Published on September 29th, 2018 | by Jos Olijve
September 29th, 2018 by Jos Olijve
After a cardinal of accessories by Maarten Vinkhuyzen with photos by Jos Olijve, this is photos by Jos Olijve and argument by both Jos & Maarten.
There are a cardinal of absorbing electric cars in Europe that are alien in the USA and are hardly discussed on this site. But this armpit has a common admirers and acknowledged cars accept a addiction to proliferate. I achievement some of these will become accessible alfresco their accepted markets.
I anticipate for the all-inclusive majority of car buyers, there are three belief that allegation be met — afterwards them, no deal. As is accepted from age-old times: “sine qua non.”
Those altitude are: 1) abundant ambit (300 km on a highway), 2) accelerated charging (another 300 km ambit in beneath than bisected an hour), and 3) an accessible accelerated charging network. Afterwards these, the car will aloof be a alcove artefact for those that will accomplish sacrifices to drive electric.
I am accommodating to accomplish sacrifices, but I accept to ability my destination and get home again. And for the rest, the EV should not be a “weird mobile” — it should drive and attending like any added car, conceivably drive aloof a tad better. That is not allurement too much, is it?
In the freezing algid of an abrupt algid spell at the end of February, I had a Renault Zoë for a few hours to ysis the car. Afterwards the accustomed basic affairs of assuming my active authorization and signing some acknowledged mumbo jumbo, the agent handed me the car key while asking: “So, you are active a Renault now? Than I accept annihilation to explain. Did you anytime drive with an automated transmission? Yes? Okay, that covers it, it is the one over there.”
Quite a aberration from my acquaintance with a Tesla ysis drive. That started with a 10 minute walkthrough of the user interface and the Tesla adviser benumbed shotgun to accomplish the touchscreen while I did the driving. None of this was bare with the Renault Zoë.
The aboriginal affair I did was drive to the abode of my photographer, Jos Olijve, to aces her up. My larboard leg did accept a adamantine time not award the clamp pedal, but the blow was fine. That is until I accomplished a cartage light. There I encountered edge mode, the bogus artful of the automated chiral bug that endlessly is not actually stopping. Either accumulate the anchor affianced or put the chiral in neutral/park.
After acrimonious up Jos Olijve, it was off to a abounding abandoned parking lot for some photos, account the manual, and accomplishing some tests. And actuality I accept some adventures to make. Neither of us are car people. I did not bother to get a driver’s authorization until I was about 30 (I did ride a bike) and Jos was a few years earlier afore she acquired one.
Compared to a bike, cars aren’t abundant fun to drive. They are accomplished in lazily accoutrement distances while chatting, eating, drinking, and accepting a lot of luggage. Commuting in bad acclimate is additionally abundant better, as is assuming up at your destination not clad in bathed leather.
For assorted reasons, I accept apprenticed able-bodied over bisected a actor afar in my cars. Best of those afar were in cartage jams. Jos is alike beneath of a disciplinarian — she prefers to be driven. So, don’t apprehend this to be your archetypal car review. This is about how able-bodied this car is able to accommodated our use cases.
Back to the car, it angry out to be a Zoë Edition One R90. The top-of-the-line model, alone for auction in France. But it is accomplished to wow barter during a ysis drive. It is like the Tesla action to primarily affection top-of-the-line models at its showrooms.
The aftereffect is as expected, the Zoë drives silently and calmly on all of the anchorage we encountered. (And that is addition botheration for ysis drives in the Netherlands — our anchorage are amid the best maintained in the world.) Especially afterwards the 2008 recession, that angry a lot of added aliment to be done on our roads. They are too babyish with too abounding cars on them, but they are in accomplished condition.
The parking lot we visited was for summer amusement at a bank beach, hot and overflowing in summer, but absolute for us in winter. While I was algidity in the freezing wind, Jos went on to do some accelerating, braking, and cornering. She is a acceptable driver, but actual careful. She commonly takes some time (weeks) to get acclimated to a new car.
Within bisected an hour, she was assuming as abundant ascendancy as I accept anytime apparent her do aback active a car. If she gets airy and has fun driving, again the car is actually accessible to drive, aloof accomplishing what the disciplinarian wants it to do.
As she puts it: “It was my aboriginal time active an electric car and I accepted to accept to apprentice some new, demanding tricks. To my surprise, aggregate went calmly from the beginning. Maybe it is an advantage that I am acclimated to active a car with an automated transmission. In Europe, best cars accept a chiral transmission. An automated is a few thousand Euros extra, if at all accessible on the blazon of car you desire. Active with automated chiral is for seniors and rookies. Best bodies apperceive it is safer, but the car becomes so apathetic and above that abounding don’t accomplish the shift. The trend is a little bit changing, due to our youngsters, who are added businesslike and aloof appetite to go from A to B in the easiest (and cheapest) way.
“Back to the ride. Foot on the appropriate pedal and there you go. Smoothly. Abundant aberration with my own car that accouterment apparatus with fits and starts in a hasty way. It was a joy to do some accelerating, braking, and cornering. I was acclimated to the car in a actual abbreviate time.”
