Renault makes Zoe electric car available to Australian consumers

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Renault makes electric Zoe available to individual consumers in Australia after modest sales to fleet owners.

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Australians are limited for choice when it comes to buying small size EVs, but that choice is now opening up just a little more with the announcement by French automaker Renault that private buyers can now get their hands on an electric Renault Zoe hatchback.

Late last year, Renault announced the introduction of their all-electric hatchback, the Zoe, to Australia, but unfortunately they were keeping this limited to commercial and government fleets.

They did hint at the time that determined buyers might be able to convince them to sell on a case-by-case basis, and it seems there was so much interest that Renault have now done an about-turn.

Starting today, individuals wanting to zip around in a French-made electric hatchback can do so, buying from one of Renault’s EV dealerships for a price (before dealer costs) of $47,490 for the Zoe Life and $49,940 for the Zoe Intens.

While sales have been ow in Australia, the Zoe has been the best selling EV of its type in Europe and won the Best Green Car award at the FirstCar Awards 2018 earlier this year.

Andrew Moore, managing director a Renault Australia, said the company had taken a measured approach to the roll-out of electric vehicles locally, in line with customer demand in Australia.

“Our initial roll-out was to focus our discussions directly with forward-thinking fleets who want to incorporate an electric vehicle into their existing fleet of vehicles,” he said.

Moore says that fleet sales have already exceeded expectation, although only 27 electric Zoes have been sold to fleets in Australia for the first quarter of 2018 (plus two at the end of last year).

“Since commencing sales to fleets in late 2017, we’ve seen demand from a passionate group of customers who would like the opportunity to purchase a Renault electric vehicle and we’re thrilled to now be able to offer this,” Moore says.

Australian individuals will be able to choose from the Zoe Life or the Zoe Intens, and specs for each model differ only slightly, with both featuring a 7” R-LINK navigation touchscreen, while the Intens also sports rear parking sensors and 16” ‘Black Shadow” alloys.

Both are kitted out with a 41Kwh lithium-ion battery, and a range of about 300kms. They take 2 hour 40 minutes to charge on 22kW three phase, according to the company’s website.

“To charge either Zoe model, the purchaser will also need to invest in a wall charger, “for under $2500 for the charging station fully installed in normal circumstances for a home,” says director of JET Charge Tim Washington.

The Renault Zoe and Intense will be available through dealerships in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, with additional dealerships opening in Melbourne and Sydney in the not-too-distant future.

Moore says that more Renault EV specialists will also open in Brisbane, Canberra and Hobart in Renault’s next phase rollout.

 “Along with demand from customers, we’ve experienced positive interest from within our dealer network of existing Renault dealers who wish to expand their product offering and become Renault electric vehicle specialists. 

“They’ve recognised the opportunity that electric vehicles can bring to their local area and they’ve made the investment in their dealership to become Z.E. ready,” he says.

Worldwide, 1 in 5 EVs sold is an Renault – in fact the Zoe was Europe’s most popular EV in 2017 –  so it will be interesting to see if giving the Renault Zoe a headstart in the Australian market will see it take hold in Australia before the Nissan Leaf and Kia Niro hit our shores next year.

 Moore says that the introduction of the Renault Zoe to Australian shores is just the start.

 “As part of Renault’s Drive the Future 2022 plan announced in October 2017, Groupe Renault committed to having 8 pure electric and 12 electrified models as part of the range.  From an Australia point of view, we’ve now taken the next fundamental step in realising this vision.”

 

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94 Comments
  1. DevMac 8 months ago

    $47,490. Seems steep for a pocket-sized car.

    How does this compare to prices elsewhere in the world? Is Australia still protecting a now-non-existent car manufacturing industry with tariffs on imports?

    • Roger Franklin 8 months ago

      DevMac – based on the cost per kw of Tesla Power Wall Batteries (14kWh @$9,600). 41kWh would work out at around $28k for the Battery leaving $20k for the car, which seems expensive,however it is worth considering the cost of the 41kWh car in GBP is 30,520 or $54,384 – so perhaps it is close on price all things considered…… Great to see it is equipped with a Type 2 plug so it can make use of the new charges being installed. Renault – bring some to Queensland!!

      • MaxG 8 months ago

        … and, more so BUT car makers do not pay retail for the battery! So the comparison of cost to a powerwall is flawed.

        • Roger Franklin 8 months ago

          Max – comparing retail vs retail so not entirely flawed – but no matter which way you look at it, the battery is likely to be the expensive part!

        • Ian 8 months ago

          The power wall and other stationary batteries are ridiculously over priced considering the OEM costs of batteries. It looks like EV battery packs suffer the same price gouging. This all looks like our utilities are angels compared with these overseas sharks.

      • Nick K 8 months ago

        If only the Aus Gov had the same incentives in place as the UK. They cover 4500 pounds off a new Zoe plus other benefits.

        • DevMac 8 months ago

          4,500 GBP is $8,000 AUD, which would bring the cost under $40k.

        • Cheetaroo 8 months ago

          “Dear Malcolm and Tony,
          Please support EV subsidies because petrol cars don’t burn coal.
          Thank you.
          Your sponsors at Minerals Council”

      • Gyrogordini 8 months ago

        It can ONLY use Type2 AC chargers (I.e. pillars). Zoe cannot use any 50 kW Level 3 DC Rapid Charging, such as we see in the rollouts of the ACT, QLD, WA or NRMA “electric highways”.

        • Roger Franklin 8 months ago

          Are you sure? The chargers in QLD cover both DC (CHAdeMO and CCS Combo type 2) and AC Mennekes Type 2 plugs. I think the Zoe could use the AC charging option, but you may need your own cable!

          • Gyrogordini 8 months ago

            Yes, but ONLY Type2 AC. It is rumoured that Zoe 2.0 will support CCS2, thus DC Rapid Charging, @ 50 kW or so.

