back to article Review: Renault Zoe electric car

To argue that the electric car has already failed is farcical. To date only one mass-market EV from an established car maker has been launched in the UK: the Nissan Leaf. Even I’m not fully convinced by the Leaf. I think it’s too big, too ugly and too expensive. A revised, cheaper, longer-range Sunderland-built model will …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Coat

To misquote the author

If, when the government stops paying middle class people to buy these things then, and only then, will I discuss the success of the e-car.

8
7
Meh

Locking charge leads

Do the charger leads on this (and others) lock when connected?

If not whats to stop the old bike thiefs trick (adding a lock to your bike then nicking it when you have walked home) of unplugging you when your at work and then flatbedding the thing at 3am. Or some git unplugging yours and plugging into his? or just the usual gits who would unplug it for fun (like the dipshits where i used to live who would pull bins over, fine if your 15 these people were more like 35!)

4
2
Alert

Do the charger leads on this (and others) lock when connected?

Yes.

I should have made that clear in the review.

0
0

Re: Do the charger leads on this (and others) lock when connected?

One of the things that puts me off an EV is the business of the charger cable and what happens when it rains and your lovely connector cable and socket get wet. I understand that there are safety protocols built in to stop you frying yourself, but the image of struggling in the rain to hook up my nearly-flat EV doesn't appeal.

If you park your EV in a garage or undercover then you won't have that problem. But with the bloody awful British weather you might. Perhaps the next stage is to introduce a contactless charging plate?

0
2
Silver badge

Re: Locking charge leads

If the plugs are locked in place they'll simply rip the cables out. I hope they're armoured enough to handle ten ton tony and his friends looking on 'em as a challenge (they'll happily rip the socket ouf of the panel if it's not fixed tightly enough too)

0
1

"any of which could double as the sound of a starship’s drive engines"

I'm convinced! Where do I buy one!

2
0

Re: "any of which could double as the sound of a starship’s drive engines"

Me too

0
0
Pint

Welcome to Lisbon

First of all, welcome to Lisbon. I hope you liked our capital.

Driving around downtown Lisbon is no small feat for your mental health, so I'll gladly buy you a beer.

Second, I love the idea of an electric car, but please, leave the interwebs out of it. After seeing everything that can be done thru a simple socket ( and i mean socket as in a TCP or UDP one, for example ) I'm kinda terrified with the idea of a interweb-controlled-car.

Also, after buying the car, one must pay 70£ per month for the battery? What? That added to the electricity costs to feed it will be more expensive than my gasoline fueled Fiesta. ( I spend around 100€ a month in gasoline ).

3
0
Silver badge

Actually

I will say one thing.

At least it looks like a bloody car and not some 60's sci-fi idea of what cars in the 21st century will look like.

Practical for me? No, not personally, due to my nomadic choice of career. For the wife though? Well at last check she drove less than 1600 miles a year so very probably.

I do like the battery lease idea too - batteries degrade and until now I wasn't aware of any other company offering that. Mind you, what would the range in a cold and wintery UK drop to?

3
0
Thumb Up

Re: Actually

Battery lease idea is great. Instead of pying 20% more than the cost of an equivalent petrol car to buy car+battery, you pay teh same as an equivalent petrol car, plus the battery lease costs are less than what you would spend on petrol. There's also the charge for electricity consumption for this, but I think they would be just a few quid a month.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Actually

problem is on battery lease alone for 30mpg at 1.40 a litre you need to travel 385miles just to cover the battery lease costs. that is on top of the actual electricity. Obviously you have teh car tax difference but on an average diesel 150g car the tax is £11 a month. I suppose if you paid congestion charge this may be viable but for me I wont bother.

1
0
Thumb Up

Re: Actually

385 miles a month is less than 13 miles a day, or about 17-18 miles per working day, I think most commuters do more than that. Of course many people have petrol engines that do better than 30mpg. The point is that for previous generation e-cars, the petrol version was far cheaper as down cost+running cost even after subsidies, with this, maybe it depends on teh excat situation of teh consumer but at least it's comparable.

0
0
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Re: Actually

say you do do 35 miles per day though. I can only extrapolate from charging values but as an electric car you charge (for free? how do these charging posts work?) in town and charge at home overnight. so 7.3 hours would normally give you 70 miles so you'll need a quarter of this for 17.5 miles actually charged to you. Thats 1.8 hours at 3kw draw or 5.5kwh at about 13p per kwh thats about 70p. 70p for 17.5 miles is hardly "cheap" running and that is assuming you can charge for free at work. LPG probably costs about the same.

