Renault Zoe and BMW i3 – When the Electric Hatchbacks Hatched

Renault Zoe and bmw i3 split screen

Remember the early days of the modern electric vehicle revolution? So much has happened in the last few years that it seems like the beginning was a very long time ago. However, you only have to go back a little over a decade to the very first electric cars being released by legacy car manufacturers. The Renault Zoe and the BMW i3 were among the very first electric hatchbacks we saw on the road.

With more great hatchbacks being released all the time, such as the Vauxhall Corsa-e, the Volkswagen ID.3 and the MG4, it seems only fitting to look back on when the hatchbacks first hatched.

Zoe – A Beautiful Name for a Beautiful Car

First of all, let’s have a look at the Renault Zoe. Renault were very clever with the release of their first electric car. With a lot of similarities to the already popular Renault Clio, the Renault Zoe looked very much like a conventional car. The early offerings even had a physical handbrake that you had to pull up. You won’t see that too often anymore.

There was a comforting feeling of familiarity about the car, which has endured through all upgrades since. Small, fun to drive and a nice performer on the road. One of the first electric cars available is still one of the best small city/town cars today. It is perfect for anyone looking to transition without dealing with lots of new gadgets.

White Renault Zoe facing left

Modern Renault Zoe

As popular as ever, the Renault Zoe has seen a few upgrades since the first edition. Gone is the big handbrake. The infotainment system has also been upgraded to fit in with the vastly changing technology. Bigger batteries also mean that the car can go further than ever before.

Our latest Renault Zoe is the GT Line R135 version. This lovely little car will give you a very good 195 miles of range in real world terms. The top speed is 87mph and you can achieve 0-60mph in 9.2 seconds. These are fantastic figures for a great vehicle.


BMW i3 Brings on the Bling

The BMW i3 and the Renault Zoe both came out within a year of each other. Renault went with the conventional look, as we have discussed. BMW… not so much. The BMW i3 was a real statement. It was saying “the electric age is here, and we’re going to do things differently, so strap yourselves in”!

First of all, let’s talk about the design language. Wow! Is there a car on the road that is more recognisable and equally as popular as the i3? I really don’t think there is. In many years to come it won’t be the shape of the first Tesla that we will instantly remember, it will be the BMW i3. Then there’s the doors. Suicide doors on a vehicle was almost unheard of with popular vehicles. BMW includes them on the i3 and they suddenly become quite cool and quirky.

BMW i3 with doors open

BMW i3: A Decade Later

2022 was a sad year for many. BMW decided to stop making the i3 and it was the end of an era. The North American market stopped early in the year, with the European market following a few months later. For many, this vehicle came to an end far too soon.

EVision continues to hire out the most recent model of the BMW i3. That being the BMW i3 120ah. We can’t see hires of this car dwindling any time soon as it is still a much desired automobile. Looking at the specs, it’s easy to see why. A real world range of 170 miles is still respectable in the modern market. The top speed is 93mph and you can get from 0-60mph in just 7.2 seconds! Seriously impressive stuff.

HIRE A BMW I3 120ah

Hatchbacks – The Future

Although the electric car market continues to be dominated by the SUV style vehicle, hatchbacks have been seriously coming on strong recently. We are happy to offer quite a wide range of these vehicles for our customers, including the Corsa-e, Mokka-e, ID.3 and the Cupra Born.

BMW i3 may be no more, and the Renault Zoe will have a limited shelf life as more and more manufacturers move to bespoke EV platforms. However, the hatchback market is really strong, and so much is owed to those cars that paved the way for them to succeed.

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