It could now even work for drivers who don’t have off-street parking. A charge once a week at a supermarket while you do the shopping could be enough to see you through several days, and you’ll still benefit from all of the financial and environmental benefits of owning an electric car.
If you do intend to drive bigger distances regularly, make sure you pay the extra £1,000 to have the fast charging option fitted. It’s standard on most electric cars, but is only available on the top Zoe model and allows you to connect to rapid chargers, which can get electricity into your battery in minutes rather than hours. If you want to avoid having tediously long breaks on journeys over 200 miles at a time, you’ll be glad you ordered it.
The Zoe’s appeal isn’t just about the range. The top-spec models now feel pretty plush inside and have technology which isn’t even standard on cars which cost twice as much, such as wireless phone charging and land departure warnings. It’s pretty good to drive too, especially around town with light steering and a suspension system that copes well with potholes and speed bumps.
There are two grades of motor available. The faster 135 model is capable of surprising some sporty cars away from a standstill, although the performance does tail off as you get up to motorway speeds. Even the cheaper 110 model feels quite sprightly up to 30 mph, so is perfectly adequate around town.
It’s pretty spacious too, even compared to conventional small hatchbacks. The battery pack is stored underneath the floor which makes the seating position a little more upright, but it’s never uncomfortable and the boot is big enough to compare to bigger cars such as a Ford Focus or VW Golf.
In fact, many electric car drivers buy a model like a Zoe to use as a second vehicle but find it practical enough to use every day. They then like the way it drives (and the smaller bills) so much that they end up using it more than their ‘first’ car.
It might look familiar and have been around for a few years, but the Zoe is a thoroughly up-to-date small car that’s the perfect introduction to electric motoring.