Renault Zoe etymology: What does its name mean?

The Renault Zoe is the French brand’s electric vehicle. With cute styling and up to 400km range, it’s popular on the Continent, but what does its name mean?


The name Zoe was reportedly chosen because because it sounds like “ΖΩΗ” or “ζωή”, which is Greek for life.

It probably helps too that the first and last letters, Z and E, are used by Renault on its other electric vehicles, such as the Fluence ZE and Kangoo ZE. In those instances, ZE stands for zero emissions.

Interesting tidbit: In 2010, Zoe Renault, a Parisian woman, sued the company to stop them from naming their soon-to-be-released EV as the Renault Zoe. She said she couldn’t bear the thought of people saying their “Zoe is being overhauled” or that “Zoe has broken down”.

She lost the case, and Renault did in fact name their EV Zoe.

Source: Autocar and BBC



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Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Editor-at-large — Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]