          • Peter Campbell 8 months ago

            No point having multi-hundred km range without level 3 charging capability to do extra-urban trips. With only level 2 charging, you might as well save money, have a smaller battery and have a perfectly good town car you charge at home.

          • Cheetaroo 8 months ago

            So you want to pay the charges (50kW demand charges are very high) to pay for a public $250,000 Tritium 50kW DC fast charger when a 3 phase/22kW AC EVSE with Mennekes for the Zoe would be installed for less than $10,000?

          • Gyrogordini 8 months ago

            Tritium DCRC are reported to be $30-50k each, plus cabling. You can bang on about Zoe as much as you like, but the world is going Level 3 DC rapid charging.
            Free recharging is ethically, morally and physically wrong. You don’t get anything for free. We should all be up front about happily paying for our energy, plus a contribution toward the installation and maintenance. No more than about 50cents/kWh is about fair.
            The US and UK EV fb groups are constantly lamenting the poor state of their “free” or cheap recharging stations.
            I’d rather have fewer, well-maintained, reliable ports of call, than a mass of unreliable, hit-or-miss stations.

          • Cheetaroo 8 months ago

            Thanks for actual facts versus my trump-a-mathics:
            NRMA spending $10m on 40 DC fast chargers = $250K each.

            Free charging… UNTIL there is extensive infrastructure with easy pay as you go, any EV charging source should be used to expand the reach of EVs. If they are “free” they have been provided that way for public use or it may involve a negotiated amount with the business owner. Having has RFID failures at major players chargers in Europe, the free chargers always were maintained, because the local shop owners got business: Charging “free” injects €10- into shops for coffee and cake…
            The main problem of 50kW (soon 200kW+) DC fast chargers are the limits on the grid are reflected in the obscenely expensive “demand charges” to support these chargers.
            I fully expect a series of DC fast chargers along the A8 Melbourne – Adelaide to be sited close to the wind farms to reduce the demand charges. But reality has an unfortunate Liberal bias these days…

          • Gyrogordini 8 months ago

            I think the NRMA costs are predicated on a minimum of two Tritiums per site (Newcastle and Jindabyne have two each), plus cabling works. At Cooma, they have to do some major trenching and cable runs. Hopefully, they are anticipating further units in the future, so a big “pipe”!

            The charging payment challenge seems quite a serious one. The Dutch (through Open Charge Alliance) have initiated a couple of open standards to move in that direction: Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP & OCPI). Their approach is to have a single card (ideally, an app), which accuses all the various providers seemelessly, and also allows the providers to monitor each EVSE for operational readiness. ACTEWAGL have used this approach in Canberra, and it seems to work (mostly!). Of course, the yanks haven’t adopted it…

            AEVA has encouraged businesses to install its 3 phase, 5 pin 32A sockets, based on drawing in paying punters – rather like TSKA with it’s “free” HPWC. Seems to be a win win.

          • Cheetaroo 8 months ago

            “Quelle horreur!” exclaim the Renault designers. “How can we fit another charge port under our dainty Renault double diamond nose flap?”

        • Cheetaroo 8 months ago

          Zoe can use the many many Tesla destination chargers around Australia. (not the rare DC Superchargers). They are 3 phase Mennekes so depending on how the TDC has been hooked up, you could get up to 22kW. If you get inline EVSE cable with Clipsal 3 phase to Mennekes, you can try charging at places with 3 phase power: friendly businesses, council sports grounds etc. A bit of creativity could get you a long way in a Zoe….

          • Gyrogordini 8 months ago

            Yes, it is certainly possible. However, spending 3-4 hours at each point (after 2.5-3 hrs driving) isn’t that much fun. I am expert at recharging my i3 for 3.5 hours at 7 kW, at Showgrounds or Tesla HPWC! I read on my iPad, walk around towns, talk to people, drink coffee. It’s ok, if you have the time.
            However, a 50 kW Rapid Charge to 85% in 30mins is a whole different – and better – ballgame.

          • Gyrogordini 8 months ago

            With my NRGkick 22kW portable EVSE (and a range of adaptive tails) I do go a long way, using Tesla HPWC, Showgrounds, AEVA sockets, byo cable pillars, and 10/15A sockets.
            Btw Clipsal 32A 5 pin, 3 phase plugs and sockets are extremely expensive. The Schneider brand (Schneider owns Clipsal) equivalents are 20% cheaper, and there are others which are even less expensive (and still certified).
            AEVA and TOCA have distributed hundreds of them around the country to appreciative businesses.

      • Jason Panosh 8 months ago

        25kWh replacement battery for leaf is US$6k, so 2x that would be US$12k. Tesla reportedly has the cheapest batteries in the industry, they sell an additional 20-25kwh of battery in their Model 3 for US$9k. Make no mistake, these companies pay a lot less than these figures, it is pure profit.
        The Leaf was about AUD$52k in 2012, the ZOE is very expensive for what it is. When Nissan dropped the Leaf to AUD$40k they started to sell. The ZOE should be around $40k, it is not a bleeding edge new system anymore. If the US$35k Tesla Model 3 ever sees the light of day then it will be very interesting to see if that gets to Oz around the $50k mark, given the Super Charger network it will make all these others look very weak.

        • Dennis Kavanagh 8 months ago

          Having read all the comments here, I agree the Zoe’s starting price (about $55,000 drive away according to the Renault website) is steep for what you get. And yes the base Tesla Model 3 (which I believe will start at about $57,000) will provide better value compared to its competitor vehicles such as BMW 3 series and Mercedes C class. Yes EVs are still expensive but they are coming down in price and have many other advantages which I for one am looking forward to. But for those who judge a car on price alone, ICE cars will be the least expensive for some time yet.

