I will try my best to provide detailed info on various cars and what is like to live with them, I have already produced a few for Jaguar-car-forums, I will do my best to be unbiased, but it will be hard for some cars. I will re-produce press releases and copy from other motoring news.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Car sharing club is on a charge thanks to a new fleet of All-Electric Renault ZOE Supermini's.

  • 20 electric Renault ZOE superminis added to Co-wheels fleet
  • New Renault ZOEs drive growth of Co-wheels to over 50 UK locations
  • 100% electric vehicle perfect for car sharing club model
  • ZOE is the most affordable car to hire from Co-wheels
A 20-strong fleet of 100 per cent electric Renault ZOEs has enabled the only independently owned national car sharing club to expand its social enterprise-focused operation to over 50 UK locations.

Co-wheels has introduced the innovative Renault ZOE to a number of new sites in Scotland this year, the most recent being in Aberdeen, Dumfries and Dundee. The club, which provides low emission, hybrid and electric cars on a pay-as-you-go basis for organisations and communities, has further locations for EVs in the pipeline with the ZOE confirmed as its electric car of choice.
The club chose the Renault ZOE against other electric cars due to the value it represents and also its driveability. Co-wheels are finding the five-door hatchback very easy to use and ideal for members who have never driven an electric car before. All of the club’s ZOEs have been bought outright or funded via Government grants.
Co-wheels customers can hire a Renault ZOE for only £3.75 an hour or £22.50 for 24 hours. As part of the club’s drive to encourage electric car use, Co-wheels does not make an additional charge for mileage – making the ZOE its most affordable car to hire.
Pierre Fox, Director, Co-wheels, said: “Feedback to the Renault ZOE has been excellent, customers liking how simple it is to drive and finding the controls to be very straightforward. It’s the ideal size too, and is the perfect vehicle for our car sharing model with 90 per cent of customers’ journeys being local.
“Using the ZOE also fits with us operating as a social enterprise with a commitment to improving society and the environment. We aim to help our members save money, reduce car ownership and create a cleaner environment by making lower impact transport options available, and because we have received grants for some of the cars, we are able to pass this saving onto our customers.
“Everyone who has driven one of our ZOEs has been very positive about the experience, so much so that when it comes to adding more electric cars at new or existing locations, it will be our preferred choice of vehicle.”
Ben Fletcher, Renault UK’s Electric Vehicle Product Manager, said: “Co-wheels’ decision to use the Renault ZOE as its number one electric car perfectly illustrates how more and more drivers are finding the versatile hatchback ideal for their requirements and how Renault is rapidly increasing its share of the growing EV sector. We’re very pleased that the ZOE is proving so popular with Co-wheels customers and is helping them to lower their motoring costs and also do their bit to help preserve their local environment.”
The Renault ZOE is an all-electric, five-door family hatchback available in three trim levels that comes with a very high level of standard specification, despite its competitive price-tag, which starts from £13,445 after the Government Plug-in Car Grant. Standard specification includes items such as climate control and sat-nav. 
ZOE is available with a number of features that make for seamless electric vehicle ownership including remote monitoring of the battery and pre-heating the cabin via your smartphone. ZOE also benefits from the patented Chameleon™ Charger that allows it to make the most of the widest range of power supplies and also keep charging times to a minimum – charging from zero to 80 per cent full in as little as 30 minutes.  The official NEDC range is 149 miles – Renault estimates that in real-world driving conditions that this equates to around 106 miles in summer and 71 miles in winter. Retail ZOE customers also enjoy the free installation of a fast-charging 7kW wall box at home, giving a standard charge time from 0-100 per cent of just 3-4 hours.
Awarded the titles of What Car? 2015 ‘Best Electric Car for less than £20,000’ and ‘Best Electric Vehicle’ in the Auto Express Driver Power 2015 survey, the Renault ZOE is an affordable route to zero emissions in-use motoring. 
In addition to the ZOE supermini, the Renault Z.E range also includes the Twizy urban runaround, an innovative open-sided two-seater vehicle, and the Kangoo Van Z.E that is perfectly suited to many commercial applications with its choice of four bodystyles and 106-mile range (NEDC).
In a UK electric car market up 54.5 per cent September year-to-date, sales of Renault electric vehicles in the UK were up by 92.4 per cent, to 1,316 vehicles, compared to the same period last year – dramatically outpacing the overall EV market of 54.4%.Renault Group UK sales for September YTD – comprising Renault cars, vans and Dacia vehicles – were up 17.4 per cent to 97,257 vehicles on the same period in 2014, again, significantly outpacing the overall market growth of 8.2 per cent. 