Obviously there is a lot of extrapolation. Im assuming a full 3kw draw from the socket for the 1.8 hours. I couldnt find any figures other than multiply the 22kw x 60 mins out by 7 for an 80% charge. also you will probably look at getting the cheapest possible electricity tariff, I just picked a scottish power saver one at random, im sure there are cheaper ones. Even so, at a MIGHTY cheap 10p kwh 55p is STILL not a cheap 17.5 miles considering your battery lease cost on top (and assuming you can charge for free at work for half your journey)

better off getting an LPG car or a really cheap runabout with eco engine.

0
0
Thumb Down

Use of Foul Language.

There is no need for this kind of language on a professional web review.

"If in two years’ time global sales of these two are still 'piss' poor then, and only then, will I discuss the “failure” of the e-car."

I am sure the author is mature enough to be able to express their opinions in a more non offensive manor.

Please remove it.

1
35
Headmaster

Re: Use of Foul Language.

Yes this is a "professional web review" but no this isn't the Daily Fail so if you're lost then this is a tech site with a less serious and even humorous angle. I'm confident that most readers will not have found the wording offensive.

Incidentally I think you mean "manner" since an offensive manor would be one like this :

http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/galleries/locations/national-trust-hughenden-manor-7447

(offensive to many poor people at the time it was built anyway)

8
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Use of Foul Language.

"I am sure the author is mature enough to be able to express their opinions in a more non offensive manor."

I don't think he was in an offensive manor. He claims he was in Lisbon.

It might have been an offensive hotel though.

7
0

Re: Use of Foul Language.

You're offended by some mild swearing on the internet?

Do you access some other internet we're not all aware of?

4
0

This post has been deleted by a moderator

WTF?

Re: Use of Foul Language.

Piss poor? bad language?

This IS a british website, I don't think piss poor is bad language, and I am British...

Considering this is a tech site.. well the language used by the techies i've worked with would give you a heart attack!

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Use of Foul Language.

> There is no need for this kind of language on a professional web review.

ODPO

0
0
Silver badge
Childcatcher

Re: Use of Foul Language.

piss poor isnt bad language.

Calling someone a cunt or a twat would be bad language. Im undecided on wanker as there are many about so very hard to refrain from saying as such. Fuck is so versatile that although bad language should be incorporated.

3
0
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Use of Foul Language.

If people are complaining about "bad" language, maybe the China Mobile 4G article needs some rantage too.....?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Use of Foul Language.

The phrase "piss poor" is defined by Collins English Dictionary as slang rather than anything stronger...

piss-poor, adj, Slang. Of a contemptibly low standard or quality; pathetic

And as others have pointed out, I believe you meant manner rather than manor.

1
0
MJI
Silver badge

Re: Offensive Manor

Well I supposed there are a couple which could be considered offensive to a certain preserved railway after a huge bustup.

But no issues with Lydham, Erlestoke or Hinton

0
0
Pint

Re: Use of Foul Language. @Leona

I bet you don't like dongles either do you Leona A?

What kind of terrible person would complain about "piss poor"? People with such horrid, unrealistic, puritanical attitudes prevent a lot of people from getting jobs due to terrified HR Droids and cause untold woe throughout the world with petty lawsuits and formal grievances.

You don't want to hear piss poor? Well, piss off then.

2
0
FAIL

carry space

I need something that'll fit a wheelchair in the boot, preferably without having to dismantle the damn thing. Mind you this thing is no different from it's petrol based siblings in that respect.

1
2
WTF?

Re: carry space

Thumbs down! Really.

What, just because I have a wheelchair, I don't get to criticise an electric car! Or do I not deserve one? Or is it just the whining you're objecting to?

I could understand not bothering to click anything, I'm aware that needing to carry a wheelchair is a specialised job, but thumbs down!!

0
0
Chz

Re: carry space

It's the Micra-sized version of the Renault-Nissan small car platform, so it is pretty small.

(It comes in Small - Micra-sized, Medium - Clio-sized, and Large - Note-sized)

0
0

I still dont have anywhere secure to plug it in. Next!

0
0

Not sure this makes sense

So, like all electric cars, this is only good for shortish journeys, round trips of say 60-70 miles, commuting and all that. But aren't all the greenies insistent we should use public transport for those? I'll bet a diesel bus produces less CO2 than a fleet of commuters driving Zoe's, and even a train is probably superior.

3
3
Thumb Down

Re: Not sure this makes sense

Straw man arguments don't make sense either, but are typically used to promote an agenda.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Not sure this makes sense

Actually, poster Fiennes puts forward an interesting point. Are these electric cars from mainstream manufacturers (i.e., not counting Tesla) competing against urban public transport?

I do not have an opinion on this and is not a subject that I'm particularly concerned about, but I believe he does pose an intriguing question.

