After winning the first two electric-vehicle Monte Carlo Rallies, ZE ZOE TEAM is back in 2016 with four new-generation Renault ZOEs, powered by the ZE 40 battery, in an exceptional event that enjoys a strong worldwide following.
The Renault brand-ambassador driver teams in the race are: Greg and et Yves Munier (Renault ZOE, n°2); Pascal and Aurore Ferry (Renault ZOE, n°9); two former Monte Carlo winners, Alexandre Stricher and Michaël Torregrossa (Renault ZOE, n°19), bloggers for AUTOcult.fr and Automobile-Propre.com; and Norwegian journalist Gro Flaaten along with Adriana Karembeu (Renault ZOE, n°21).
The zero-emission cars crossed the starting line of the 2016 Monte Carlo eRallye at 14:00, for the first leg that would take them from the Château de Fontainebleau down to Alès. After a compulsory stretch mapped by the organizers through the south of the Seine-et-Marne region, drivers would have a free choice of route through the Loiret region and thereafter down to southern France.
In n°19 we opted for a start along the B-roads before hooking up with the Nationale 7 trunk road and a stretch of motorway through to our first checkpoint at the charging stations of the Renault Nevers dealership.
At the steering wheel, the new-generation Renault ZOE feels exactly like its predecessor: quiet, vibration-free, and comfortable.
Because I’m pretty much used to travelling in electric vehicles I no longer suffer beginner’s nerves over the issue of travel range. Specifically, on leaving Fontainebleau we knew we had 200 kilometres to run: no hassle!
Since distance was entirely unproblematic, we would drive confidently and comfortably, switching from 90 km/h under normal open-road conditions, down to 50 km/h in urban areas, and up to 130 km/h under cruise control on the motorway stretch of forty or so kilometres.
— AUTOcult (@AUTOcult_fr) October 12, 2016
Because the new-generation Renault ZOE has a standard-cycle range of 400 kilometres between charges, which translates to around 300 kilometres under typical conditions, we could easily have continued down through to Moulins for our overnight break. But we’d actually save time by charging up at a Renault dealership, where it took a little more than half an hour to charge back up to near full capacity, so this would be the most comfortable option before setting off bright and early for Alès tomorrow morning.