Renault Zoe sales surge in June

Renault Zoe with 400 km NEDC range

The deliveries of the Renault Zoe with the new ZE 40 battery have been delayed because of a “brake problem” or more specifically, a defective part in the reducer. The Renault Zoe has a gearbox with single-speed reduction gear bar.


Renault Zoe R240-R90 motor


Fortunately the problems are past and with deliveries happening at higher pace, Renault Zoe sales surged in June.

In Norway 438 were sold, in Germany 680 were registered, while in its home country, France 1.983 were registered.

Considering that in May, with only 2.095 sold Renault Zoe was the best selling electric car in Europe, in June Zoe repeats the feat, since it surpassed the 3.000 mark by a comfortable margin. This cool looking electric supermini is Europeans favorite, by a large margin.


Anyways, I think that the introduction of electric cars without major range problems such as the Renault Zoe – with the new battery -, marks the beginning of a new era. We can stop comparing electric cars only between themselves and start comparing them with their real adversaries, the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) cars.

In my opinion, Renault Zoe’s biggest rival is the Toyota Yaris Hybrid, which Toyota managed to sell 47.544 units in Europe in the first half of the year. Renault Zoe and Toyota Yaris Hybrid are two similar superminis that represent two different strategies that try to appeal to the same potential buyers.

While the Renault Zoe represents the ultimate goal of a zero emission mobility, the Toyota Yaris Hybrid represents a bridge technology destined to fade away, but which in the present has its appeals.

The new Toyota Yaris Hybrid comes standard with safety features that help to avoid accidents, which are now required to get 5-stars Euro NCAP safety rating and are missing in the Zoe. Price wise they are very similar in buying and running costs if we consider the Zoe with the leased battery.

At the moment Toyota has the upper hand, however with just a small facelift the Renault Zoe could take the lead. It just needs DC fast charging capability via a CCS connector, modern safety features such as AEB and LKAS, and a more practical interior – 60/40 flat-folding rear seats and a decent glove compartment.

While there is no official date on when will the Zoe get its facelift, early 2018 seems the most logical date to introduce it and increase production. By then, LG Chem will be producing its battery cells in Europe (Poland) and Renault can increase the Zoe’s production without major supply problems.


To sum up, what I think Renault is waiting for before pushing the Zoe to another level is the LG Chem battery cell plant in Poland to start production. When it happens Renault can finally improve the Zoe, increase production and decrease the price, to prove that going full electric and not investing in a bridge technology such as hybrids, was the right decision.

Let’s see how long will it take for the best selling electric cars to surpass the sales of the best selling hybrid cars in Europe. Toyota could make it even more interesting by introducing a Toyota Yaris EV… and I think they’ll when the Zoe start catching up.


What do you think? What does the best selling electric car in Europe needs to start competing with ICE cars?



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Pedro Lima

My interest in electric transportation is mostly political. I’m tired of coups and wars for oil. My expectation is that the adoption of electric transportation will be a factor for peace and democracy all over the world.

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4 years ago

Hopefully, when the NRM Alliance introduces their shared EV platform, Nissan will introduce a supermini in the US.

4 years ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

With a 40kWh battery that could be perfect!

Eduardo Francisco
4 years ago

Quote: “Price wise they are very similar in buying and running costs if we consider the Zoe with the leased battery.”

I would appreciate if you could present the math that supports your quote. For instance, in Portugal, the monthly battery lease if we assume a reasonable 15000 km annualy is 99€. That alone represents 1188€ annualy in running costs. To that we must add around 0.15€/kWh. Now if we assume that the 13.3 kWh/100 is close toreal (which it isn’t), that adds up 299,25€ per year in running costs. So 1487,5€/year in running costs. If we assume that the petrol price (gasoline) is 1,5€/L (it is a bit cheaper) then it represents 991,67 L per year. So, it only evens out if the consunption of the Yaris is 6,6 L/100km (which it isn’t).

Hannes Beukes
4 years ago

This is probably my next car. I have a leaf already but we need something for the wife.

4 years ago

I think two types of cars are needed. Long distance vehicle and short distance vehicle. And the short distance vehicle could just as well be a vw pasat as a vw polo. All sizes of cars need to have these two categories I think because many need a big car to fit kids or stuff but still don’t need the range for its second car and some just need a small car but has to go long distance (week commuters)

Long distance car:
* 200-400 miles EPA (230 miles most common)
* 10 miles/min charging
* price just a little bit over an ice car before incentatives
i.e. We need a simpler cheeper model 3. Like a vw pasat ev for 28000usd.

Short distance car:
* around 100 miles of epa rage
* 5 miles/minute charging
* needs to be cheeper than an ice car before incentatives. Say a vw pasat for 20000 usd.

With this the ice cars would die!

4 years ago

They could think of a zoe XL version, an enlarged zoe for those who sacrifice a bit of range for a little more space.