      • Ian 8 months ago

        This article from the Express quotes £18240 for the cheaper version of the Zoe with battery hire of £59/month and £24020 car and battery purchase price 41kWh battery ie they calculate the battery to be worth £5780

        https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/cars/934286/Renault-Zoe-2018-electric-range-new-car-price

        Exchange rate £/Au$ 1.80. £18240 =Au $32800 £24020 = AU$43200. £5780 = AU$10400 (41kWh ) = $254/kWh.

        See my other post for the costs of this car in Ireland.

    • Dennis Kavanagh 8 months ago

      Don’t forget to factor in the lower cost of fuel (electricity is less than half the price of petrol) and less maintenance costs, over the life of the car.

      • MaxG 8 months ago

        This is exactly what I hate with a passion: these b!oody corporations promise you a value (avoidance of petrol, service, etc.) and charge you extra for that; basically the value you may get out of the car is charged upfront. This has been happening for decades, and so far, I have been boycotting each one of them.
        Or more explicit: say the EV is worth 40k, they offer it for 50k, saying look at all the savings you make; however, the customer most of the time forgets that they are paying 50k for a 40k product.
        The question simply remains how an EV should cost more than the comparable ICE car, given the significant reduction in individual parts.

        • Dennis Kavanagh 8 months ago

          The manufacturers will set a price for their products as they see fit. But when a prospective purchaser is weighing up the full cost of an ICE car against an EV, they need to factor in the reduced fuel and maintenance costs.

          • MaxG 8 months ago

            Fully agree…
            I only have an issue with promising a value the customer will not achieve, because s/he paid upfront for it.

        • Gyrogordini 8 months ago

          In 2017, the battery was approx 48% of the total cost, drivetrain 10%, and the “glider” (remainder – chassis, cabin, etc.) is 42%. This is according to Delft TU, in the Netherlands. Battery costs are coming down each year, and ICE/EV parity is expected in the second half of the next decade.

          • George Michaelson 8 months ago

            The implication being that the maker wants to absorb the reduced production cost as increased profit, with no intention of sharing this with the customer as a price drop. This is a $35k car. Its $15k over price. It will sell, but its opportunity to volume sell is being missed because they want immediate profit, not build-a-market. (If I was in the company, I might want this too. I don’t dispute it has to sell at profit, I just dispute that it helps build a bigger market, to go to maximum profit first)

        • Ian 8 months ago

          There is a way to calculate just how much you are being ripped off by these EV makers. Check out the Zoe $50 000 retail. Equivalent petrocar Clio $20 000. Battery size 41kWH. Magic number for EV /ICE equivalence US$100/kWh or at our exchange rate $135/kWh. This means the Zoe without its battery should be $5500 cheaper than the Clio ie $14500. Therefore cost of battery pack $50000-14500 = $35500 or $860/kWh is that a reasonable price for a battery pack for an EV?

          VW is apparently getting its battery packs for under €100/kWh or in our money $158/kWh. For the Zoe then the OEM battery price should be about AU$6500 (it is 5 1/2 times the cost)

          In Ireland the outright price on the new Zoe is €23500 or AU$37100 the top of the line Clio in that country $22000.

          We might be downunder but we are not duncelanders.

          • MaxG 8 months ago

            Well, looking at Roger’s Adoption of Innovation curve, EVs are at the innovator stage; this is where companies skim the biggest profits.

      • Gyrogordini 8 months ago

        AEVA has plenty of supportable anecdotal evidence that driving costs are about 30-40% of a comparable ICE. Of course, it depends a lot on the type of ICE fuel, or for that matter, where you source your electrons, but the “less than half” fact holds up.
        Added to that, the maintenance requirements are tiny: annual check of tyres, and maybe change the brake fluid; otherwise top up washers. No oil or filter changes, or repairs to many of the ICE ancillary systems.
        Brake pads have been shown to last >100k km, or twice that, due to regeneration when slowing down or driving down hill.

      • DevMac 8 months ago

        My current car costs me ~$2,700 per year for petrol and servicing. Let’s call everything else (tyres, insurance, etc.) even. Using that as a base figure for annual costs, if I purchase a brand new equivalently sized petrol engine car it might cost me $20,000 drive-away (I think that’s a well rounded-up figure). At $2,700 per year it would take 10 years to reach the purchase price of the EV, not including the 10 years’ worth of electricity and servicing on the EV.

        As much as I want to, I cannot justify that difference for my personal financial position. Putting the cost difference into my mortgage rather than into a car widens this value gap for my situation – which is probably somewhat representative of “the average punter”.

        I don’t like this answer because it values economics over environment, but that’s the situation we find ourselves in.

        • Mike Shackleton 8 months ago

          Most Euros include servicing within the price for the first 5 years – for an EV – this would amount to an annual check that probably takes them all of an hour.

        • Mike Westerman 8 months ago

          I think you are right DevMac, and this situation is not likely to change in a hurry. No doubt there would be howls of protest if incentives like no sales tax, rego and lower insurance were put on the table, but Australia should get serious about this from the national security point of view. If we can spend literally 10s of billions of dollars on security issues that actually seem rather fringe, how come having only 6weeks worth of fuel in the country is not something to panic about?

        • Ian 8 months ago

          Your analysis rings very true. Clearly companies like Renault are chasing the fad or craze. The bright side of the argument is this: the experienced marquees are perfectly capable of making good, reliable EV at an acceptable price, (once you remove the unreasonable profiteering), simply by retooling their existing factories. Poor Tesla has had to build manufacturing from scratch. Battery factories could possibly be ramped up rapidly. Assuming these marquees deside to completely switch to BEV and assuming sufficient batteries are made, we may see BEV availability improve very rapidly and see prices drop equally fast to approach those of ICE equivalents.

          If you want to analyse the BEV production buildout then look only at battery manufacturing capacity – every other indicator is hot-air.

          Some people might like to support the BEV movement by sacrificing their hard earned, and that’s commendable, but there may be no further need for this, judging by the incentives BEV are getting in Europe and China.