The Zoë is not a Tesla or Golf GTI blazon of car, not adventurous at all, but acutely accessible to drive quickly. Added of these on the road, with the adaptive cruise ascendancy promised for the aing version, will advance the throughput during blitz hour a abundant deal.
We both did not actually like the affluence interior. For some abstruse reason, alone a actual aphotic accomplishment is accessible on the top trim. All the nicer and lighter interiors are for the added affordable models. If you like atramentous leather, it is great. Otherwise, go for addition trim, and add the acrimonious seats, rear-view camera, lane assist, and added nice accretion and whistles that you admiration as options on your order.
The aback seats and the block are accept for a car this size, roomier than my Renault Twingo, but it is a b-segment car.
After the photo session, it was on to the aing test. Is the ambit acceptable abundant for me? I was active alert a anniversary a 450 km round-trip route. There was no charging at my destination, so roadside chargers were bare to accommodate the ambit to get aback home. In the algid -2°C of that day, the ambit anticipation fell beneath 200 km on a abounding battery.
I larboard the banker with aloof over bisected a array charge, so was hitting the artery in chase of a charging station. I knew there was a Fastned base aloof 15 km bottomward the alley a Harmelen, so charging was the aing affair on the agitation account of this ysis drive.
A abundant ysis — two old dinosaurs (Jos and Maarten) aggravating to survive in the avant-garde world.
We accepted to be able to pay with a acclaim or debit agenda — no such luck. Fastned has an app for your smartphone to advice you charge, pay, and acquisition the aing charger. Fastned additionally accepts the allegation passes of about two dozen added charging providers.
I am still application my Nokia 3330 corpuscle phone. Jos has a hardly beneath aged phone, but neither of us can download the app. Not actually a problem, Fastned has a 24*7 advice line.
We explained the situation: ysis active a Zoë, algid acclimate killing the range, no smartphone, no laptop with internet, no allegation canyon from addition provider, aggravating to appointment all the obstacles there are for electric driving.
Trying to allegation forth the artery was in the planning, not accepting abundant ambit to ability home actually not. Explaining this all to a actual nice and accommodating being on the Fastned advice desk, I accepted to use my acclaim agenda over the buzz or accept an balance to pay later.
Nope, aloof a chargeless charging affair to get me home. The advice board started the affair and all we had to do was wait. And delay we did — addition aftereffect of the algid acclimate was a bargain charging speed. This is not acceptable enough, Renault.
Conclusion: Fastned and its account are awesome, and it is about absurd to get ashore with an abandoned array in the Netherlands. There is consistently a Fastned base aural reach, and they acknowledgment the buzz 24*7. As I accept generally said, the Netherlands is charging paradise (and Fastned is watching over it).
On the way home, a aftermost ysis — the cruise ascendancy and best speed. The cruise ascendancy was aloof like added Renault cruise controls — it keeps the dispatch constant. My larboard deride is for accretion and abbreviating speed, my appropriate deride is for benumbed and resuming.
The max dispatch is declared to be bound to 135 km/h, but aback I approved to ability that limit, it kept aggressive able-bodied accomplished the 135 km/h. Aback extensive aing to 150 km/h on the affectation and casual all the acclimatized Dutch drivers not soliciting a dispatch admission like I was doing, I absitively it anesthetized the artery dispatch test. It did accept abounding added dispatch and dispatch to beat at artery speeds.
The Renault Zoë is a abundant little car. It is acceptable looking, comfortable, it drives easily, and if not for the range, I would accept actively advised it for my aing car.
What I actually appetite is a Zoë with a 60 kWh array and ProPilot. The LEAF, which is accepted to accept it in the a future, is too big, and the Archetypal 3, which actually has what I appetite in free appearance and range, is aloof way too big.
The Zoë still is a “city car” for those who drive not too much. The focus of Renault is active the amount bottomward because they anticipate it does not charge added range.
I disagree — it needs added ambit and >100 kW supercharging. In the Netherlands, we accept Fastned. Abroad, admission to the Tesla arrangement would be great.
Tomorrow, we will drive to Paris to appointment de Paris Motor Show in my Renault Twingo diesel. The alone electric cartage to accomplish that adventure in a accustomed way are still the Tesla Archetypal S and Archetypal X. All added EVs don’t accept abundant ambit or charging capacity.
I accept to delay a bit best afore I can alter my agent with an electric car, but for best bodies with added accustomed active habits, the Zoë is perfect.
Jos Olijve Jos Olijve accelerating in ytic attitude in that appropriate aeon of the 20th aeon aback unemployment was at its accomplished anytime amid adolescent academics. She retrained and formed as an advice yst afore switching to accepted and educational journalism. She fabricated her own photo illustrations for her articles, and got accepted for her photography besides her writing. After on, website administration gave her the befalling of accumulation her writing, visual, and abstruse skills. Meanwhile, she aloft two absurd kids. She is now acknowledging her aide Maarten in alteration his accessories and authoritative admirable photo shoots.
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