More than seven years since it first hit the world stage, the all-electric Renault Zoe hatch is now officially confirmed for Australia - and its cargo-hauling buddy the Kangoo ZE will finally also be available to local buyers.
This announcement follows the story that CarAdvice broke in early August, confirming Australian government approval for local sales of the Zoe - a sure sign that Renault had at last committed to bringing its popular little EV to Oz.
Pricing for the Zoe will begin at $44,470 for the Life model, and climb to $45,970 for the Intens model. The Kangoo Maxi ZE is expected to be priced at just over $45,000. These prices exclude on-road costs, too.
(As an aside, the Zoe's pricing suggests any hopes of the larger 2018 Nissan Leaf hitting Australia for less than $50,000 may now be dashed.)
Exact launch timing for the Zoe is still to be confirmed, although Renault has at least confirmed we'll see the Kangoo EV here from November.
“ZOE is Renault’s innovative, chic and frankly revolutionary battery-electric supermini,” said Elena Woods, Senior Model Line Manager for Electric Vehicles at Renault Australia, in a statement today.
“Its arrival on our shores will mark the beginning of a new history for practical, affordable, efficient and environmentally-friendly vehicles.
The beginning of the 'affordable' EV era will, presumably, kick off with the next Zoe, if that circa-$45,000 price for the ageing current-generation model is any indication.
To its credit, the Zoe will arrive with a driving range of 400 kilometres on the European test cycle, although Renault concedes buyers should expect a number closer to 300km in real-world 'summer' driving.
That number is courtesy of a big 'ZE.40' battery upgrade in September last year, with 41kWh of "usable battery energy" comfortably doubling the Zoe's original (listed) range.
“By doubling its range, we have removed the last psychological barrier to electric vehicles," Renault boss Carlos Ghosn said in September. "Now, you only have to charge it once a week if used in daily driving conditions.”
As for the Kangoo EV, expanded Australian availability follows a long-running trial that saw Australia Post using a small number of the electric vans on its delivery fleet.
Those examples used a 22kWh battery pack, claiming an official driving range of 170 kilometres - although real-world range would be shorter.
In its most recent form, revealed overseas in January, the Kangoo ZE now lists a range of 270km, "equivalent to 200km in real-world summer-climate driving".
Watch for more on both models in the coming months.