          From a grassroots perspective, how can people affect change to encourage car manufacturers to do the right thing and switch to BEV manufacture? Or from a country perspective how do we show that we are serious about BEV -without actually spending very much?

          Laws, regulations, waivers on taxes and duties, lane privileges,parking type incentives are extremely cheap. Charger network rollout is also very cheap. Targeted electrification such as busses and government vehicles can allow for some aggressive bargaining power. Targetted subsidies could also be very effective, especially if formulated into trials, examples could be 1. Trial of 1000 private BEV in a small city or part of a city connected to solar plus storage to test the effect of V2G on the stability of the grid. 2. A trial using $10 million worth of subsidy to test the effect of price equalisation on the uptake of BEV. 3. A trial using $10 million to test a shared BEV battery ownership and use between the car owner and the electricity retailer in V2G scenario. 4. Pilot tender process for private BEV where the government pledges to subsidise 1/2 the difference between BEV price and ICE price if the manufacturer agrees to reduce their BEV vehicle costs to an acceptable level eg battery pack costs down to $200/kWH will attract a subsidy of $100/kWh.

          This country is 1% of the world’s new car market and we should not make it easy for overseas manufacturers to punt their wares here. Especially their cast-off models.

    • john 8 months ago

      No it is called up front pricing.
      Charge heaps for early users to enable later sales.
      The first Nissan EV the Leaf, which i told Nissan Australia they were going to sell was quoted to me at $52 thousand dollars and it was available in Europe Japan the USA at $32 thousand, in Aussie dollars at that time with the Aussie dollar high.

    • Gyrogordini 8 months ago

      It’s not even close to that price. GoAuto quoted a week of two ago that they are between $51-54k, on road.

  2. Ev 8 months ago

    How do renters charge this car if they don’t want to invest in a permanent wall charger? Can we charge slower on a normal household outlet?

    • Roger Franklin 8 months ago

      Yes – a normal 3 pin 240v plug would work, just takes a little longer. You may however find a fast charger somewhere close to you that you can use too!

      • Dennis Kavanagh 8 months ago

        The phrase “a little longer” sounds a bit misleading. A “normal 3 pin 240v plug” would run at about 10 amps. This compares to 32amps provide by most EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment), or wall chargers. That means it would take more than 3 times as long to charge. The best thing to do for people with a garage or carport etc is to get a reputable EVSE installed. Unfortunately this is a once off cost that you have to factor into your EV purchase.

        • Roger Franklin 8 months ago

          Dennis – agree entirely with your comments. A 32 amp dedicated circuit is a good solution and no doubt it will be incorporated into houses in the future. But a 10 amp circuit would work fine too – as long as you allow enough time overnight to charge, because they are so slow!!! If in any doubt – get a qualified electrician to check the circuit and have them confirm that you can pull 10A through it for 12+ hours with no issues.

          • Peter Campbell 8 months ago

            Nah. I have been using no more than 10A since 2009. I know quite a few people who spent a few thousand on faster charging than the portable EVSE that came with their car. All agree it was a waste of money.

          • Gyrogordini 8 months ago

            Well, not a “waste of money”, but perhaps not the essential house addition that I thought it would be. It is useful for a quick midday top up, but is not required for overnight, or solar-powered daily charging.

            In fact, it is interesting. Many folks think that 7kW EVSE should be installed en masse in work locations, etc. but really, a set of dedicated 15A three pin sockets is a much better option. If the vehicle is parked for eight hours a day, it should be trickle charging. Queuing for THE EVSE would be a complete pain. I hope this message gets accepted, before a heap of money is wasted on superfluous – but not wasted! – EVSE installations.

          • Peter Campbell 8 months ago

            I agree that a set of 15A sockets would be quite sufficient. My only negative thought is that there would be a risk that the EVSE cables get stolen, though there are various ways to prevent that. Also, plugging one end of a captive EVSE cable on a post is quicker than getting one’s own EVSE out of the back of the car and plugging in both ends.
            I think the trend is to find that captive EVSE cables are more vulnerable to vandalism. A half-way position is EVSE posts with Mennekes sockets – BYO cable.

    • Charles 8 months ago

      When a dealer says “you must install a dedicated EV charger at home” most of the time it’s rubbish – they’ve either done a deal to cross promote, or assume that you will be driving more than the average person. A standard power point works just as well, it’s just slower, so while it may not get you from 0 to 100% overnight the majority of people will use less than a third of the range on a daily basis.

      If you are one of the few who does more than this and are typically driving 200-300 km every single day, then you will be seeing absolutely massive cost savings from petrol and paying for a faster charging unit will be no problem!

      • Dennis Kavanagh 8 months ago

        Having 10amps running through standard wiring for many hours over night would worry me. I’d much prefer dedicated new wiring with its own circuit breaker and a 32 amp EVSE on the garage wall.

        • Charles 8 months ago

          I had a dedicated 15 amp outlet installed for $200 and connected a 10 amp EVSE to it. 🙂 But I have also used other 10 amp outlets around the house at various times without issues. It’s a newish house so probably helps.

          • Peter Campbell 8 months ago

            Exactly. We charge with a 10A EVSE on 20A cable with a 16A breaker. Perfectly safe.

