The Echo’s Emma Kennedy tests out the new electric Renault ZOE

By Emma Kennedy

This was the first time I’d driven an all electric car, so I was excited to take the Renault ZOE out on the road before I’d even sat into it.

My first impressions; wow it’s actually a lot bigger in the flesh than portrayed in any images I’d seen and it was spacious enough for my daily school run with our sports gear, and it had plenty of boot space for my grocery shopping. 

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Emma Kennedy with Dave Lavelle, EV Specialist, Renault Belgard and the Renault ZOE.

The interior space felt airy and very comfortable. The model I test drove (Signature Model with Sat Nav) came with leather interior with sports style bucket seats, giving it that extra ‘style factor’. I missed my centre arm rest though and I had to remind myself that this is in the ‘small car’ market place, but Renault’s use of space was impressive.

The Keyless entry and push start feature was a new experience for me and saved me from scrambling around my handbag for my car key. 

The ZOE was quick and agile too, it was easy to handle on the M50 surrounded by intimidating commercial trucks and cars which made me feel very safe and comfortable.

Getting used to automatic may be a little tricky but once you’ve gotten the hang of it you’ll never want to go back to gear shift.  

Using the touch screen for bluetooth settings which included Sat Nav was again easy and quick to get used to.

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Charging point on the hood of the ZOE, the dashboard and interior of entry-level model, and the electric touch-screen on the dash.

The range is up to 400km, however with changing driving speeds and the use of heaters and air con in the car you could comfortably go for up to 250km without having to charge your battery. This is where you need to plan in advance for any distance driving. Do your research on where the nearest charging points are and give yourself plenty of time in case you need to wait in line! I didn’t need to charge up in the 3 days I had the ZOE, however when I drove to 2 local points they were both is use.

If you are looking to lower your carbon footprint, and save hugely on fuel and with the lowest tax rate if €120 then this could be your first step in doing so? As the lowest priced all electric car on the market it has great appeal. For me with a family of 5 (4 adults) the ZOE is not suitable for us all to travel in, however I was really impressed to know that Renault offer a FREE 20 day car replacement for a bigger vehicle, ideal for a family holiday.

I would really recommend this as a second car option and as a great city car for the younger (or young at heart) buyer. It certainly made me feel younger and I got real comfort knowing I might actually be making a contribution in reducing my own carbon footprint, there is also great satisfaction in knowing you are saving money on running costs too.

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The Renault Zoe is more spacious than portrayed in any image, with five doors there is room for children and also a surprisngly big boot that could hold a double buggy.

Renault ZOE is the only electric car availabile below €25,000

Eight good reasons to drive away in the Renault ZOE

  • Only electric car available below €25,000
  • EV best suited to Irelands charging network – advantages of ZOE over cars that require a fast charging point
  • Only EV available with 0% finance
  • High standard specification on the car
  • Size of the car – It can hold a double buggy in the boot
  • Cost savings over petrol and diesel cars
  • Cost savings on APR over other EV cars on the market
  • Don’t worry about organising the EV grant. We will arrange it for you and do all of the paperwork
  • The option to switch to a larger vehicle for up to 20 days per year absolutely free of charge
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