Renault EV sets 24 hour record

2012-06-15 09:25

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".


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?


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.

  • Cyrus - 2012-06-15 10:20

    So.......it didnt do a full 24hr on one charge? So what was the point of this test?

  • simon.toit - 2012-06-15 10:39

    Seems very relevant to me, in that it only takes 30 minutes to had the vehicle usable again. How often do you drive from JHB to Cape Town anyway. But if I come home from work and need to go out a bit later, 30 minutes fast charge would be just about acceptable.

      lourensenchrisna.kruger - 2012-06-15 12:01

      30 minutes of charge after every 90 km driven - don't know if this so cool. But I suppose it does charge faster than "other" EV's

      raath - 2012-06-17 09:11

      @lourens a full charge is much more than 90km, it only seems like 90km between charges because they only charged it for 30 minutes. If they had time to charge for longer they would have gone further between charges. (can't believe I have to explain this :p)

  • stuart.robinson.1829 - 2012-06-15 11:18

    This confirms the contention that EVs will be useful in urban commuting whereby the vehicle would recharge at the office or at the mall - it does require extensive redesign of urban infrastructure and coorinating public transport - while the road trips would require use of fuel. This means hybrids and eventually fuel cell vehicles will be the future. Thankfully Lexus has the hybrid side wacked and all that remains is for the fuel cell technology to be packaged in motor vehicles!

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