Renault chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn may look like a Bond villain, but rather than threatening to end the world he's intent on saving it.

In October last year he launched Groupe Renault's 'Drive the Future 2022' strategic plan, which included a commitment to "eight pure electric and 12 electrified models as part of the [Renault] range" within five years.

But he didn't mention the head start, because Renault already had several pure electric vehicles in its line-up at that point, including the subject of this review.

In fact, the Renault Zoe has been on sale in France since 2012, and stands as Europe's best-selling electric vehicle.

In late 2017, Renault Australia dipped its toe in the electrified waters (risky...) by bringing the Zoe here within a "business-to-business and business-to-government framework."

And in July this year, due to allegedly popular demand, it was made available to private buyers through "selected dealerships"; currently two in Melbourne, and one each in Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane.

Just under $50,000 for a city-sized hatch is hardly cheap, but it's entry-level territory for electric vehicles in this market. And what price can you put on helping to save civilisation as we know it?

Let's find out.