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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking to buy a R90 Zoe ZE40.
I have a test drive booked for Monday, but the nearest dealer is 60km and at least 75mins driving.
My driveway has 33% gradient and is 80metres long. That is STEEP!
Has anyone been able to take a Zoe up such a gradient (or steeper)?
Knowing this for sure would save me 120km of extra driving on Monday. I don't want to buy one and then find it cannot get to the garage.
Most but not all ICE cars can get up the driveway and very few trucks make it. If you stop (in an ICE car) half way up, you need to reverse back to the start and try again.
I look forward to hearing from anyone with firsthand experience.

Many thanks,
David
 

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I have quite a steep but short drive leading onto quite a steep hill and my ZOE didn't have problems except a bit in the snow. I'm not sure I could guess, though, at what gradient it would start to struggle.

I now have an i3 but it sits on the same bit of drive. I've no idea if that helps you.

 

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Co-author of CanZE. Q210 nov 2013
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I cannot help but give you some sort of theoretical model.
1) At full acceleration on a flat road (roughly 5m/s*s) the forward force is in the order of 7400 N. (SSP for the calculations: Torque, acceleration, powerrrrr )
2) To push up say 1500 kg onto a 30% slope requires roughly 4500 N

I wouldn't worry a bit.

I am not sure though if ZOE is wiling to give the same torque in reverse.
 

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Only way to know is to borrow one and drive up it... I'd think an EV would be much easier to do it in as they have no gears and full torque available.

I've taken the Smurf up Winnants pass and that is fairly steep and quite long. Didn't have any bother at all with it. There's some quite steep roads in the Staffordshire Moorlands and I've accidentally been up a few terrible ones and not had issues.

I'd think most EVs are a total breeze on roads like this compared to any normal car. No need to faff with gears and lose momentum at all.

Somewhere in the owner manual there's usually gradients a car is capable of in any gear. I'd expect the zoe manual would have that info somewhere.
 

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I don’t think it’s an issue. Remember it can generate full torque from almost zero rpm.

We have an underground garage with a steep exit and it’s gone up that with no problem.
 

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Plenty of 30% or greater gradients around North Yorkshire, I did these with relative easy in Zoe with roofbox. However you won't make it in eco-mode.
 

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AFAIK cars have to be able to pull off from stationary on a 33% slope at maximum train mass. This is what actually qualifies a car's maximum towing mass. So by definition, yes.

(In this case, Zoe has no towing mass, but the same would apply to its maximum authorised mass which must be capable of this).

I will mention though, if you have not already experienced likewise with other cars, EVs have oodles of zero speed torque, which means a Zoe, or any other EV, will happily rip your drive up as it accelerates up it, so be gentle and not too aggressive.
 

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Has anyone been able to take a Zoe up such a gradient (or steeper)?
Yes. Do you know Air Balloon hill near Gloucester (actually it's called something else, but the Air Balloon pub is at the top.) Went up that a few weeks ago, accelerating. Left a guy in a Focus who was trying his hardest to keep up and failing miserably.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi Everyone,
Many thanks for the helpful responses, which lead me to believe it should be no problem.
I like the thought that I need 4,500Newtons and will have 7,000 available.
I am in Sydney, Australia so I do not know the referenced UK places.
The Zoe only became available here in Australia a few months ago so I am envious of the knowledge base in Europe. Indeed, it was only initially available to fleet owners with private sales starting some weeks ago.
There are absolutely no incentives or benefits for EVs here, so the take up rate to date has been miniscule.
The Renault dealer is willing for us to bring a Zoe 60kms and 75minutes driving (plus return) so we can double check the driveway and I will let you know how it goes.
Best Regards,
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I did look up the Air Balloon Hill gradient (I found a proposal by the Highways Agency to flatten it out). That document says the gradient is steep and they claim it is 9%. My 33% is even difficult to walk up or down. The steepest road in Sydney is quite famous and is 25% with the second most steep being 20%. 20% is the maximum gradient that is allowed here in multi-level carparks and the like.
Cheers,
Dave
 

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You are making it sound like a 45 degree slope - it’s only 18 degrees ;)

There are plenty of 1 in 4 and 1 in 5 roads that people have no trouble with.

Have you ever drive an electric golf buggy - they just power up hills because if their torque.

The Zoe will beat most cars off the line at the traffic lights

It’s not a milk float ;)

JJ
 

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I'm not crazy, the attack has begun.
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I did look up the Air Balloon Hill gradient (I found a proposal by the Highways Agency to flatten it out). That document says the gradient is steep and they claim it is 9%. My 33% is even difficult to walk up or down. The steepest road in Sydney is quite famous and is 25% with the second most steep being 20%. 20% is the maximum gradient that is allowed here in multi-level carparks and the like.
Cheers,
Dave
So, have you actually had any cars up or down this, just out of interest, or is it a new test just because EVs have now made it possible!?