      • Cheetaroo 8 months ago

        “most of the time” however this time a 10amp charger for Zoe is a really bad decision. The ZOE has a “chameleon charger”**: it uses the windings of the EV motor to charge (similar principle to regen braking charging the battery). It is a brilliant AC fast charger with 3 phase (11/22 kW is 16a/32a per phase, 90% efficient) but single phase efficiency drops at 16a /3.7kW to 80%. Atrocious at 10a/2.4kW, 65% efficient :((( That’s a lot of wasted energy (unless you need a heated garage): 60kWh to charge a 40kWh battery. Expect much less (to actually zero) charge into battery in hot weather as the Zoe uses the air con to blow cool air into the battery when charging.
        **The chameleon charger using the motor windings means no extra cost for dedicated 240/415V AC->500V DC on board converter. 11kW is ok cost 22kW is unreasonable (source Sono Sion engineer)

    • Peter Campbell 8 months ago

      Manufacturers often put a 15A plug on a portable EVSE cable supplied with the car. This is to force people to put in a dedicated circuit and avoid complaints that they might get if the car trips the breaker of a circuit that already has a heater and a toaster and a kettle on it. I bought the EVSE cable that came supplied with the Holden Volt so I would have a 10A EVSE with a perfectly safe and legal moulded 10A plug on it to leave in the back of my Mitsubishi iMiEV for any charging I might want to do away from home on an ordinary power point. There is a standard for EVSE cables. If you got a car with a cable that does not have a 10A plug, you should be able to buy a 10A EVSE from a third party that should work with your car and any standard wall socket. Plugging in a car to charge at 10A on a wall socket is no more dangerous than plugging in a 2.4kW electric heater.

      • Dennis Kavanagh 8 months ago

        Ok Peter, your comments convince me that I need not worry about 10amps running through standard wiring all night and most nights. So the next reason I’d like a 32amp EVSE is that I’d like to charge my EV as much as possible directly from my solar panels using a Zappi EVSE. My pv system is pretty big and could deliver up to about 32amps to the EV at least for some parts of the days during the warmer months. So a dedicated circuit rated to cope with 32amps would be needed. A 10amp circuit would take ages to charge an EV from solar panels.

        • Peter Campbell 8 months ago

          OK. I agree that using the Zappi EVSE with a large PV system makes sense. Sometimes you might get your 32A with virtually no other load and want to soak it all up. Other times you might want the Zappi to throttle back to only 6A.

        • Gyrogordini 8 months ago

          Dennis, as PC says, throttling back the Zappi might be a regular option.
          I put in a 32A circuit, and 7kW Aerovironment EVSE from Gelco (in Adelaide). We use it if we need a quick top up, but usually, we use the supplied 8A granny charger during the day, as it nicely complements our 7 kW solar system, running the house and active sewerage treatment plant.

  3. Gyrogordini 8 months ago

    About time! Renault Australia has squandered the potential lead that it could have had, after it’s companion company, Nissan, completely stuffed the rollout and ongoing support of LEAF 1.0 (and seems reticent about introducing LEAF2.0. Zoe has been out in EU and UK for six years.
    Nice that Aussies can now try to buy a Zoe 1.0 ($51-54k, on road), just in time for the completely new model to be released in Europe next year.

    • MaxG 8 months ago

      Are you saying they are selling a run-out model? :))

      • Gyrogordini 8 months ago

        Not quite, but I think that prospective buyers should understand that this Zoe is at end of life, it is expensive, doesn’t have DC Rapid Charging or Adaptive Cruise Control, and will apparently be superseded overseas next year.

  4. The_Lorax 8 months ago

    Meanwhile in China you can buy a small SUV for under $15K AUD with a 300km range.

    • Gyrogordini 8 months ago

      Maybe, but I wouldn’t.

  5. Peter Campbell 8 months ago

    “…fleet sales have already exceeded expectation, although only 27 electric Zoes have been sold…” Sounds like they were not interested in trying very hard.

  6. Joe 8 months ago

    Zoom, Zoom, Zoe…the only way is up.

  7. Malcolm Scott 8 months ago

    It’s unfortunate that even in France Renault prices the Zoe Life / Intens at ~33,100 € / 35,100 € (inclusive of battery 8,900 €).
    http://www.autoplanet.fr/renault-zoe.asp

    whereas the Clio ICE equivalent that comes from the same factory is priced in the 18,000 to 24,000 € range.
    http://www.autoplanet.fr/renault-clio.asp

    With the Zoe costing $50k shows us the size of the challenge to remove over 50m CO2e of light vehicle emissions. The Zoe’s ICE factory mate the Clio starts at less then $20k in Australia. No amount of tokenistic incentives of free parking and bus lane use will offset the economic reality of the huge gap that won’t be overcome by a notional price on carbon, pricing health offsets, low cost of energy use and less servicing costs (totaling about $2k pa for most).

    Some argue that EV incentives are holding the price up. Manufacturers are maximising their yield from the market and making the most of the incentives. In France that is 6,000 €. In the UK that is 4,500 Pounds plus tax incentives. In the US its $7,500 tax offset plus state incentives.

    So what policy could Australia adopt that closes this price gap in the near term and maximises the rate of change to a ultra low emissions light vehicle fleet?

    Allowing parallel imports of both new and used plug-in vehicles could be one (see NZ EV sales data, EV pricing in the market, all without subsidies). Another could be to also accept left hand drive cars on our roads. Is there really a show stopper reason in 2018 why it makes a difference whether you as the driver sits on the left or right side of the car? When was the last time that you did an overtake on a two line road?

    • Gyrogordini 8 months ago

      I was with you, until the LHD. If you use the Monaro “Highway” – which I do, weekly – it’s all two lane, south of Cooma. Add the generally poor driving skills we see every day on Aussie roads, and I suggest LHD is a step too far.

      The point about parallel imports though, is very valid. The kiwis have a fleet of EVs to be envious of. They import i3 from Japan and UK, Zoes from UK, Kia Soul etc., and make our fleet numbers look sick.

      The dealer industry should be looking to the future, with trepidation. With thousands less moving parts, EV “computers on wheels” are pretty reliable, and need minimal maintenance. Sadly, the whole motor industry is built around “fixing it” or doing preventative maintenance.

