The Renault Zoe is a fantastic drive - check it out for yourself
A test drive from Cleary Motors Thurles, of the fantastic new all-electric Renault Zoe
The new Renault Zoe - the all-electric little beauty which runs practically on fresh air - is much more fun, chic and exciting than her older sister.
It's an indication of the way motoring is moving that Renault, and many other makers as well, have put so much resources into improving, up-grading and revolutionising their electric vehicles. Well, with the Zoe, Renault have scored and given the kind of efficiency and practicality that she offeres, expect to see a hell of a lot more of them on the road.
I say see them, of course, because it is hard to hear them - with no engine, she just glides along the road, and it was interesting to travel country roads and watch birds and such like dash away at the last minute, rather than making way well in advance - they simply did not know that Zoe was on her way.
The big question everybody asks when you test drive an all-electric car is: Will they ever take off? The answer is: Yes they will. And, right now there is no reason why many many people are not driving them.
Anyone whose regular trips involve short journeys around town; in and out; up and down; over and back, should be driving an electric car. It just makes sense.
With the Zoe, you get 350km on a full battery and this will get you a long way in any given week if you are not a long distance journeyer. You can charge the car overnght at home, at the lower night-time rate and when you get up in the morning, you are ready to go. No going to the pumps; no worrying about servicing and a much more kind vehicle to the environment.
Anyone who purchases an electric vehicle can get a proper socket installed by the ESB and of course there are very generous grants available to electric drivers as well to help offset the cost of the purchase. Motor tax is low; running costs are low; toll rates are low; and rebates are plenty.
And, considering how beautiful cars like the Zoe are to drive, my suggestion would be that you do not decry these little beauties until you have tried them.
All electric cars are automatic and seriously, there are more complicated ride-on lawnmowers out there to drive. It is so simple - foot on the brake; into gear; accelerate and off you go. Just brake to slow down and stop.
With the Zoe, Renault has gone an extra mile in terms of comfort and sophictication. It's like as though they really want to tempt you to purchase and being honest, I would advise anyone to check it out and see for themselves if it works.
Motorists are facing a real change in mindset in the coming years. Two car families will most certainly have an electric/hybrid electric/ hybrid vehicle in the driveway. Whoever needs the car to make a longer journey will opt for the hybrid, while the person whose driving is of the shorter variety for the day, will take the electric.
Yes, we hear all the time about the shortage of public charging points, but it's not as though you can't charge up your battery any other way. You can ensure that you have a full battery each morning - how many current petrol/diesel drivers can claim that?
And, the costs are so cheap - about €7 for 35okms. As cheap as chips, as they say.
The Renault Zoe, on test drive from Cleary Motors, Loughtagalla, Thurles, was an education. I knew her older sister a few years ago, but this latest doll just has it in abundance. Take her for a spin and see what you think.
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