0
0
Holmes

Re: Not sure this makes sense

Don't know why you're getting downvotes, you've proposed an intelligent question, and I'll attempt to rebut with a reasonable answer rather than protest:

For short inner-city journeys of <10km round-trip, you're right, public transport is probably a better option anyway. Mostly, I would argue, because you don't need to worry about parking rather than how much CO2 your e-car produces with respect to a bus.

For short commuter journeys between 10 and 80 km round-trip, a bus and train might be greener but they are considerably less convenient in terms of schedule, exact point-to-point journey, and (if needed) load-carrying.

People who would prefer bus/train over e-car would aslo definitely prefer bus/train over petrol car, and therefore will ALREADY be using bus/train. People who currently use petrol car, on the other hand, have already shown not willing to use bus/train, but would be willing to go e-car if the range is good enough

3
0

Re: Not sure this makes sense

James

I suspect an e-car might actually stack up very well against a bus for short journey's, and look really rubbish for longer ones, for two reasons. Firstly, because the longer the journey the greater the road use, impacting congestion (unless it's piled high with sharers), and secondly because the shorter the journey, the the wait to access public transport becomes as a proportion of the journey becomes "wasted time". E-Cars won't have the petrol/diesel issue of being less efficient while warming up either. In the long run, you could perhaps go the route of reducing bus frequency to take account of this.

I agree as to your idea of the target market. Again, not seeing much of a market yet, and until range improves to at least 150 miles, combined with a recharge possible in say 10-15 mins, I can't see anyone other than those with more money than sense wanting to buy one. E-car's fuel is cheap, but that puts an incentive on using them a lot...which is impractical. And the greenies will hate you anyway; their idea is more about insisting on enforcing their wishes as to how you live than "being green". If we're all on public transport, they have us where they want us :-(

PS I cycle. But that's because I like the exercise, plus it's still faster than the train :-)

0
0

Re: Not sure this makes sense

I would have thought that people who could afford one of these and currently travel by public transport or cycle are travelling that way because it is more convenient and not because of the cost. Even on cost - the leasing plan racks the running costs on this up there against other city vehicles (and probably doesn't score too well starting at minimum £70 per month). The other major users of PT couldn't afford one of these anyway. So I don't really think that they compete against urban PT.

Preferential treatment will be the big selling point for these vehicles. Currently it is only stuff like the huge subsidy, congestion charging and road tax but I can see that being backed up with reserved parking in cities. UK local authorities have emmisions targets to meet and very few ways of meeting them - but they do control huge amounts of parking space.

0
0
Thumb Up

Re: Not sure this makes sense

@Rupert F - Yes, congestion is another issue where train / bus improves on car of whatever motor. I also cycle round city, good excercise + faster than all public transport + point-to-point. For mild climes is ideal, for hilly places / longer distance can go e-bike.

re target market, current production runs of ecars are anyway small, definitely enough for target market of people for whom 80mile limit is not a problem. As tech improves, so will range, and therefore also target market will increase. Bigger problem for me isn't range but charge time. Increasing range is easy, plonk in a bigger battery, and slightly bigger motor to compensate for weight... but this also increases the charge time.

Doubly more worrying for me is the link some other poster sent to Bjorn Lomborg's article for FT that e-car takes double the CO2 emmissions to produce than normal car (just saw today for first time, not sure if true but it's credible).

0
0
Boffin

Until the battery tech gets better...

... we're just not going to have a good enough EV.

Even fuel cells suffer from hydrogen storage issues, not to mention the catalyst in fuel cells is basically one of the rarest elements on earth (platinum). So until they find an alternative catalyst and storage method, that ain't gonna work either.

The super-supercapacitor graphene batteries are looking promising though, but years off this scale of production.

For the geeks: http://www.graphenetracker.com/graphene-super-supercapacitor-an-energy-revolution/

1
1
Bronze badge

Running costs.

The mileage / charge issue doesn't really bother me, my 'average' driving pattern probably suits an EV, and with a decent extension lead, I could probably charge it up.

What I amm interested in is how much it costs to charge one of these things. The article mentions £70pm for the battery lease. What kind of increase to your electric bill on top of that are you looking at to charge one of things things up, from flat once a week or so?

My current petrol costs are (roughly) £40 every couple of weeks, (unless I'm doing any long driving, like going on holiday, which (currently) an EV would be no good for anyway). So if the charging+lease costs come in at more that say £85 a month, then there really would be no point in this.

3
0

Re: Running costs.

