Almost 10 years have passed since Renault started sales of the ZOE (It arrived in Spain in 2013), its first mass-market electric car, which quickly left the Fluence ZE far behind. But it is getting old, despite the diamond maker’s efforts to keep it in the limelight. It was one of the “firsts,” like the Nissan Leaf, and it has the same problem.
In the first three quarters of the year, the ZOE continues to be a best seller, third in the European electric car market, but its sales have fallen by 28.1% compared to 2020. In other words, 44,609 units, which is not bad compared to the Tesla Model 3 (99,053) and the Volkswagen ID.3 (51,760). The French are accumulating competitors in number and with a much lower average age.
The Renault ZOE will not have a replacement until 2024, when production of the electric Renault 5 begins. The brand will pull the nostalgia factor, recovering one of its icons from the 70s and 80s, but totally updated. At the engineering level, it will be considerably more advanced than the ZOE. It is part of the brand’s electrification strategy.
It cannot be said that Renault has abandoned it, precisely. The original model had 22 kWh in batteries, in 2016 it was improved to 41 kWh (almost double), and the latest version fits 40 to 52 kWh of batteries and DC fast charging. The engines have been improved as much as possible, and the interior has also been updated quite a bit in what the customer appreciates most.
It still has to last in the market for another two years, and it is not an easy challenge. Unless Renault can make it cheaper to keep it attractive, several of its competitors will eat its toast. Currently the ZOE is offered financed from 27,478 euros (Life basic finish, 80 kW motor and 40 kWh batteries) or from 312.64 euros per month -49 installments- with an entry of 5,500 euros and a final fee of 12,403.35 euros . With the MOVES Plan you can scratch up to 7,000 euros.
In 2030 Renault will have 90% of sales of electrified models, 65% being hybrids and the rest electric or plug-in hybrids. The range of industrials will gradually diversify towards 100% electric models and those with a hydrogen fuel cell. Renault was one of the first manufacturers to democratize electric cars on the European market, which is why the ZOE has almost always been among the best sellers.