Since we can’t count on the official NEDC to give us realistic range and efficiency figures, online range calculators are very useful, not only for electric cars, but for every kind of vehicle.
With the recent introduction of the new ZE 40 battery for the Zoe, Renault finally give us the opportunity to know in more detail what range we can expect from the best selling electric car in Europe.
The Renault Zoe range calculator is very similar to the one Tesla Motors has been using for a long time, as you can see below.
In these range calculators we have some variants that influence the car’s range and efficiency. Speed, temperature, AC and the wheels size.
The range calculator show us the importance of aerodynamics.
In the case of the Renault Zoe R90 with the ZE 40 battery, considering 20º C temperature, the expected range at 30 km/h is 355 km with the smallest wheels and 333 km with the biggest. This 22 km difference represents 6,6 % more range with the smallest wheels. If we set the speed at 130 km/h, we get 163 km range with the smallest wheels and 151 km with the biggest. This 12 km difference represents 8 % more range with the smallest wheels.
Aerodynamic drag increases exponentially as the speed increases and this range calculator demonstrates it clearly. Regarding efficiency, tires rolling resistance is also important, but reducing it substantially can be dangerous, while increasing aerodynamics doesn’t reduce our safety. This is why we should focus more in aerodynamics.
If the Zoe with smaller wheels can have a superior range, as much as 8 % more when compared to the biggest, imagine how much more range it could have a mirrorless version and moon discs.
While it’s great to see electric cars getting better range with more battery capacity, we shouldn’t forget efficiency. Better efficiency can not only reduce running costs but also the charging time required to travel the same distance.
I think that every car, electric or not, should have an UE (Ultra Efficient) trim. This trim would be mirrorless and have moon discs. These are cheap ways to increase efficiency, but not the only ones. Lower weight should also be an option, by using aluminium for the moving parts like doors and hood or slim and lightweight seats.
Renault already presented an ultra efficient plug-in concept car, the Eolab.
While Renault says the Eolab is a PHEV which weighs 955 kg and has a drag coefficient of 0,235 Cd, I think it show us what the second generation Zoe will look like.
Just imagine how cool would it be a lightweight and aerodynamic Renault Zoe with a 60 kWh battery, 22 kW internal charger and able to charge at 150 kW with CCS fast chargers. Even if it costed 10.000 € more than a Clio it would be a success. Renault you have my permission to build it 🙂
What do you think? Do you find the range calculators useful? Should every automaker adopt them? Is efficiency important for you, or you just care about range?