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RENAULT is heralding what it describes as "a new era of electric vehicles for all" with the upcoming arrival of its new supermini the ZOE.

This flagship model of the French brand's four-strong 100% electric vehicle range is available to reserve now, at a cost of PS49, ahead of its UK showroom launch next spring.

With a range of up to 130 miles and pricing from PS13,650, Renault says ZOE is the first affordable car for everyday use to have been designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

And its advanced technology boasts no fewer than six world premiere features and 60 patents, including Range OptimiZEr, a system that will enable the owner to drive between 62 and 93 miles in suburban use.

The car is also capable of being charged at any level of power - in between 30 minutes and nine hours - thanks to its patented Chameleon charger, and it also includes Renault R-Link, a multimedia system featuring a seven-inch touch screen tablet, navigation and connected services, which will make its debut in ZOE.

For stress-free driving in builtup areas, there's Z.E. Voice, an alarm which warns pedestrians that the vehicle is approaching, and owners can also pre-heat or cool their car.

Another feature is a charcoal cabin air filter which traps bad smells and pollutants.

Three trim levels - Expression, Dynamique Zen and Dynamique Intens - will be available and the electric motor with rotor coil has a power output equivalent to 88bhp.

Acceleration and pull-away are said to be responsive from low speeds, while top speed is limited to 84mph.

ZOE Expression comes with an on the road price of PS13,650, after the Government Plug-in Car Grant deduction, while the Dynamique Zen and Intens start from PS14,750. Battery hire is from PS70 per month.

It will join Renault's other electric models like the Fluence Z.E. saloon, Kangoo Van Z.E. and the urban runabout Twizy to make zero emission mobility easier for ordinary motorists - one of the pledges of the manufacturer's Drive the Change plan.

The company has made a commitment to reduce its global carbon footprint by 10% by 2013, and by a further 10% between 2013 and 2016.

Andy Heiron, Renault's UK head of Electric Vehicles Programme, said: "ZOE heralds the beginning of a new era of electric mobility for all and con-firms our commitment to electric vehicles. It marks an important step for Renault which has a 114-year history of making major innovations a concrete reality for everyday motorists."


Renault'S ZOE is being launched in the UK next spring with prices starting from PS13,650 plus battery hire
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 9, 2012
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