Introducing the Renault Zoe
The Renault Zoe has been a common sight on our roads in the UK for a while now. With its good looks, capable range and attainable price tag it still remains one of the best-selling Electric Vehicles (EV’s) on the market.
Before your drive
Make sure you’ve booked out the car using our booking system: https://www.supersaas.co.uk/schedule/Hooky_Car_Club/Cars. The booking system will have the most up to date information about the cars location. At each location you will find a key safe which will give you access to the car. Unlock the “charging nose” of the Zoe using the button on the key and unplug the car from the charger. Be sure to stow the charger in the boot for use later. Before you set off make sure you enter the start mileage on the trip sheet and check the condition of the car.
Driving the Renault Zoe
Driving the Zoe is simplicity itself. A start/stop button to the left of the steering wheel brings the car to life with musical tone. Once started the car will sit there silently ready for you to put it into drive. The lights and wipers are automatic, so it’s just a case of getting in and driving.
Acceleration is brisk as the electric motor offers you maximum torque straight away with an uninterrupted stream of power. Driven gently the Zoe is a very relaxing place to be.
Tips and Tricks
Here are our tips and tricks for getting the most out of our Renault Zoe:
Lift off the accelerator or gently apply the brake pedal and the car will start regenerating power from the motors into the battery. The brake pedal is essentially doing two jobs: the first half of the brake travel is for regenerative braking where as the second half will apply the “traditional” brakes to bring the car to a stop. This will feel strange at first but after a few minutes it all feels fairly natural. It’s possible to regenerate a mile or 2 on a downhill, by either lifting off the accelerator or feathering the brake. Please note: electric cars do not offer regenerative braking when the battery is full.
The Renault Zoe uses a heat pump to control the cabin temperature. The Zoe’s cabin is climate controlled. Like any climate control, we recommend setting this to a sensible temperature and then leaving it in “auto”. The car will then generate the heat/cool air and deliver it when ready. Some users are tempted to jam the temperature into “full heat/cold”, this can just increase waiting time as the heat pump struggles to keep up.
An eco-button can be found to the left of the gear selector. Engaging this will soften down the throttle response and reduce the amount of power that the blower will have. It will also limit the maximum speed. We recommend using this button as you enter slower moving built up areas. The hushed blower and slower throttle responses will mean you glide through the area in a relaxed manner. We recommend turning off this mode for faster main roads, so that all of the Zoe’s power is available to you.
After your drive
Please return the Renault Zoe to the location noted on the booking system. Complete the trip sheet making sure to note any issues with the car. If you do notice an issue, please also email firstname.lastname@example.org. Put the car on charge using the instructions below and return the key to the keybox.
Charging the Renault Zoe
The Zoe will be charged from a charging post or dedicated wall charger; depending on the location. If you are charging from a post then you will need to initialise the charge from the Vend Electric App.
Setting up VendElectric for the first time
Step 1: An email will have been sent to you when joining the car club inviting you to join a private car club network. Click on CONFIRM INVITATION and fill out your information to create an account.
Step 2: Once your account is created your will need to accept the invite. To do this return to the same email and click CONFIRM INVITATION again. This will then add you onto the HNLC charge network.
Finally install the VendElectric app: https://vendelectric.com/app which is available for Apple and Android phones. Login using the information provided above. Please note: The VendElectric app has a habit of logging you out if you haven’t used it for a while. If this happens click on the menu (top right) and choose Log in.
Charging using VendElectric
Ensure you have followed the setup instructions above. You will find the charging cable in the boot of the car. Unlock the “charging nose” of the Zoe using the button on the key. Plug the cable into the Zoe and then into the charging dock, making sure it is firmly pushed into the charging dock. Make a note of the socket number (UKEV2077 for example).
Step 1: Open the VendElectric app and find the charging location either by searching for “Hook Norton” or by scrolling on the map.
Step 2: Select the charging socket you wish to use. Type in the vehicle registration and “Free Charge” should appear at the bottom of the screen*. Select Confirm Charge.
*If “Free Charge” does not appear on the screen, click on the menu (top right) and double check you are logged into the application. If you’re not shown as logged in (your name should appear). choose Log in.
Step 3: If the application gets stuck on this screen, please leave the car plugged in and let the car club team know: email@example.com
Step 4: Once the charge session is active you are free to close the app on your phone. Last remaining step is to check the car is charging.
Charging using a dedicated wall charger
If you are charging the car from a dedicated wall charger (like the one at the school), then the cable is tethered to the charge itself. Unlock the “charging nose” of the Zoe using the button on the key. Plug the car into the tethered cable, the last remaining step is to check the car is charging.
Check the car is charging
You may hear an audible click from the charging dock and a high pitched charging sound. Fans on the cars itself may turn on depending on the temperature outside.
Look through the window at the dashboard dials. You should see the screen change to a screen giving a percentage read out and time remaining.
If you are unsure the car is charging please unplug everything and try again. If after a second attempt you are still unsure, please leave the car plugged in and let the car club team know: firstname.lastname@example.org. The team are able to initialise a charge remotely in this situation.
Charging outside of Hook Norton
If you are planning a longer journey then you will need to charge the car outside of Hook Norton. This should be fairly painless and shouldn’t cause concern. We recommend you try the following steps.
- Go to https://www.zap-map.com/ or download the app.
- Take notice of the guessometer on the car when you pick it up. The white Zoe will range anywhere between 100-170 miles, whereas the black Zoe will range anywhere between 50-100 miles
- Pick a charging point and plan your route. You should pick a charging point that you guess you will arrive to with around 15-20 miles range. You should also make sure the charging point has the correct charging outlets (plugs). The Zoe’s use a type 2 charger.
- You will notice that there are lots of chargers. There are also a lot of different charging companies and lots of different charging outlets. Choosing one may seem daunting at first. We recommend the following:
- If you are travelling on motorways then Ecotricity run all the chargers at the major motorway services. You will need to sign up, download an app and give credit card details. Each transaction is logged on your app and a screenshot can be sent to HNLC for reimbursement
- BP chargemaster run as an app called polar instant. This allows pay as you go access to their charging network which are usually away from the motorways. Try to screenshot or document any transactions you make on the app so that HNLC can reimburse you
- If you follow the steps above then your “range anxiety” should be kept in check. In the unlikely event that you run out of range: all of our cars are covered by recovery.