Renault Zoe

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Words ByJohn McIlroy

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The Renault Zoe was probably one of the Geneva shows finest achievements. Renault first displayed its trendy all-electric supermini as a concept model at the Paris motor show in 2010. At Geneva it delivered it in production form; looking impressively similar to the curvy, cute show car.

The technical ingredients sound appealing, too. The Zoe will have a range of around 130 miles, or as low as 60 in the worst-case scenario of cold urban conditions. Itll take a respectable eight hours to charge, but is compatible with fast-charge systems that can cut that figure down to less than an hour.

The cabin is surprisingly conventional, but pleasant and airy, and the new touch-screen infotainment system will be standard across the range. Renault sources say the low-down battery location gives the Zoe kart-like handling, which is ideal for scooting through city streets, where its instant low-down torque will also come in handy.

The best bit? With the UK Government grant and not forgetting that its battery pack is subject to a 70-per-month lease fee the Zoe will cost just 13,650 when it arrives in the autumn. That's a full 10k cheaper than a Nissan Leaf and its likely to make the Zoe either a breakthrough vehicle for electric technology, or a definitive sign that buyers arent prepared to commit to it yet. The sales figures will tell all.

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John McIlroy

See also: All Geneva motor show 2012 news