Renault’s plucky-but-plain EV, the Zoe, is going to be phased out of the French carmaker’s lineup after 2024. The Zoe is going to make way for the Renault 5, as Automotive News reports. The retro replacement could actually cost less than the Zoe when it debuts in either 2023 or 2024.
The Renault 5 will be based on a new EV platform, developed with the help of Nissan and Mitsubishi, according to Inside EVs. That joint platform will reportedly cut the cost of production and be more up to date than the aging platform the Zoe is built on. That mostly explains the phase out, because the Zoe’s sales were strong despite its older EV architecture.
Groupe Renault’s three BEVs, the Zoe, Twingo ZE and Dacia Spring, have enjoyed good sales figures in Europe. So, again, the phase out is not coming because the Zoe suddenly fell out of favor with drivers.
The Zoe, on the market since late 2012, was the third-best-selling EV in western Europe in the first half, according to Schmidt, trailing the Tesla Model 3 (65,976 sales) with 30,126 sales, essentially even with the new VW ID3, at 30,292 sales.
The Zoe even helped put Renault well ahead of its rivals in terms of the percentage that EVs accounted for considering overall sales, per AN:
A recent report from EV market analyst Matthias Schmidt found that Renault brand’s full-electric and plug-in hybrid sales mix was 18 percent in western Europe in the first half of 2021. That figure was higher than all mainstream brands except for Kia, which was at 20 percent.
In comparison, Volkswagen brand was at 16.4 percent, Peugeot was at 14.5 percent, Ford was at 12.1 percent, Citroen was at 5.2 percent and hybrid-focused Toyota was at 3.7 percent, according to Schmidt.
All that is to say the Zoe did its job getting Renault ahead in Europe’s EV race. Really, the Zoe going away to make room for a better, newer BEV is a good sign. It shows that EVs are maturing, and you could confidently claim the Zoe paved the way for Renault’s upcoming BEVs.