      As with many things in modern life, motor mechanics will be in decline, and thus dealerships supported by service workshops. And it’s all going to happen in the coming decade…

  8. PeterY 8 months ago

    We have been very happy owners of a ZOE Intens since the middle of April, and would like to make the following contributions to this discussion based on our experience so far…
    * Like most cars, the ZOE spends most of its time parked, in our case mostly in the garage (we are both retired) and thus the time required to charge it using a 6/10/15 amp EVSE has not been a problem. The lower current also allows it to be charged direct from our solar system – we have only occasionally had to suck power from the grid, and this was done in off-peak hours. We have a 10/15amp adaptor and a Type1 to Type2 converter for use away from home.
    * It was expensive for a small car, but like with most private purchases of a car, economics was only a very small consideration in the decision on which make/model to buy. We needed to replace our aged ICE car, but did not want to own one powered only by fossil fuel. The ZOE was the only one available for a “reasonable” price at the time. I had been waiting to have a choice of the new Nissan LEAF and Hyundai IONIC, but the release dates for both kept on being delayed.
    * The maximum predicted range varies greatly between suburban and country journeys (we have only done one country drive so far) – about 320kms for the former, about 270km for the latter. We have never run the battery flat, so do not know how accurate these numbers are. They are calculated based on energy consumption for the last 200km, so the range should not be relied on if you are about to head out into the country after suburban journeys.
    * Our only ZOE related disappointment is the proposed NRMA regional area charging network – it will only work with cars that can use DC charging. Our ZOE has a Type2 socket and can only use AC charging. It would cost the NRMA a tiny fraction of the cost of the DC chargers to add an AC charger at each of the 40 proposed sites, and make their system usable by ALL their growing number of PEV owning members.

    Bottom line – we are very happy with our ZOE and would recommend it if the size and expense will not be a problem.

    • Cheetaroo 8 months ago

      Your Zoe can charge at 3 phase Tesla destination chargers at fast AC speeds of 11/22 kW. You need a Mennekes Male to Female cable.

      • Gyrogordini 8 months ago

        “TDC”?

        • Cheetaroo 8 months ago

          Tesla destination charger also known as Tesla HPWC

      • PeterY 8 months ago

        Thanks for that advice – Zoe came with a 6m long male to female Mennekes cable that I have yet to find a use for. We did use the plug on a Tesla destination charger at Lovedale on the first and thus far only country trip, but nothing happened. We ended up charging from the 10amp GPO that supplied the hot water system of the hotel unit we were staying in. Do you know why having the extra cable in the connection makes it work?

        What is “TDC” an abbreviation for?

        • Gyrogordini 8 months ago

          My guess is that your cable will enable you to insert it into a charging pillar (byo cable), as we have in the ACT. (Stops abuse of tethered cables, but somewhat inconvenient! As Cheetaroo says, you should be able to just plug Tesla HPWC direct into Zoe.

        • Cheetaroo 8 months ago

          The Tesla HPWC plug is a modified Mennenkes plug designed to fit the modified Mennenkes port of a Tesla (EU and AU models, US is different).
          Tesla naturally uses the same Mennenkes port to DC fast charge. The DC pins of the supercharger plug are longer and fit with the deeper DC connections in the nonstandard car socket. The Zoe probably does not quite like the fit of the modified Tesla HPWC plug so using the Mennenkes cable as an “extension” of the Tesla HPWC cable makes the connection acceptable with the Zoe seeing a Mennenkes plug with proper pin sizes and lengths.
          The Zoe “red nose of connection rejection” may be alleviated by holding the plug up and pushing into the port (resisting the weight of the cable) for a minute or two while the pre charge checks are performed. The 3 blue lights in the dash show charging has started or not.

          • PeterY 8 months ago

            Thanks form that info – will give this a try next time I get a chance.

    • Gyrogordini 8 months ago

      Hi Peter Y. I’m really glad that you’re very happy with your Zoe. I was *almost* in exactly the same situation as you, but Renault Australia was unable to fill my order in February, and the dealer refunded my deposit (after we went thru the ABN channel, selected a blue Intens etc.). I bought a 2015 i3, which is delightful – apart from the pathetic range! The main attraction of Zoe was the >250 km range, as we are 250 km south of Canberra.
      We trickle charge on our solar at 8A, and I have a wall- mounted 7 kW EVSE if a quick top up is required (which is rare). For country travelling we invested in an NRGkick 22kW portable EVSE (which I had ordered at the suggestion of the NZ Zoe fb group (nice folks). It has a set of “tails” which enable connection to nearly any source.
      Unfortunately, to get to Canberra on a weekly basis, requires 8 hours, instead of the 3 ICE hours it used to, with a couple of top ups along the way, including 3.5 hrs at Cooma Showgrounds ($10). I am anxiously awaiting the NRMA DC Rapid Charger to go in at Cooma, which will knock 3 hours off! It is only 6 hours home, as there’s a serious regen opportunity coming down Brown Mtn!
      Anyway, good on you. I trust you will enjoy many hours of Zoe bliss – we certainly relish the quiet and smooth ride in Ian, our i3.

    • Gyrogordini 8 months ago

      AEVA has strongly encourages NRMA to add a 3 phase, 5 pin, 22 kW (32A) socket at all of its DCRC, so that AC Charging is possible for Zoes etc., and also as a backup if the DC unit is on the blink. NRMA doesn’t seem to have been too keen on the idea, but seems open to “ encouragement” from “interested parties” IYKWIM.
      They claim to be very keen to support we EV-driving members, so please, contact them and press for the $100 addition!
      Btw, you can now drive completely around Australia (~Highway 1) using an adapter for these AEVA/TOCA 3 ph/5 pin sockets, and Tesla HPWC. Max interval is about 300 km.

      • PeterY 8 months ago

        Gyrogordini – I have to admire your dedication to the PEV cause – 8 hours to cover 250km! I too have experienced the joy of having 60km more range than I started with on the trip from Katoomba down the hill to Emu Plains.
        I have been nagging the NRMA about the inadequacies of their chargers for months, including writing to the CEO (who didn’t answer) talking and writing to the group organising the roll-out, writing to the AEVA (also no response), and asking Tritium and other interested parties to bring the subject up in meetings with the NRMA. I have also written to the editor of the Open Road. Only negative responses so far, which I just cannot understand. The cost would be trivial compared to the DC chargers (about $2.5k for an AC charger, or $100 for a suitable plug on the CCS cable vs $50k), the required power supply is already there, and they would be able to serve all the PEV owning members, which is surely something they should be aiming to do.
        I have joined the AEVA and plan to attend my first meeting in a couple of weeks, hopefully to encourage more lobbying efforts on the NRMA.

