Renault Australia will start offering the pure-electric Zoe to regular Australian customers, moving away from its current fleet-only sales setup for the itsy-bitsy battery-powered city car.
Speaking with CarAdvice at the opening of the world's first Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance joint parts distribution warehouse in Truganina, Melbourne, Renault's local managing director, Andrew Moore, confirmed the Zoe and Kangoo ZE will be offered to private buyers through select dealerships.
The Zoe range will be offered in two trim levels: Life and Intens, priced from $51,990 and $54,540 drive-away respectively. The base model will only be offered in white, with dark grey cloth trim inside, while the top-spec car gains a range of colours, rear parking sensors and rear-view camera, 16-inch alloy wheels, a leather steering wheel and automatic lights/wipers.
Both cars will be powered by the same 41kWh battery pack, with 'up to 300km real-life range'. With 68kW and 220Nm on tap from the synchronous electric motor, the car will hit 100km/h in 14.5 seconds – not that many owners are likely to be concerned, given the Zoe's city bias.
Charge times will vary based on where you're plugging in. A 3kW, single-phase 16A connection makes for a 15-hour recharge, while a 7kW/32A single-phase plug halves that figure. With a specialised 22kW, three-phase 32A connection, you'll be able to charge in just 2 hours 40 minutes.
However, don't expect to see the plug-in pair on the forecourt of every Renault dealership in the country, and don't expect those who are stocking the car to be filling their lots with the new models. Moore said the company is being realistic with its sales expectations, forecasting an "incremental" rise on the current sales figures. For reference, seven Zoes were registered last month.
"The important thing for me is, you see with EVs in the past where people have got too ambitious and overstocked, and that creates issues in itself," Moore said.
"So we want to just keep it to a manageable number, we've got to see what level of demand comes from the retail customer."
Moore was keen to highlight the fact Australia's electric vehicle rollout won't happen overnight, but "eventually we'll get to a point where the price of the cars is... the premium is reasonable versus the benefits to the sorts of customer that are interested".
Quoted drive-away pricing is based on Vic/NSW metro.