Renault EV sets 24 hour record
RECORD-SETTER: Renault's Zoe showed it is able to go the distance in a recent 24-hour challenge.
Renault’s Zoe the Battery Car has set a world record for the longest distance travelled in 24 hours by a production electric car - and by a substantial margin.
The Zoe completed 363 laps at the Aubevoye speed ring in Normandy, France, which means 1618km. The previous record was 1280km.
Two Zoes and 15 drivers taking turns at the wheel saw Team Renault cover the distance but the time was also used to test what the automaker calls "a revolutionary charger".
HAS A CHAMELEON
The Chameleon charger makes a Zoe's battery pack compatible with any socket and any power level and those attributes meant the record-setting units could be fast-charged to 80% of battery capacity in less than 30 minutes. Overall, the Zoe was fast-charged 18 times in the 24-hour period.
That meant it was off-track for nine of the 24 hours so its average road speed for the remaining 15 hours was around 108km/h but its average journey speed was only 67km/h. And it managed an average of 90km between charges - so, really, what was Renault trying to prove?
Whatever, Bernard Dumondel, Renault’s customer specifications director for electric vehicles who also served as the challenge co-ordinator, said: “This is a superb technical and human adventure. This victory is the result of a joint commitment to showcase the quality of Renault electric vehicles.”
The big question, according to the automaker, though, was: How far can the Zoe go? Which was answered, we feel - but would you want spend eight or nine hours stationary on a trip from Johannesburg to Cape Town, given that few people can afford two cars these days?
PRODUCTION CAR UNCHANGED
Philippe Vinot, the reliability and durability co-ordinator for the challenge, said: “We completed this operation in two months. In April 2012 we started calculations to check feasibility with the group electric powertrain department. In early May, we started track runs and established a strategy.
"We decided to keep the production car without any changes. We were confident and we were right.”
Beyond that, the performance was conducted in the presence of an official Guinness Book of Records observer and homologation is pending.