Renault’s customers are partial to leasing their batteries, an option that very few electric car producers have offered. There are certainly pros and cons to leasing the battery versus buying it as part of the car, but there’s no doubt that ZOE buyers/lessees overwhelmingly choose the former. In fact, 94% of UK ZOE owners leased their battery in 2016. Furthermore, Renault just hit a big milestone, with more ZOE drivers having leased a battery than most brands can claim for total EV sales.
“Renault has signed its 100,000th electric vehicle battery leasing contract via RCI Bank and Services, the financial services arm of Groupe Renault,” the company notes. “Renault, Europe’s leading electric vehicle manufacturer, has offered battery leasing since the launch of its first electric vehicle.”
Renault’s focus on leasing batteries may be related to the young nature of the modern EV world and the company’s uncertainty about battery longevity. Or perhaps it’s simply a matter of marketing/sales — a lower upfront cost and monthly lease price is more attractive to many buyers, and perhaps that’s a key reason the ZOE sells so well. Either way, a related reassuring matter is Renault’s lifetime warranty on leased batteries means: “If the battery fails, or if its energy capacity drops significantly, Renault will change or repair it free of charge, for the duration of the vehicle’s lifecycle. Therefore, used car buyers benefit from a guaranteed level of battery performance, which is a significant advantage for owners.”
Renault also highlighted again its plans to allow current ZOE drivers to upgrade their batteries to a new, higher-capacity option. This is atypical in the auto world, but Renault also isn’t the first company to offer it. Interestingly, Renault gives credit for this capability to its battery leasing business. “Thanks to battery leasing, from later in 2017, owners of a ZOE equipped with a 22kWh pack will be able to upgrade to the Z.E. 40 battery, and benefit from increased range (NEDC range of 250 miles, real-world range of 186 miles in temperate conditions), for an additional cost – further information and pricing will be announced closer to the time.”
Renault offers affordable rates, which is one reason the ZOE performs so well on the sales charts. Going even further, one of the benefits of the battery leasing model is that it allows customers to pay less if they drive less. An updated battery leasing model offers a far lower rate for people who drive only a little bit versus a lot.
“With the arrival of the new Z.E. 40 battery pack, Renault has introduced a more streamlined pricing scheme which is banded and reflects estimated annual mileage ensuring ZOE drivers only pay for what they need, starting from as little as £49 per month. New for 2017 is the ‘Unlimited’ option for retail customers that has no mileage cap, and is priced at £110 per month. These options ease the control of running costs for ZOE owners. What’s more, customers get optimal flexibility and the ability to adapt to changing personal needs, since they can switch options at any time.”
Showing how much Renault is interested in leading the EV revolution, the company also offers a free home EV charger. “All Renault ZOE retail purchases include a free, fully installed Chargemaster 7kW Homecharger – able to charge the Z.E.40 battery from flat-to-full in seven to eight hours. All versions provide the peace of mind of Renault’s 4+ Z.E. warranty and assistance package. The car is protected by Renault for four years or 100,000 miles (first two years have no mileage limit). For Z.E. vehicles with a Battery Hire Contract, the Renault Assistance cover is linked to the period of the Battery Hire. In the event of a breakdown, even if you run out of charge, Renault provides emergency roadside repairs or repatriation 24/7 every day of the year plus three years’ European cover.”