Those chaps across the Channel have done it again. Renault just announced the new version of its all-electric ZOE Z.E. 40, its little all-electric technical wonder, will be coming to the UK. We should start seeing new Renault ZOEs zipping up and down our roads by January of 2017, and at a rather modest price to boot!

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The Renault ZOE – Little but Fierce

The ZOE has been ripping up sales figures since it debuted in 2012. It’s incredibly popular in France where Renault is headquartered, but the rest of Europe has caught ZOE fever as well. The fierce little supermini does quite well here at home, thank you ñ third in global sales behind France and Germany. Not only that, but it was Europe’s best-selling all-electric vehicle for 2015. Well done you, Renault!

The big draw with the ZOE is of course that it’s a powerhouse of new technology. The all-electric city car is ideal for its economy and classy styling, and it’s got all the bells and whistles you could want. The only blot on an otherwise spotless record is its range. The existing ZOE has a capacity that’s listed at around 130 miles, thanks to its 22kW battery.† The new Z.E. 40 has gotten a massive upgrade, though ñ a new 250-mile range. That’s some big figures for a little car!

All This Technology ñ Is It a Good Thing?

Nobody is going to argue that Renault’s all-electric ZOE isn’t fantastic. When you think about the new 2017 model, with its extended range, what could be better? If new tech leads us to affordable transport that doesn’t destroy the environment, what’s not to like?

Well, there is perhaps one thing. The newest Renaults and that includes the ZOE ñ don’t use traditional keys. Instead they use keycard technology. It’s basically a key fob without the key, and that’s what you use to unlock your car and drive away. In fact the only ‘key’ you’ll ever see is the emergency backup key built into the housing. That’s for unlocking the driver’s side door in case your Renault keycard needs new batteries.

No Key, No Problem, Right? Wrong.

There’s nothing that feels more futuristic than slipping a little black rectangle into your dash to start up your car. This little piece of plastic hides all sorts of technology inside, both to act as a keyless entry system and to disengage the immobiliser block so you can start the car.

You know where this is going, though. One wrong move and that little piece of plastic is toast. Misplacing a queer little device is all too easy, and then you’re going to be in a bit of trouble next time you’ve got to go anywhere. Even if you don’t lose it, the Renault keycard is much more fragile than a traditional set of keys. Renault warns against leaving it in extreme heat, cold, or in humid environments. It even recommends you don’t leave it in your back pocket!

It’s Not Exactly Convenient to Replace

Renault says you can return to your local dealer to get a replacement keycard if you lose or damage yours. You can’t just pop in and pick up a new one ñ the whole car has to be re-initialised to match it with the replacement key.

That’s all well and good, but what are you going to do if you damage or lose your keycard in the middle of the night, or far from home? Now that the new ZOE has a 250-mile range, there’s a higher chance you might get stranded on some dark, lonely B-road in the middle of the night. What’s a frustrated car owner to do?

No Matter the Tech, AutoLocks LTD Can Do the Job

This is where we come in. autolocks LTD has what it takes when it comes to modern car key systems. Our specialist car locksmiths can handle traditional transponder keys, key fobs, and ultra-modern technological marvels like Renault’s keycard system, so we can get you into your locked car in a manner of minutes.

Not only that, but we’re on call 24/7! If you live in London or the surrounding area, rescue is often less than 30 minutes away. Don’t wait all night for your Renault dealer’s opening hours ñ give autolocks LTD a call and we’ll have your car matched to the right electronic key before the night is through!