The Zoe Electric Motor

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The original Zoe electric motor was known as the Q210, a 65 kW synchronous electric motor supplied by Continental (a leading German automotive manufacturing company). The 210 in the Q210 reflects the NEDC range of 210 km.

In mid-2015, a smaller electric motor developed and manufactured in-house was released, called the R240, to reflect the NEDC range of 240 km. It has very similar power and torque to the Q210 with an extended NEDC range. However, the Q210 is still used in the “rapid charging” versions of the Zoe, as it can charge up to 43 kW, whereas the R240 only charges at a rate of up to 22 kW.

Both the NEDC ranges of the Q210 and R240 were based on the original 22 kWh battery. With the release in 2017 of a 41 kWh battery, the naming system did not make so much sense. Thus for the 2017 release, the Q210 was renamed as the Q90 and the R240 was renamed as the R90, where the 90 refers to the motor power in horse power. While being quaintly imperial of the French (as opposed to the more metric unit of kW), this nomenclature does match Renault’s naming scheme for its internal combustion engines.

The Q210 does have one other important drawback however, and that is that it charges very slowly using the manufacturer’s 2.3 kW EVSE, in the order of 17-18 hours. If you are going to buy a Q210/Q90 you will want to make sure that you can charge it at 3.6 kW at the very least. As the Renault EVSE is generally supplied as an extra, if you buy the Q210 you might want to look at buying an alternate EVSE. This issue was largely overcome with the R240.

ZOE motor
(Original naming)
ZOE motor
(2017- )
AKA Maximum
charging rate
R240 R90 5AGEN3 22 kW (Rapid) 68 kW / 92 hp
Q210 Q90 5AGEN2 43 kW (Quick) 65 kW / 88 hp

At around 65 kW the Zoe’s electric motor is considerably less than the Nissan Leaf of 80 kW. While the Zoe is certainly more than capable of generating the ‘EV grin’, you do notice the power difference particularly when going up hills, although still more than adequate. And even around town, if you jump back into the Leaf after driving the Zoe for a while, you certainly can get a nice reminder of that little bit of extra kick.