In the pursuit of real-life EV use data, Renault has enabled an entire town to go electric by offering a 3-year lease – for free – on their latest Zoe to the residents of Appy in the Ariege region of France).
The purpose of the trial is to collect real-life data on how people use and charge their vehicles, along with their impressions and experiences.
Included in the deal is a home charger (just like all customers in the UK and current buyers of the ZE40 Zoe in Australia) – plus there will be a public charger for the town.
Interestingly, Appy is one of the more isolated towns in France.
Given the ZE50 Zoe currently available in Europe (but not yet here in Australia) has almost 400km real-world range and a wide range of charging capabilities (up to 22kW AC and 50kW DC), it should not be a problem for drivers even in such a relatively remote area (for Europe) to make the move to electric without loss of convenience as compared to their previous fossil fuelled cars.
By doing the trial in a regional area, Renault are hoping to once and for all dispel many of the myths around buying and running an electric car.
Or, as Renault put it in their press release: “If the inhabitants of one of the country’s most isolated towns can adopt an electric way of life, it’ll prove that everyone can”.
Bryce Gaton is an expert on electric vehicles and contributor for The Driven and Renew Economy. He has been working in the EV sector for 10 years, and also is editor of the Australian Electric Vehicle Association newsletter.