Renault has presented the keys of the first Zoe electric car to Arnaud Montebourg, French Minister of Industrial Recovery.

The first delivery of Zoe comes ahead of further deliveries set for between now and the end of 2012 and mass launch in the Renault network in first-quarter 2013.

Mr Montebourg ordered the car at the Paris Show in September and was presented with the keys to the first Zoe in the Cour d’Honneur of the Bercy Finance Ministry by Carlos Tavares, Chief Operating Officer of the Renault group.

Zoe, the spearhead of Renault’s Z.E. range, is the Group’s first full-electric car. The car qualifies for an EUR7,000 government environmental bonus, bringing the starting price in France down to EUR13,700 (including VAT).  

Commenting, Carlos Tavares, Chief Operating Officer of the Renault group, said: “The first ZOE delivery is a vital step in Renault’s electric vehicle offensive, aimed at making zero-emission mobility affordable for the greatest number. The commitment of the government and Mr Montebourg, as confirmed today, is a decisive advantage for making France a robust cornerstone of electric vehicle development and serves to reinforce Renault’s position as a French champion on the international stage.”  

The launch will be accompanied by the widespread development of public and private charging stations with the support of the taskforce headed by Philippe Hirtzman and tasked with stimulating and backing infrastructure projects in large urban agglomerations. 

The initiative is ideally embodied in the installation by the Ministry of Industrial Recovery of charging stations at the Bercy Finance Ministry. The move is part of the “Plan Automobile” announced by the French government on July 25, 2012 and providing for the installation of charging stations at government ministries and the inclusion of electric vehicles in public fleets.