Naming ZOE the overall Green Apple Awards winner, in conjunction with The Green Organisation, which recognises and promotes environmental best practice around the globe, members of the Midland Group of Motoring Writers voted using the experience they have with vehicles and knowledge of the technology that lies behind them. The French brand’s star plug-in electric model also carried off the prize for small family cars.
One of the judges said multi-award winning ZOE “could be the car that makes people consider electric cars as a viable option” and that it’s “the most mainstream electric car yet”.
He added, “Quite apart from being brilliantly green, it could also be the car that starts making our city centres and shopping centre car parks zero emissions and environmentally friendly. Arguably, it is the most real-world option presented to buyers to make a decision on whether electric motoring is for them. For this, it’s doubly significant, and why it’s my overall winner.”
A fellow judge said, “ZOE is a wonderful mix of a smart looking small family car and the sort of technology that wins friends the first time it’s driven. It made me smile and the overall running costs are likely to keep that grin on owners’ faces for years.”
Another added, “It’s a simply brilliant new entrant in the search for zero emissions motoring and fully deserves to stand at the top of the podium at the Houses of Parliament.”
Renault’s best-selling Z.E. model is rapidly becoming a darling of the auto industry awards circuit, having already picked up several trophies only five months since it hit UK showrooms. The electric supermini was crowned top electric car at the Scottish Car of the Year awards last month, named the most environmentally friendly fleet car at the well-established BusinessCar ‘Techies’, and drove away with the technology award at the Fleet World Honours.
Ian Donaldson, Midland Group chairman, said: “We did not ask members simply to list the most fuel efficient cars as measured by the official statistics demanded by law, and easily accessed by anyone looking to buy a new car.
“We all know from experience that these figures can be misleading, sometimes to an enormous degree. We wanted our nominations to reflect the real world that hard-pressed motorists must live in, far away from the theoretical figures of the rolling road laboratory.”
The flagship vehicle of the French brand’s four-strong 100 per cent electric vehicle range is stylish, affordable and practical – perfect for commuting, supermarket and school runs, and for households who simply want to downsize their carbon footprint, as well as their running costs.
With an official NEDC range of 130 miles, the longest of any mass-market EV, and with a real-world range on a full charge of around 92 miles in temperate conditions or 64 in cold weather, ZOE is the first affordable car for everyday use to have been designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle. Well-equipped in every trim level, plus a free domestic 32 amp (7kW) ZE ready Single Wall-box, it’s priced deliberately to lure buyers out of conventionally-engined superminis, with an on-the-road price tag comparable to many diesel superminis. Prices start from £13,995 (after the UK Plug-In Car Grant), with battery hire from £70 per month.