FWIW I would recommend reversing up. Bear in mind this is a FWD so to achieve the maximum traction you need the driven wheels to the rear.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hi Donald,
We have had the driveway (5 houses share it) for 18 years. Most, but not all ICE cars can make it up. As far as I know, no EV has tried (there are very few in Oz). We have a Peugeot 508GT (turbo) which gets up okay. We have a Volvo V70 petrol (with the more powerful engine). It gets up with a run-up but if you stop, you must reverse back to the bottom and start again. Almost no trucks can make it & they need to reverse up. 4WDs typically cannot get up unless in low range. A number of small FWD ICE cars fail to get up- wheelspin forwards and not enough grunt in reverse.
Hi Problemchild,
I am glad people have no trouble with 1 in 5 and 1 in 4. I just want to be sure about 1 in 3! Yes, I frequently drive golf buggies and I can confidently say they will not get up our (shared) driveway. There are some similar hills on a nearby golf course.
My calculations of Zoe torque, overall gear reduction, tyre+wheel diameter indicate the Zoe will make it (also as pointed out by yoh-there) and that 40% (ie 1 in 2.5) might be the Zoe limit.
Price of the Intens here is A$55,000 (*0.55 for GBPs). No rebates or discounts of any sort- we are an extremely backward country where EVs (and a few other things) are concerned.
I don't want to spend this amount of cash and then find I cannot get up the driveway!
If there is someone who has been up a known 33% (or greater) slope in a Zoe, then I would be very happy and not bother with the 120km round trip to check it on Monday. We have to drive through Sydney, pick up the Zoe from the other side, drive it back through Sydney to here, do the test, drive back again, then return home in the Peugeot.
Cheers,
Dave
 

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We have to drive through Sydney, pick up the Zoe from the other side, drive it back through Sydney to here, do the test, drive back again, then return home in the Peugeot.
Cheers,
That'll be enough to convince you that you want a Zoe ;)
 

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1 in 2.something we have done. It was not a public road, but a driveway on a campsite.

Zoe did not struggle, but you could definitely feel the cogging of the motor. Traction was good so no wheelspin. We have done similar on some challenging google nav routes across hills no sane person not in a 4x4 wouldn't attempt. I do this without fear, knowing the Zoe is absolutely more capable on hills than any ice vehicle I have driven. Regardless of this, I still think you should arrange the test, it will put a smile on your face:)
 

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Not a direct comparison but when I first had my Zoe I had 4 people on board with a combined weight of around 700 pounds. My daughter-in-law was in Zoe for the first time and asked what it was like going up hills. I happened to be near a steep hill at the time and indicated to turn into it. Wife and daughter-in-law both asked (in worried tones) if I was sure I wanted to do this. Zoe accelerated quickly up the hill beyond 30mph with no noticeable difference to performance on the flat. Both quickly shouted out "Ok, Ok you've proved your point".

I don't think that you will have a problem but if I was in your position I would still be wanting to check it out in practice. Look forward to hearing the results.
 

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Hi Donald,
We have had the driveway (5 houses share it) for 18 years. Most, but not all ICE cars can make it up. As far as I know, no EV has tried (there are very few in Oz). We have a Peugeot 508GT (turbo) which gets up okay. We have a Volvo V70 petrol (with the more powerful engine). It gets up with a run-up but if you stop, you must reverse back to the bottom and start again. Almost no trucks can make it & they need to reverse up. 4WDs typically cannot get up unless in low range. A number of small FWD ICE cars fail to get up- wheelspin forwards and not enough grunt in reverse.
Hi Problemchild,
I am glad people have no trouble with 1 in 5 and 1 in 4. I just want to be sure about 1 in 3! Yes, I frequently drive golf buggies and I can confidently say they will not get up our (shared) driveway. There are some similar hills on a nearby golf course.
My calculations of Zoe torque, overall gear reduction, tyre+wheel diameter indicate the Zoe will make it (also as pointed out by yoh-there) and that 40% (ie 1 in 2.5) might be the Zoe limit.
Price of the Intens here is A$55,000 (*0.55 for GBPs). No rebates or discounts of any sort- we are an extremely backward country where EVs (and a few other things) are concerned.
I don't want to spend this amount of cash and then find I cannot get up the driveway!
If there is someone who has been up a known 33% (or greater) slope in a Zoe, then I would be very happy and not bother with the 120km round trip to check it on Monday. We have to drive through Sydney, pick up the Zoe from the other side, drive it back through Sydney to here, do the test, drive back again, then return home in the Peugeot.
Cheers,
Dave
I predict that not only will you have no problem with a Zoe, it will also be the easiest and most well controlled ascent of your minor mountain from any car that you will have driven.
 
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