Renault ZOE: no standard domestic charging cable provided!

Renault ZOE

Has Renault lost the plot? Its much-awaited electric car, the ZOE, will not be sold with a domestic charging cable. Not even as an option!

We just don’t get it. Renault has decided not to sell the standard charging cable with the ZOE. The cable would have allowed the ZOE to be recharged on a standard 230V domestic socket (in France), and it will not be sold with the car. This means that any buyers of the ZOE will be obliged to install a special EVSE wall charger at home in order to use the equipment provided with the car.

The cable was listed in the Renault catalogue as an option at a price that was already quite steep – around 650 €, if my memory serves me well. Some buyers have already ordered the cable: they will not receive the cable either.

When I first saw the news in the comments section on the Automobile Propre blog (French version), I didn’t quite believe what I was reading. I called one of my contacts at Renault who unfortunately confirmed the news.

Why would Renault not want to sell the cable? Is the recharging time too long? Is there a safety issue? Do they want to open the market for cables and accessories to other manufacturers, who would assume all the related risks? To be provocative, we could ask whether they even want to sell the ZOE.

I really don’t understand the decision made by Renault when ALL other EV manufacturers provide this type of cable. Even the other EVs from the Renault range such as the Twizy, Fluence ZE and Kangoo ZE are all sold with the cable.

In any case, this is another disappointment for the people who have ordered the ZOE, who assumed that there would be a cable to charge the ZOE on their domestic socket at home. I imagine that there are compatible cables that will be available from other suppliers.

If someone at Renault would like to explain the reasoning behind this choice, we are ready to listen and to convey the information here at Automobile Propre. In the mean time, we are still perplexed!

UPDATE 14/01/2013 at 11h55 CET: some Automobile Propre readers called their dealerships and got confirmation that the cable was still available in the catalogue. Other readers called their dealerships and heard the contrary. I’ve sent an email to Renault to understand their official position.

UPDATE 14/01/2013 at 15h00 CET: the Press Officer for the Renault ZOE just called us to confirm that the cable for domestic sockets will not be available for the ZOE launch. She explained that Renault had conducted a series of tests over the last few months and something was not up to par for Renault – without going into the details of exactly what it was.

The dealership circuit had just been informed about this decision and so not every dealership was “aware”.

An EVSE cable for domestic sockets would be provided in the future, but there is no specific availability date for the time being.

All the people who have ordered the cable for their ZOE are being called on a “case by case” basis, especially the people who intended to use the cable on a daily basis, and for whom this decision will create a serious problem.

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