For his 100th birthday in 2018, Louis Moreau treated himself to… a ZOE. For this retired industrial designer concerned about the environment, this original gift was a gesture of activism: switching to electric is a way to preserve the future for the next generations.
Louis Moreau, avant-garde? “We were very early adopters of the washing machine, for example. But when I bought my ZOE, preserving the planet was foremost in my mind. That played a large part in my decision to switch to electric: I worry about the future of those who will outlive us, and especially the future of my ten great-grandchildren who are between 11 and 25 years old. Driving electric may be a small drop in the ocean, but what’s an ocean but a multitude of drops!”
In his 70 years of owning vehicles, Louis Moreau has been almost entirely faithful to Renault. It goes all the way back to his first car which he used, after the war, to transport the fabrics that he sold by the meter at markets. “My first Renault was a 4CV which I acquired in the early 1950s. My second, a 4L, was purchased in 1963. At the time, my son had just left for his military service and my daughter had just married. My wife and I found ourselves alone, just the two of us, and we wanted to switch to a smaller car than the one we had at the time. Our mechanic offered us a used 4L. We never left the diamond brand after that.” In the meantime, Louis Moreau became an industrial designer, spending his entire career at the Comptoir des Textiles Artificiels in the Lyon region, up until his retirement in 1975.
The list of vehicles Louis has owned includes six R5s, two R12s and several Clios. “I bought my first Clio second-hand. After that, I bought them all new, switching them out every three years. The last one was an automatic,” he adds.
Then, in 2017, Louis had a small health scare. His doctor allowed him to continue driving, but only for short trips. It was time to make the leap. “I now live near Cahors, next to my daughter, in the middle of the countryside. The nearest store is 3 km away. No longer being able to drive would mean losing my independence. So, I decided to treat myself to a ZOE for my 100th birthday. Why a Renault ZOE instead of another electric vehicle? The decision was easy: I’ve been driving Renault cars for so long! It’s important for me to stay loyal to a French manufacturer. Even in my daily life, when I’m doing my shopping, I pay attention to where the products I buy come from.”
Louis celebrated his 100th birthday on October 2nd, 2018. On the 11th, he became the owner of a used ZOE, a former service vehicle for the dealership in Gourdon, sporting an R110 engine and barely 1,000 km on the odometer. “Right away, I liked that it had the same ergonomic design as the Clio, that the dashboard was very similar. I was immediately able to get my bearings. I expected it to be more sluggish. In fact, the ZOE is quieter, but also more responsive. It takes off like an arrow and without any fits since it doesn’t have a gearbox. The Renault ZOE is very nice to drive.”
Louis uses his ZOE every day. “I take care of a friend who lives 9 km from me and who has trouble walking. I go and cook for her every day. I also use my vehicle several times a week to do my shopping in Cazals or for short drives.”
Louis is very happy with his choice. “With a ZOE, there’s no need to stop at a gas station! I charge it once a week, on Saturday night, using the charging station installed in my garage. I unplug it on Sunday morning, and my car is ready for the week. It’s become a habit.”
Copyright : Guillaume Rivière
Cities & planning