The worlds Fastest and lightest pure electric two seater sports car has just had it's first car off the line in the UK

  • First SP:01 pure electric sports car is produced at Leamington Spa, UK, facility
  • All-new high-performance model destined for first customer
  • SP:01 is the world’s lightest and fastest two-seat pure-electric sports car
The first production Detroit Electric SP:01, the lightest and fastest two-seat pure-electric sports car in the world, has rolled off the line at the company’s Leamington Spa manufacturing facility. The new SP:01 is destined for one of Detroit Electric’s export markets to be delivered to the EV company’s first customer.

The lightweight SP:01, which goes on sale in Asia and Europe over the coming weeks, combines a carbon fibre body with an aluminium chassis. It has a class-leading power to weight ratio and promises blistering acceleration, reaching 60mph from standstill in just 3.7 seconds* (0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds) and sprinting to an impressive top speed of 155mph (249km/h). 
Featuring a 285HP / 210kW electric motor, the car is fitted with a single-speed automatic transmission as standard, with the option of twin-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmissions.
Albert Lam, Chairman and Group CEO of Detroit Electric commented: “We are thrilled to see our first production car roll off the line at our UK manufacturing site. Our first customer is sure to appreciate the unique experience of driving the SP:01 as we’ve worked hard to develop technologies that ensure it is one of the most rewarding pure electric sports cars to drive.
“Seeing our vision realised is hugely satisfying and we can now focus on fulfilling a growing bank of orders. As our production process builds momentum, we look forward to providing this unique electric sports car to our customers all over the world,” he added.
The battery in the SP:01 has been integrated into the chassis as a stressed member, adding stiffness to enhance handling and safety. The battery is the most energy-dense automotive battery pack in the world, offering over 140Wh/kg, benefitting range while keeping overall vehicle weight low.
Every Detroit Electric comes with built-in bi-directional charge and discharge capability. Made possible through the patented Detroit Electric home charging and power back-up unit – named ‘360-Powerback’ – the unit turns the vehicle into a power source for both the grid and the home. 
An advanced Battery Management System (BMS) gathers data about the car’s battery health and on-board telematics communicate it directly to the factory.
The SP:01 comes equipped with an app-based system called ‘SAMI’ (Smartphone Application Managed Infotainment), which utilises Android technology and is fully compatible with Android Auto, providing safe access to a host of apps and internet functionality. 
SAMI allows users to search for nearby roadside charge points and then pre-book charging time, as well as review billing and credit information relating to their charge-point use.
When away from the SP:01, owners can use SAMI as a remote control unit via GSM, enabling them to locate the vehicle, turn on the climate control system and check the charge status. 
When in the car, the SAMI-enabled smartphone is installed in the centre console and becomes the interface for a wide range of functions, including music player, satellite navigation, regenerative braking adjustment, interior lighting and vehicle systems status – such as the level of battery charge, range to recharge and other telemetry.
Detroit Electric has established distributors throughout Europe and Asia extending from the North (Iceland and Norway) and the East (Azerbaijan, South Korea, China and Hong Kong) to the South (South Africa), with additional countries due to join the growing global network over the coming months.  
Retail prices for the SP:01 in Europe and Asia will be announced shortly.

Renault Group sees Q3 gains, in line with Q1 and Q2, and expects full year results to be significantly higher.

Renault Group maintained its pace of growth in the third quarter. In Europe, buoyant markets and the success of its new products continued benefiting the firm. Outside Europe, its market share increased or remained stable in all regions.
  • In the third quarter of 2015, Renault Group registrations were up 1.2%, at 620,525 units.
  • In Europe, Group registrations increased by nearly 21,000 units (+6.5%), supported particularly by the success of new models. The order backlog increased considerably compared with 2014.
  • Outside Europe, the Group gained market share in Eurasia (+1.5 points) and in the Americas (+0.5 points) where the main national markets were down.
  • Renault Group revenues came to €9.34 billion in the third quarter, up 9.4% compared with the same period in 2014.
  • Automotive revenue increased 10.2% to €8.80 billion, still supported by sales to partners.
  • The Group confirms its guidance for 2015.
Business results: highlights of the third quarter of 2015
Renault Group registrations (620,525 units in the quarter) were up 1.2%, in a global automotive market down 0.2%. Group registrations grew by 7,288 units in the third quarter, compared to an increase of 9,806 during the first half of the year.