  9. Michael Dufty 8 months ago

    It is quite expensive compared to some similar size cars, but lots of people pay a premium for a car that looks the way they like, or has a badge they like, or sounds the way they like or goes faster than they will ever drive it. Paying extra to get a car that is electric seems like an equally valid choice, although it would be nice to have some cheaper EV options, it hasn’t happened yet. I’m pleased Renault are at least allowing us to buy something. And it is a lot cheaper than any Tesla you can buy in Australia.

    • Dennis Kavanagh 8 months ago

      Yes it is a lot cheaper than the Tesla Model S and X. But the base Tesla Model 3 (with my calculations) will cost about $57,000 which is only $2,000 more than the Zoe’s drive away price. Only thing is the Model 3 won’t be here until at least the middle of 2019.

      • Gyrogordini 8 months ago

        Dennis, as a reservation holder, I’m expecting mid 2020, at best. And my guess is the long range Model3 will be $75k.
        Certainly, there is no way a BMW i3, Zoe or Leaf 2.0 (if it ever gets here, with a decent battery thermal management system) is going to be able to compete. Throw in Supercharging, and you have a true “disrupter”.

    • Gyrogordini 8 months ago

      Everyone has to reset their view of “value”. The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of an EV is completely different from ICE.
      At 14.4 kWh/100 km, the i3 is about 30% of the cost, per km, than an equivalent sized ICE (say Golf, or other B/C size) would be.
      Minimal annual maintenance (tyres, brake fluid, washers) is a further saving.
      There are about 2000 moving parts in a 4 cylinder ICE and only 20-30 in an EV.
      And then there’s home charging…

  10. Paul Williams 8 months ago

    Finally our Zoe arrived last Saturday, the first in QLD it was trucked up from Melbourne. First few days impressions? Loving it. Our home charger was from EVolution Australia, Russell in Melbourne, fitted by their local electrician. Less cost than the Renault recommended dude Tim, who despite clear photos could not work things out. The Zoe is a great little car. Driving in ECO mode keeps the range long. The Ionic or new Leaf will not have as long a range. The Kona with the 64 kw battery will but needs to as it is heavier.

    • Cheetaroo 8 months ago

      The new LEAF has 280km range whilst the Zoe has 315km (actual figures from my testing). The 12% difference isn’t that much of a deciding point when the ranges are very decent. The new Leaf is a more comfortable C size class car than the smaller Zoe (a B size class car) and the Zoe is very comfortable. The new Leaf suits the older driver with ePedal and auto steering/lane keeping and cruise/distance keeping. If you don’t need that extra future-fancy stuff, the Zoe is extremely competent.

      • Paul Williams 8 months ago

        Cheetaroo. The new Leaf is not available yet. It is more than 12 per cent down on range compared to the Zoe. Stop pontificating as if you know everything ie suits this that or the other. I’m sure both cars are fine.

        • Cheetaroo 8 months ago

          Pope Cheetaroo entreats you study his wise words of actual experience:
          I have just returned from Germany where I drove the Renault Zoe ZE40 for 700km in 33°C heat (range at 100% was an indicated 317km).
          I also drove the Nissan Leaf 40kWh for 700km in 20°C heat (range at 100% was indicated 280km).

    • Gyrogordini 8 months ago

      Congratulations! I trust you have a long and happy experience with it. We need more EV drivers in this country! We know they will all be happy, but there just aren’t enough of us!

  11. Robert Comerford 8 months ago

    The more the merrier, but these are still all expensive cars here.
    Maybe the Yudo as mentioned by another poster would be a vehicle to get the market segment moving. It would however need fast charging ability ( no mention of its charging capability) and the ranges quoted are b.s. ( based on travelling at 6okph). We need an agreed realistic international standard on range e.g. based at 100kph with the heater or a/c going full belt. Looking at the distances between major towns in Australia, a minimum of 250k under all conditions would seem sensible if fast charging is available.

    • Gyrogordini 8 months ago

      Yes, absolutely. 250 km @ 100 km/h needs to be the base measure, in Oz. Heat pump aircon is really good and efficient in summer, but noticeable diminisher of range in winter (and we don’t have much to play with at 110km!).
      DC Rapid Charging (or Supercharging) are essential. 22kW AC is all very well, but not if you want to go places – and we do, despite the i3 being a brilliant “city” car, well out of its element in the Bush.

  12. Cheetaroo 8 months ago

    Having just driven a Zoe ZE40 last month for 700km around Germany- what a massively exciting car, enough to gain silver place in our three EV long term test driving**

    **Also drove the new 2018 LEAF as well for 700km. Achieved gold placing in our tests. Reasons: comfort (seats, ePedal,adaptive cruise, charging with offgrid solar).
    Zoe got silver: very inefficient charging at 10amp (65%) needs at least 15amp(80%), brilliant at three phase (Mennekes) 22kW charging (90%). You can get 3phase 11/22kW at Tesla destination chargers or in Australia a Clipsal to Mennekes adapter and charge at businesses or council showgrounds!
    Sadly our previous front runner the BMW i3 dropped to bronze after 6 hours driving: it is an expensive hooning device to win the stoplight grandprix. Ride too harsh, porpoising at ridiculous autobahn speed, stiff acc. pedal, stupid nav input device, and then all those $s. Quoting a German EV chargepoint installer with fleet of Zoe and Leaf 30Kwh “The i3 is not a car, it is an illness”

    • Gyrogordini 8 months ago

      I’m really sad for you that you have such a dislike of the wonderful i3. I drove a Zoe for an hour and loved it, but I’m delighted with my i3, despite its crap range. 50 kW DCRC is the saviour, once it is more widespread, but meantime, 32A Showgrounds and Tesla HPWC make life manageable.
      My 2015 i3, bought in Feb, has seem 8,000 km of mostly country running, between Canberra and Merimbula. It handles well (I have been a lifelong GTi and 911 driver), is very comfortable, has a brilliant nav and driver interface, and was good buying at $42k (23,000 km).it averages 14.4 kWh/100 km.
      Different strokes for different folks. Our i3 is a keeper.