I was thinking the same thing. I do 6 miles each day to and from work, with some weekend visiting/ shopping etc. My 6 year old Mondeo diesel gets 45-55mpg, and my monthly spend on fuel is around £70. So with the cost per charge added (£2, £3 per charge perhaps?), buying a smaller, more 'frugal' e car would incur higher monthly fuel costs than my dirty 2.0 TDCI. Where's the incentive? And when the government gets bored of the EV grant and £5k gets added to the purchase price, there will be even less.

But having said all that, this is a big improvement on the Leaf and a step in the right direction. Inevitably, we WILL run out of oil. I just think that 2 years before we know if EV's will be a success story or not is far too soon.

0
0

Re: Running costs.

6 miles each way is a 20-30 minute cycle......might be worth considering that, esp. if your company is in the Cycle to Work scheme (tax free bikes)

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Running costs.

Paradoxically, cycling to work is only a realistic option for urban dwellers. For 20 years I cycled 18 miles a day in central London. People used to say "You're brave" (this was in the days when you could ride from Fulham to the City without seeing another cyclist).

When I moved to the country, I imagined myself spinning to work along sun-dappled lanes, like somebody in a TV ad. Alas, no. First of all, the lanes are only sun-dappled in summer. In winter, they're pitch dark morning and evening, and cyclists are unlikely to live long enough to see the next summer. The other problem is that the distance to work was 25 miles. Even if I was fit enough for a daily 50-mile round trip, I can't really afford to spend that amount of my day travelling.

1
0
Black Helicopters

D@v3 Look at your 'lecky bill

The article says its a 22kWHr battery

so it will take 22kW of energy to charge

alternativly at 150 miles per charge that 22kW/150 = 0.15kW per mile (rounded up to 2 significent figures to account for some of the inefficiencies)

so it will cost you 0.15 * kWH charge from your lecky supplier per mile PLUS £70 per month to lease the battery.

Or to put it another way - it will be like having a 2 bar electric heater on for 10 hours a day every time you need to charge.

Of course; over time that charge capacity will reduce as will the range; and the efficiency of the charging. But for quick comparison go with 0.15kWH per mile

anyone up to calculating the kWH per mile charge for an ICE ?

Incedentially - houshold charging - the 22kWH charge pont will draw around 95 amps for one hour to give you a full charge (actually slightly more but again close enough) - most houses in the UK have either 50 or 100 amp main fuses.

The 2.2kW charger will of course draw a mere 9.5 amps - but for 10 hours; so don't be staying out till 2 in the morning and leaving for work at 7 ........

0
1
FAIL

Hmmm

So not practical, not environmentally friendly (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324128504578346913994914472.html)

and not cheap. Where do I sign up?

1
1
Facepalm

Re: Hmmm

Wall Street Journal, part of the Faux News Disinformation Network. As much as I do have my doubts on EVs, it isn't quite the source I'd use for disproving EVs.

0
0
JDX
Gold badge

Contactless Charging?

Is this feasible for a car... built into parking spaces for instance so you simply stop and it charges?

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: Contactless Charging?

I have read a couple of times about work on this type of thing. With a view of getting it built into roads, so you can charge as you drive / are stuck in traffic.

Would require some kind of a 'standard' though.

0
0
Coat

Re: Contactless Charging?

...and something to prevent overcharging when attempting to use the M4 westbound on a friday :)

3
0
Coat

Right, so 0-60 in 13s is "quite fast" is it? It may be compared to the G-Wizz or whatever type of lentil powered worthiness the author considers to be the way forwards, however to the rest of us, that is pathetic. 15k will get you something like an Abarth 500, which will move at a far more acceptable rate. The 500 will go for more than 80 miles without needing refueled too.

I would say, however, that the reviewer sounds like a bit of a bell-end, what with the confrontational language in the pre-amble and the nonsense about the causes of climate change at the end. The truth is no-one knows what causes the climate to change, apart from a righteous few happy to blame it on plant food as they will lost their grant money if they don't.

<--- mine's the one with the keys to a V8 in it.

8
9
JDX
Gold badge

a)If you buy a car based on how fast it is, you're not the target market

b)If you buy a car based on how fast it is, you're a tit

c)don't you read how he said it "felt faster"?! Presumably like how a 900cc car feels fast due to the thrashing you have to give the engine to get going?

4
3

Right. So I'm a tit for wanting a car that can accelerate safely onto a motorway (which I spend a great deal of time on). Not something I would try in a 900cc car because it "felt nippy", and certainly not something I'd do in a French bit of tin powered by a food blender.

There is also the logic that something engineered to do 150 on the Autobahn will be a lot safer doing 70 (ish) on the motorway than something with a top whack of 80.

So basically, this is like any other electric car - a complete waste of time and resources.

4
2

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017