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One of Europe’s top-selling EVs just got a 0/5 star safety rating. Is it game over for the Renault Zoe?

It’s been a rough week for one of Europe’s best-selling electric cars, the zippy little Zoe, which failed Euro NCAP’s latest round of grueling vehicle safety tests with a grand total of zero stars out of five, a huge blow to a vehicle that previously boasted five-star ratings in earlier models. Is it the end of the road for the beloved Zoe?

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Renault is finally outright selling the all-electric Zoe with battery pack in its biggest market

When Renault started selling the all-electric Zoe in France, it had a controversial scheme that prevented buyers from owning the battery pack. They could either own the car and pay a monthly fee to lease the pack or lease the whole car.

While it is indeed a controversial scheme, it’s undoubtedly a successful one since under it, the Renault Zoe became the most popular all-electric vehicle in France.

But now the French automaker finally lets buyers also own the battery pack starting today.

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Renault says it might actually release its hot all-electric Zoe RS

Renault’s Zoe e-Sport RS Concept, a sexy sports version of its successful all-electric Zoe, has been well received since being unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year.

At first, it was just to showcase some of their racing tech developed for the Formula E and put into a more accessible vehicle, but now Renault is considering making it available.

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First impression: the little 2017 Renault Zoe guillotines the competition

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A few weeks ago I wrote about the sales of EV’s in Europe, and one thing stood out like a sore thumb; the success of the Renault Zoe. Now in its second generation, the Zoe is the number one selling EV in Europe with a 14.7% market share. However, when you look at the sales in Renault’s home country, France, the Zoe is simply killing the competition with a 70.1% market share. The little Renault has enjoyed an oversized market share of at least 50% ever since she was first launched in 2013. What makes the Zoe so special and what else can explain its mega success. By coincidence, I happened to be in France last month, so I stopped by a local Renault dealer to get some background on these sales numbers and to have a quick test drive in this number one selling EV.



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Renault is latest automaker to unveil a Tesla Powerwall competitor with used batteries

As we recently noted when Mercedes-Benz launched its home battery pack, it seems that every other automaker, including Nissan and BMW, started leveraging their electric vehicle battery pack technology for residential energy storage since Tesla launched the Powerwall in 2015.

Now Renault is the latest automaker to do the same. The French automaker announced the new home battery pack system in partnership with Powervault today.

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Renault has 100,000 electric vehicles with leased batteries on the road, can now upgrade with 41 kWh packs

With the ZOE, Renault pioneered the idea of selling electric vehicles while only leasing the battery pack for a monthly fee. The idea is controversial. While it significantly reduces the entry price, the vehicle is virtually useless without the battery pack and the fee can be expensive.

Nonetheless, the program proved popular since Renault announced that it recently signed its 100,000th battery lease and now those ZOE owners have an interesting opportunity. They can upgrade their battery pack to Renault ‘s new 41 kWh pack released last year.

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Renault-Nissan Alliance announces plans for a self-driving electric car fleet for public and on-demand transportation

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Virtually all automakers are currently working on some form of driverless ride-sharing/taxi services. Whether it’s through investments in existing services, like GM with its acquisition and investment in Cruise Automation and Lyft respectively, or through direct development like Tesla with its Autopilot and ‘Tesla Network‘ programs.

Renault and Nissan are the latest automakers to follow with their own effort in the space. The Alliance announced today a partnership with Transdev to develop a public and on-demand transportation service using a self-driving electric car fleet.

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Renault and Nissan will develop a common electric vehicle platform for next gen ZOE and LEAF

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After collaborating on some development programs over their 18-year alliance, it looks like Renault and Nissan are ready for the most important collaboration yet: a common electric vehicle platform for the next generation Renault ZOE and Nissan LEAF.

While it has some interesting implications for mass production of the platform and lowering the price, you shouldn’t hold your breath since Arnaud Deboeuf, the executive in charge of the Renault-Nissan alliance, warned of a long product cycle and media reports suggest that the next generation – not to be confused with a design refresh – shouldn’t come to market until 2020.

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Renault surprises with new 2017 ZOE w/ ~200 miles of range on 41 kWh battery available next month

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We reported earlier this month on rumours that Renault was about to unveil a new all-electric ZOE with a bigger battery pack equipped with cells by LG Chem for a significantly longer range. As it turns out, the rumours are true and the French automaker will include the new pack in its 2017 lineup for the ZOE going on sale next month.

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Renault is reportedly about to unveil a new all-electric Zoe with ~200 miles of range

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It is starting to look like the 2016 Paris Motor Show, which will start the first week of October, will be an important event for electric vehicles. Mercedes and Volkswagen are both expected to announce new vehicles and release details of their ambitious EV plans.

Now Renault is reportedly jumping on the EV announcement bandwagon in Paris. The French automaker part of the Renault-Nissan alliance is reportedly about to unveil a new all-electric Zoe with a range of ~220 miles – about twice its current range.

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Renault and partners plan a “solar smart-charging” project with 150 ZOE EVs

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France-based automaker Renault recently confirmed having signed a letter of intent with Utrecht City Council, ElaadNL and LomboXnet to develop a Franco-Dutch framework of smart solar charging solutions for electric vehicles.

Under the agreement, Renault would supply a fleet of 150 Renault ZOE models through 2017 to the Dutch city, while ElaadNL would manage the required infrastructures and the smart-charge standard, and LomboXnet would take care of the installation of the charging stations.

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LG Chem to build a new battery factory for electric cars in Europe

3m-lg-chem-electric-car-batterySouth Korean news outlets are reporting that the electronic giant LG Chem will build a new factory to produce batteries for electric cars in Europe. The new plant will reportedly have an annual production capacity of 50,000 battery packs, making it of similar size as the company’s Holland, Michigan plant where the company produces battery packs for the Chevy Volt and eventually the Bolt.

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