As the investigation into possible corporate espionage at Renault has taken an unexpected turn (more on this in a moment), the French automaker has announced that their upcoming four-door electric Zoe will be one of the first mass-produced, battery-swap capable vehicles on the market. Although the photos you're seeing here are of the concept, Renault is claiming the production car will look like 90 percent of the sleek concept.
The base price of the car is expected to be around €15,000 (around $20,700), but this doesn't include the cost of leasing the battery pack. That has an estimated $100 per month rate. It's powered by a 80hp electric motor that produces 164 lb-ft of torque. It can run up to 99 miles on a full charge and its quick-charge ability enables a quick 10 minute plug-in time that generates an addition 37 miles of driving. The battery-swap capability is the real unique thing, allowing the car to be back on the road in less than three minutes.
Sounds like something very innovative and possibly game changing in this increasingly competitive segment. Someone else thought so as well as Renault is wrapping up the supposed corporate leak of their electric car program to an unknown buyer. Three execs were suspected of involvement and subsequently terminated. However, Renault has failed to provide definitive proof and it appears they've been the victim of a possible hoax. The three ex-employees are currently preparing law suits against Renault defamation.