Last month Renault announced some of its plans regarding electric cars such as the ones listed below.
- Introduce a new Alliance electric platform in Douai to create a second Renault electric vehicle production site;
- Double ZOE production capacity and the launch of a new ZOE at Flins, the only ZOE production site in the world;
- Triple electric motor production capacities at Cleon and introduce a new generation electric motor from 2021.
- Invest in Maubeuge for the production of the next generation of the Kangoo family, including the electric utility vehicle Kangoo Z.E.
Now, after a visit to the Renault Flins plant, Automobile Propre confirms that Renault will benefit from the traditional closure of the factory – scheduled for August – to prepare its lines to accommodate the new version of the Zoe and increase production. The production capacity increase is now possible due to the opening of the LG Chem battery plant in Poland early this year.
Automobile Propre states that starting from September, Renault will have the capacity to produce 440 Zoes per day. This equals to 8.800 monthly units if we exclude the weekends.
Anyway, both the Renault Clio V and the Zoe 2 will be on sale next year, but the new Clio should debut a little bit sooner than its electric counterpart. I still remember that both the current generation Clio IV and the Zoe were planned to be released in 2012, however the Zoe only arrived one year later, since Renault didn’t want the Zoe to divert sales from the Clio.
We can already find spy shots of the new Renault Clio V that’s rumored to debut in October at the Paris Motor Show 2018. The second generation Renault Zoe should debut soon after.
Now, what to expect from the second generation Renault Zoe?
Honestly I don’t expect a battery capacity increase since the Zoe already got a big one less than 2 years ago, but also because LG Chem is still using NCM 622 battery cells in the newcomers Hyundai Kona EV and Jaguar I-PACE. Furthermore, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi CEO Carlos Ghosn already stated that he thinks that for the European and Asian markets, 300 km of “real” range (WLTP) is more than enough, now the priority is to get the price down. Only in the USA, the range is still considered to be a problem, that’s why the 2019 Nissan Leaf will get a battery capacity increase.
What it’s almost certain is that the second generation Zoe will finally get DC fast charging capability via CCS and safety features such as AEB, LKAS and ACC to achieve a 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating. The interior should also be improved, a more practical glove box and 60/40 split rear seats that fold flat are essential improvements.
Moreover, some industry insiders are certain that the new Zoe – just like the upcoming Clio V – will become a little longer, which can help with aerodynamics and cargo space. A bigger Zoe definitely paves the way for the long awaited Twingo ZE launch.
To sum up, I think that the new generation Zoe won’t get more range, but instead it’ll be able to charge faster and also be safer. Now the question is how much will it cost? Considering that the Nissan Leaf price starts at around 29.000 €, I think that the Renault Zoe should already be at least 5.000 € cheaper. By 2020, Renault should aim to sell it around 19.000 €.
What do you expect from the new generation Renault Zoe?