To boost vehicle range, Renault developed the Range OptimiZEr, a system combining three major innovations – new-generation regenerative braking, a heat pump and Michelin Energy E-V tyres. This system makes Renault ZOE the best volume-produced electric vehicle. In real use, driving in and around urban areas, customers will have 100 km in winter and 150 km in temperate season.
New-generation regenerative braking recovers practically all of the energy otherwise wasted during braking, without any significant impact on ride. On deceleration, the motor recovers kinetic energy from the vehicle and turns it into an electric current that recharges the battery. On braking, the system intelligently distributes braking effort between the brake pads and the engine brake in order to maximize the action of the engine brake in charging the battery.
The heat pump operates in the same way as a reverse-cycle air-conditioning system and consumes little electricity. It produces warm or cool air simply by reversing the cycle of operation. The heat pump generates approximately 2kW of cooling or 3kW of heat with just 1kW of electricity. This also makes for a more stable cabin temperature since it is independent of the calories produced by the motor.
The MICHELIN ENERGY E-V tyre is an innovation from Michelin co-developed with Renault, and is a first for Renault ZOE. This highly energy-efficient tyre improves vehicle range. Its tread, design and sidewalls were designed to accommodate the high torque of ZOE and to adapt to the specific uses of electric cars.
For peaceful urban driving, Renault ZOE features Z.E. Voice, a function that warns pedestrians that the car is coming. Special design studies were carried out on Z.E. Voice, which can be heard at between 1 and 30 kph, in order to give the Renault ZOE its own sound identity. Drivers can choose between three different sounds or turn the function off simply by pressing a button.
All versions of Renault ZOE ship with the integrated, connected R-LINK multimedia system. On ZOE, R-LINK includes new functions tailored to electric vehicles, such as a histogram of energy consumption, charge scheduling, and the location of charging stations.
Further, Renault ZOE is the first electric vehicle that can be charged to any level of power (up to 43 kW) over a period of between 30 minutes and nine hours – thanks to the Chameleon charger, patented by Renault.
Since the first semester of 2014, a cable called Flexi Charger extends ZOE’s charging options by enabling the vehicle to be charged from a standard household power socket.