In Europe, the Renault Group recorded a 6.5% increase in its registrations, in a market which continued to grow (+9.8%). Despite these additional 20,802 registrations over the period, the group’s market share dropped by 0.3 points to 9.0%.
The success of the most recent launches, Kadjar and Espace, together with the strength of Captur and Clio, greatly enhanced the order book (44,000 units more than at end-September 2014). This success should have a positive effect on the Group's sales performance in Europe for the last quarter.
The Group recorded strong increases in registrations in most European countries. In particular, a strong performance was posted in the United Kingdom (+22.3%), the Netherlands (+21.7%), Spain (+16.2%),Portugal (+21.1%) and in Poland (+25.4 %).
The Renault brand drove the Group's performance with volumes up 23,199 units, i.e. +9.8% compared with the same period in 2014. The market share of the Dacia brand decreased by 0.3 points, to 2.1% of the European market.
In France, Group sales decreased slightly, by 186 units. In the third quarter, its market share decreased by 1.4 points to 24.4%. Renault Clio is still the best-selling vehicle in France, across all segments.
Outside of Europe, the Group maintained its market share. In a market down 5.1%, the Group's registrations fell 4.6% and accounted for 45.4% of total volumes in the period. The Group gained market share in the Americas (+0.5 points), Eurasia (+1.5 points) and remained stable in Africa Middle-East India (+0.1 points) and in Asia-Pacific (0.0 points).
In the Americas, Group registrations fell by only 5.3% in a market down 12.5%. In Brazil, the Group's second-largest market worldwide, Renault strengthened its position and its market share increased by 0.3 points to 7.4%. In Argentina, Group registrations increased sharply over the period. With 5,437 more units than in 2014, they increased by 26.3%. The Group’s market share reached 14.6%, up by 2.6 points.
In the Eurasia Region, market share increased by 1.5 points. Group sales fell by 1.2%, in a market down 13.9%. In Russia, where the Group is aiming to defend margins, the decline in market share was limited to 0.5 points. Group registrations fell by 29.8%, in a market down 25.3%. In Turkey, Renault Group registrations shot up by 31.6%, in a market up 23.5% over the quarter. The Group gained 1.1 points of market share, which came to 17.1%.
In the Africa, Middle-East, India Region, Group registrations fell by 4.8%, in a market down 6.6%. As a result, Group market share increased by 0.1 points. In Algeria, the Group limited the drop in registrations to -36.7% in a market down 48.6%, disrupted by regulatory changes. Renault Group consolidated its leadership with a market share up 6.4 points, to 34%. In India, pending the launch of Kwid sales (which already recorded more than 50,000 pre-orders as of today), the Group's sales fell by 4,818 vehicles and its market share by 0.7 points.
In Asia-Pacific, Group market share was stable over the quarter with registrations down 11.2%. In China,pending the start of its local production in early 2016 in the leading market worldwide, the Group recorded a drop in sales equal to 6,735 units. In Korea, with sales up by 2,770 units over the period, Renault Samsung Motors continued to grow (+16.6%) faster than the market (+12.5%). Its market share, up by 0.2 points, has now reached 4.5%.
Third-quarter revenues by operating sector
In the third quarter of 2015, Group revenues increased by 9.4% to €9,336 million.
Automotive revenues grew 10.2% to €8,802 million. Continued growth in sales to partners accounted for 5.2 points of this increase. The 0.6 point volume effect is lower than the increase in registrations (+1.2 points) due to the CKD[1] activities recorded under sales to partners. The geographic mix was down 0.6 point mainly explained by the sales drop in Asia. The product mix was positive by 2.3 points thanks to the success of Kadjar and Espace sales. The positive price effect of 2.3 points was attributable to:
- Price increases, in particular in emerging markets, to offset drops in currency,
- An improved version mix.

The currency impact was negative by 2.2 points, due mainly to the weak Russian ruble and Brazilian real.
"Other" items recorded a positive effect of 2.6 points, following the improved contribution of "parts & accessories", used vehicle sales, and the re-invoicing of R&D to partners.
Sales financing (RCI Banque) contributed to Group revenues for €534 million, down 2.2% compared with the same period in 2014. This decrease was due to lower interest rates in Europe and the drop in some currencies. Average performing loans increased by 12.8% and came to €28.8 billion in the third quarter of 2015. The number of new financing contracts increased 15.2%, compared with the third quarter of 2014.
The European car market should grow 8% this year, with a French market up 5%. Our main emerging markets should remain adverse and volatile in the fourth quarter.
Within this context, the Group confirms its guidance:
  • increase its registrations and revenues (at constant exchange rates),
  • improve the Group’s operating margin and that of the Automotive division,
  • generate a positive Automotive operational free cash flow.
[1]CKD : completeKnockdown
Renault group consolidated revenues
(in € million)2015

1st quarter   
Automotive8,8297,727+14.3 %
Sales financing559530+5.5 %
Total9,3888,257+13.7 %
2nd quarter   
Automotive12,23611,012+11.1 %
Sales financing573551+4.0 %
Total12,80911,563+10.8 %
3rd quarter   
Automotive8,8027,984+10.2 %
Sales financing534546-2.2 %
Total9,3368,530+9.4 %
9 months   
Automotive29,86726,723+11.8 %
Sales financing1,6661,627+2.4 %
Total31,53328,350+11.2 %