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Renault Zoe plans axed in Australia

Au revoir, Zoe. Renault's petite mademoiselle électrifié is departing the Australian market as the brand focuses on SUVs.

Scott Collie
Scott Collie
Deputy Editor

Renault’s compact electric Zoe hatchback is on its last legs in Australia.

Although some stock of the current model remains, the heavily overhauled 2020 Zoe originally slated to arrive Down Under in the middle of 2020 is no longer coming to local showrooms.

“Electric cars remain a curiosity on Australian roads, with around 5000 sales in the segment last year” said Charly Clercin, Renault Australia senior product manager.

Sales figures from VFACTS reveal Renault has sold just 63 examples of the Zoe since it arrived in 2017.

The Zoe and Clio are both victims of Renault’s push to focus on “segments demonstrating sustainability and growth, with far greater volume ambitions than… Zoe could ever come close to” in Australia.

But there’s also a hint head office wasn’t willing to build the Zoe for a market as small as ours while demand in Europe and the United Kingdom is strong.

“With such limited numbers, it makes it a difficult case to present to head office – especially when they’re selling more than 10,000 units a month [overseas],” Clercin told media.

It’s a familiar tale for carmakers in Australia, which didn’t have a fleet emissions target until Friday last week.

With tiny volumes, limited government support, and no need to import electric vehicles to meet strict emissions targets, Australia is very low on the priority list where EVs are concerned.

Volkswagen Australia will have to wait until 2023 for the ID.4 SUV, while Kia has been forced to delay the rollout of its e-Niro because of strong European demand.

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Scott Collie
Scott Collie

Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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