End of line for Renault Zoé

After twelve years and over 420,000 units produced, the pioneering Renault Zoé electric subcompact hatchback will end its production run on Friday, March 30th, in the Flins factory. It will be replaced by the new, cheaper, and prettier Renault 5 E-Tech.

The Zoé was Renault’s first production electric car. Based on the Clio platform, it targeted Europe’s most popular B-segment (the so-called superminis) and was first introduced at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. However, several concept versions preceded the production model from as early as 2005 with the Zoe City Car.

The 2012 Renault Zoé had a 22 kWh battery, which had a monthly leasing fee to keep the retail price of the car low /Renault

Humble beginnings

The first Zoé had quite humble specs, with a 22 kWh battery that provided just over 200 km of range on the old NEDC cycle. In practice, 150 km was more realistic, provided you didn’t stay on the highway too long. Renault introduced a battery leasing formula with a monthly fee to keep prices down.

In 2016, the first upgrade for the Zoé was introduced: the ZE 40. The city car got a 41 kWh battery, massively boosting its range to 400 km NEDC, or around 250-300 km in real life. Existing owners could even upgrade to the newer battery, although this only made financial sense if you had the monthly leasing option.

In 2019, Renault introduced a comprehensive facelift for the Zoé, adding new looks and a new drivetrain /Renault

Comprehensive facelift

In 2019, a real facelift came for the Zoé, giving it a visual overhaul with a new nose and a completely redesigned interior, following the design language of the new Clio.

A new 52 kWh battery was also introduced, offering a 385 km range in the more strict WLTP test cycle. Two new motors were introduced: an 80 kW (110 hp) unit or the more powerful ‘R135’ 100 kW (136 hp) motor.

The Zoé was the best-selling electric car in Europe for a long time until the Tesla Model Y took that crown. In total, around 426,000 units were produced, and they can be frequently seen in city centers, especially used by car-sharing services.

Sticking to the original concept, the production-ready Renault 5 promises a range of 400 kilometers /Renault

Make way for fresh blood

Now, the Zoé is bowing out and is to be replaced by the new Renault 5 E-Tech Electric, which shares a similar size, but gets an all-electric platform (AmpR Small) and a much lower starting price of around €25,000, compared to the Zoé’s €35,000-40,000 price tag, although this is for a pretty complete final edition model.

The Flins factory will produce its last Zoé on Friday, March 30th, 2024, before becoming a circular mobility factory as part of Renault’s Mobilize sub-brand.


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