The 2016 e-Rallye Monte-Carlo saw Renault ZOEs combine second and third places overall with victory in the all-electric vehicle class.
This year’s event took the challenge a step further with a 1,300-kilometre route that incorporated six timed regularity zones (RZ), with some of the action taking place after nightfall.
Following back-to-back victories on the Rallye Monte-Carlo ZENN (Zero Emissions, No Noise) organised by the ACM (Automobile Club de Monaco) in 2014 and 2015, Renault decided to defend its record on this unique event this time around. For 2016, the competition was renamed the e-Rallye Monte-Carlo and featured classes for all types of energy (all-electric, hybrid, fuel cell, etc.), with the exception of 100-percent fossil fuels.
At the recent Paris Motor Show, Renault – the number one EV seller in Europe for the past four years – revealed that it has doubled the driving range of the ZOE. The top-selling model now boasts an NEDC range of 400 kilometres, equivalent to a real-world range of approximately 300 kilometres. Orders are already open for ZOEs equipped with the new Z.E.40 battery and deliveries are due to begin before the end of the year.
The 2016 e-Rallye Monte-Carlo (October 12-16) started in Fontainebleau, near Paris, France, and ended in Monaco. The entry list featured 34 crews who represented most of the manufacturers active in the market. Groupe Renault entered four ZOEs: two for specialists Greg Jonkerlynck / Yves Munier and Aurore Ferry / Pascal Ferry, plus one for Norwegian journalist Gro Flaaten and a fourth for French bloggers Alexandre Stricher (Autocult) / Michael Torregrossa (Automobile-Propre). Meanwhile, Adriana Karembeu, French model, actress and TV presenter, was part of the all-lady crew in the N°2 ZOE.
At the end of the four-day competition, which packed its fair share of surprises and drama (including a power cut across the whole of one town, punctures, torrential rain and night-time action until four o’clock in the morning), the ZOE not only topped the final order in the all-electric vehicle class but also claimed second and third places overall.
Third spot went to the Renault squad’s two bloggers in a car equipped with the new Z.E. 40 battery, while runner-up honours were bagged by privateers Christophe PONSET / Serge PASTOR whose ZOE was powered by a battery with a range of 240km.