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The Renault Zoe is a zippy little city car that's easy to live with and has more than enough range to get you around the work week.

10 Oct 2018

What We Dislike
Ride quality isn't as good as the Hyundai Ioniq Electric

A full tank of petrol for, say, the average 1.4-litre car with a fuel tank capacity of 50 litres will cost you at least $114 in Singapore. If you pump every fortnightly, that will cost you roughly $228 a month.

This little blue Renault here, however, will set you back just $9.89 for each full charge, based on the current $0.2413/kWh tariff. Called the Zoe, it's a fully electric supermini built for the city.

The Zoe is a five-door supermini electric family car

On paper, a fully fed Zoe is supposed to be able to travel 367km, which makes it the electric car with the longest range in Singapore. But given the irritating stop-start nature of our traffic, and my rather enthusiast right foot, I only managed 285km. If you're running out of range, put the car into Eco mode and maximum speed is capped at about 96km/h and the strength of the air-conditioner reduces.

Still, even if you drive 50km a day to and from work, that range means you can go about five days without needing to recharge.

And on the sixth day, even if you are not a crazy rich Asian residing in a jiak hong chu, there are 12 public charging stations and 22 located in condos islandwide that you can go to, run by Greenlots, PlugShare and Schneider Electric.

The battery can be fully charged in under three hours, and is compatible with Type 2 AC charger up to three-phase 22kW

But what about the maintenance, you might ask?

According to local Renault dealer Wearnes Automotive, the Zoe only needs to be serviced twice every 30,000km, which will cost an estimated $404.

It's not a hard car to get used to either. It looks like a conventional hatchback outside - save for the fact that in place of a petrol tank cap is a charging port located on its nose.

There is no zany gadgetry that would befuddle the less technologically inclined; you get a conventional gear selector and handbrake, as well as rather comfortably leather seats, an armrest and a reverse camera.

The Zoe is a comfy and fuss-free electric car

It's a more pared down affair than the more expensive Hyundai Ioniq Electric, which boasts things like adaptive cruise control, an electric parking brake and wireless smartphone charging.
However, the simplicity of the Zoe isn't a bad thing at all. Like any other car, you simply hop in, connect your phone to the infotainment system and drive. The one niggle we had was the inability to adjust the height of the driver's seat so you sit pretty high up.

Not Apple CarPlay equipped but the Zoe's factory infotainment system is user-friendly enough and offers both Bluetooth and USB connectivity

Being the smaller car, the Zoe is also less roomy than the Ioniq but unless you're talking about long distance driving, it's not really an issue of concern.

Easy, peasy, zippy Zoe

On the road, the Zoe is a lively little dancer with no problems keeping up, or overtaking, traffic. It also doesn't take much getting used to before you're comfortable behind the wheel, and it's easy to forget you're driving an electric car.

The Zoe is capable of 91bhp and 225Nm of torque from the word go

Its power is delivered in a smooth and linear fashion, regenerative braking isn't intrusive and it handles itself decently enough in corners. In fact, its regenerative braking is quite a fun characteristic, allowing you to use only the accelerator to control the car's speed in corners.

With 91bhp and 225Nm of instant torque, Renault claims the Zoe will do 0-100km/h in a reasonable 13.2 seconds but it feels faster in reality. Some may find its ride quality a little wobbly but it's no worse than the average compact city car.

But still, at $9.89 for each full charge, it's a very small trade off even if it doesn't offer a magic carpet ride. Plus, you'll also be helping to save Mother Earth while at it.

At 338 litres, expandable to 1,225 litres, the Zoe offers more boot space than the Renault Clio's 300 litres

The elephant in the room, then, remains to be the fact that until the Government makes public charging more accessible to the majority of us HDB dwellers, and the fact that public chargers risk being damaged by a degenerate minority, few will even consider ownership of an electric car, which is a real pity considering how likeable they are, as proven by this little blue Zoe.

Car Information

This model is no longer being sold by local distributors
Renault Zoe Electric 41 kWh 5-door (A)
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Engine Type


Synchronous with wound-rotor

Engine Cap





68kW (91 bhp) / 5000 rpm



225 Nm / 3000 rpm



Single-speed reduction gear bar (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)



Top Speed



Energy consumption



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