 5

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Range, charging & running costs Rating

4.5 out of 5

While carmakers are striving to develop battery technology to increase range, the batteries themselves remain very expensive. From November 2019, the battery-leasing option for the ZOE line-up was discontinued.

This decision makes the ZOE look expensive when compared with petrol and diesel equivalents, but it does make it competitively priced when compared to pure-electric rivals such as the Peugeot e-208 and Vauxhall Corsa-e. However, its whole-life cost should still be comparable, and Renault is offering attractive financing deals to entice buyers.

Renault ZOE range & charging

In the early days of EVs, there were fears the battery pack would quickly degrade and become useless after a few years - in reality they've proved more resilient. To allay any worries, the battery pack of every ZOE is covered for eight years/100,000 miles and guaranteed to retain at least 66% of its original capacity during this time.

Car and battery lease costs aside, ZOE running costs are low. Renault says the ZOE costs around 2p a mile to run in summer, increasing to 3p a mile in winter. A full charge costs about £3 (depending on your energy tariff) – a fraction of the cost of a tank of petrol. Renault no longer offers a free home wallbox but a government grant that offers up to £350 towards wallbox installation is available for the next few months.

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The high-capacity 52kWh battery in the ZOE has a much bigger capacity than before, providing a calculated maximum range of 245 miles according to the WLTP test regime. However, Renault recognises this is a good weather figure. In colder weather, we were able to achieve 3.5 miles/kWh during mixed driving, which translates into a range of around 180 miles, a significant drop from the official range figure as batteries are less able to deliver their optimal performance at lower temperatures.

Government incentives are available to reduce the price of a Renault ZOE by £2,500, and it should be remembered that all zero-emissions vehicles are exempt from VED (road tax). The ZOE is also likely to appeal to company-car drivers thanks sitting in the lowest Benefit-in-Kind banding, which is just 1% until April 2022 and 2% thereafter.

There’s no longer a separate model with fast-charging included but, if you choose Iconic or GT Edition trims, you can opt for fast-charging for an extra £750. Using a 50kW public rapid charger can bring the battery to 80% from empty in an hour and 10 minutes, compared to nine hours with the wallbox charger.

Insurance group

The Renault ZOE starts in insurance group 20 out of 50 with the lower-powered motor and climbs to group 23 for the R135 motor in top GT trim. depending on trim level, so Coverage shouldn't be too expensive and the relatively low mileage that EV drivers cover should help keep insurance costs down, too.

Warranty

The ZOE is covered for five years and 100,000 miles. The battery pack is covered separately by an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty, which stipulates it will be repaired or replaced if it falls below 66% of its original capacity. All ZOE models also have a three-year paintwork warranty and 12 years’ anti-corrosion cover. UK roadside assistance covers you for 36 months.

Servicing

Renault's EasyLife Pack can cover servicing for three years for £450, and is transferable if you sell the car. Increasing servicing and the warranty to include the fourth year sees prices shoot up, however, to £700. A service is required every year or 18,000 miles, whichever occurs first. Renault has more than 130 Z.E. (zero emissions) dealers in the UK, equipped to sell and service its range of electric vehicles.

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