      • Cheetaroo 8 months ago

        Don’t be sad for me as I have done my homework and after many years of yearning for an i3 the sad truth is that age does diminish the joys of adrenaline rushes that the i3 gives in huge surges. We loved the i3 enough to go on the Leipzig factory tour twice to watch them being built, and driven i3 BEV and REX in Munich with car sharing DriveNow. The i3 is now beyond our comfort level. I envy you your youth but my 60yo motorcycle knees are the price for youthful exuberance. Enjoy your pocket rocket, I enjoyed the first drives of this amazing EV.

        • Gyrogordini 8 months ago

          Um, thanks! I’m 66… Regardless, when do you get your ev?

          • Cheetaroo 8 months ago

            My offgrid home in Grampians needs extra 2.5kW PV and second inverter installed… so probably next year.
            The choice is Zoe vs new Leaf.
            Reluctantly no longer the i3.**

            Depends on Leaf pricing (would prefer 60kWh with bat thermal in 2020) so probably the Zoe as it has actually only one specific bad point for our offgrid system: charging efficiency at 10amp. 15 to 20amp charging would require active monitoring for effective “demand charging”.
            I talked to every EVSE rep at InterSolar and found 3 that have a programming interface so my fully instrumented PV system can turn on/off/up/down the amps the system can provide to the car. Note that most EVSE that do “demand charging” of EVs are designed to work with grid. I had great fun explaining exactly how an offgrid system performs and why “grid focused” solution will not work: main point is that the PV power turns off when the batteries are full, so the smarts think there is no PV available. With grid excess PV is exported to the grid and so can divert to the EV.

            **The i3 was until recently the ONLY option for us and would require a gamble on a 2015 REX for range (Poor reputation/expensive repairs on this REX: Google bill_for_a_canadian_out_of_warranty_2015_i3_rex ). The i3 was the only one the wife^H^H^H^H “finance manager” disliked being a passenger. She had BMWs for 30 yrs and knows even simple repairs are expensive.

            i3 “brilliant nav and driver interface”
            Oh you enjoy the dymo labeller interface to setting the nav destination name? Tried that on 30 letter German street names while hurtling down the autobahn: took 3 exits after mine before the system got even close to ready… Not to mention the cruise control increase/decrease.
            New Leaf interface is “which subsubsubmenu was that vital option, lucky the car can steer itself and not run up the back of someone while I bounce around the menu system”; annoying analog speed dial. I literally swore whenever I hit Voice Recognition button positioned under the cruise control decrease. First thing on my new Leaf will be super glue that stupid stupid button!
            The Zoe interface is simpler and a joy to use. The CanZE phone app can dive into the gory details of cell health etc.

            Ioniq is off the list as it sits too low for ease of entry.

          • Gyrogordini 8 months ago

            What about the Kona, or Kia Niro? Unfortunately, iPace, eTron etc are going to be pretty exxy.
            I absolutely would wait until the LEAF gets the larger battery and more importantly, a sensible battery thermal management system. Nissan’s current approach is scandalous, and it deserves a massive class action (which will unfortunately reflect badly in the whole EV industry).

            Once I got used to the i3 nav interface, I’m pretty happy with it.

            I found the Renault touch screen and underlying system really slow. I had a Captur in Tassie last year as I attended the AEVA annual conference, and it was quite frustrating to work with. Zoe had same system, so not my fav.

            At least for your expanded PV, panels are now dirt cheap – even the best ones. What inverter(s) do you use? We have 3x SMA Sunny Boys, with all of the monitoring options etc., and I’m very happy with them. I visited their factory a couple of years ago, and was really impressed. I have 15 kWh of lithium CALB cells sitting here (for my Porsche 944 conversion – that I haven’t completed!), and contemplating getting a Sunny Island to enable their use overnight.

          • Cheetaroo 8 months ago

            The new 250kW Trina panels have been sitting for a year now. Offgrid since 2006 so the system is all Outback Solar. Acquired 2nd inverter for 6kVA output. Installed 18kWh Winston LiFePO4 when lead acid bank got weak. Total rebuild 24V distribution board (while home kept running 24/7) to add BMS, new charge controllers and replace circuit breakers and 70mm2 wiring for double amount of current with new PV/whole house air con/ 3kW charging. My monitoring software runs on a clam shell iBook because I can. Before EV I need a Zappi EVSE and more capable Linux system to programmatically control the EV charging depending on offgrid vitals : battery SOC, solar irradiation (instead of PV input). Note with NO grid connection to fall back on, a lot of the industry PV+EV solutions do not work.

          • Mike Westerman 8 months ago

            Maybe a dummy load to trick your smarts back into thinking there is PV available. Before power electronics became cheap enough, this was standard for mini-hydro. For mini-hydro it was a dump resistor in the tailrace, for non-hydro it was a fan heater. So I guess for you it could be a HWS or an ice freezer, depending on whether you could use stored heat or “coolth”.

          • Paul Williams 8 months ago

            Our Zoe charges by a Cyclon 7 kwhr charger from Russell at Evolution Australia. We have an 8.5 kw solar system with a Selectronic off grid inverter and Fronius 8.2 on grid inverter, with LG Chem 10.2 battery. On sunny days the Zoe charges mid day when the LG battery is full rather than exporting to the grid…..

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