Beyond hyper-mileage: how two Renault Zoes broke the anxiety of the range Car News

Earlier this month, a Renault Zoe E-Tech R135 EV 50kWh GT Line without any changes to its factory specs set a new record by covering almost 425 miles on a single charge – 180 miles over its range. official WLTP. That should silence the EV range’s worries, except that it did so at an average speed of just 19 mph around a racetrack and without any of its comfort features activated. Even when day turned to night, the Zoe’s headlights remained off, the team of six drivers relying on night vision goggles, the car’s daytime running lights, and fluorescent beacons for them. guide.

So, gentle laps on a closed circuit in a Zoe whose driver is almost blind, freezing at night and hot during the day. What was the point? Well, set that new record to begin with. It surpassed the one defined in 2018 by French journalist Pierre Desjardins driving a Zoe R110 with a smaller 40 kWh battery. He coaxed his car to 351 miles, 165 miles more than his official WLTP range. Remarkably, he did this on the Paris Peripherique, although he was able to adapt to the traffic and the ambient temperature was 35 degrees Celsius.

Congratulations again to Desjardins but also to the six British drivers and their support team who, despite the hardships, guided their Zoe E-Tech R135 EV 50kWh GT Line around Thruxton for more than 24 hours and in the record books. In fact, they drove two Zoes, the second an identical model but with a new low rolling resistance tire design made by Enso. Thanks to its special boots, this Zoe covered no less than 475.4 miles, bringing in 10.5 miles per kilowatt hour compared to 9.1 miles from the standard Michelin Primacy car and 7.9 miles from the Desjardins Zoé.

Endurance tests like these depend on the quality of the people doing them and at Thruxton there was no shortage of good people. The record attempt was organized by Mission Motorsport, the armed forces motorsport charity. All six of the drivers except one were veterans of the forces while the sixth, Kevin Booker, is an electric vehicle fleet manager with a passion for hypermiling, the term to twist every drop of a car’s range.

They were gone first, each driver doing a 20 mile stint, at sunrise 0452. To keep their batteries warm, the cars had spent the night in the restaurant at the Thruxton Center but it was foggy and only 7deg C so , with rapid cooling underperforming batteries, the attempt was canceled after 52 miles and the batteries recharged for a restart at 9.40 a.m.

“No plan survives first contact,” said James Cameron, Founder and CEO of Mission Motorsport, in a truly military way. That’s why the team had trained for two full weeks before the record attempt, honing their hypermiling techniques (they rolled barefoot, using their toes to press the accelerator) under Booker’s watchful eye. “I know it so well now that I could ride the 2.4 mile circuit in the dark, in my sleep and blindfolded,” he told me.

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This notice was published: 2021-06-20 05:01:24

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