At COP21 (21ème Conférence des Parties), Mrs Ségolène Royal, French Minister for Ecology, said that she wants automakers to sell an electric car model for less than 7.000 €. Knowing that in France government incentives for buying an electric car can add up to 10.000 € this isn’t impossible, but…
Renault Zoe is about to get a battery upgrade to around 42 kWh, this makes the car more appealing but not cheaper. Even if kWh battery prices are dropping fast, a bigger battery doesn’t help the objective of offering an affordable electric car.
The best is to offer the choice, price or range. A 42 kWh Zoe and a 23 kWh Twingo ZE would complement each other very well.
At the moment the Zoe R240 is already priced at 16.500 € in Germany and in Portugal you can buy it for less than 16.000 € without any government incentive (thanks sapcmc for the documents).
Unfortunately Renault sells the battery for 7.000 € plus VAT. It’s extremely overpriced, even Nissan only asks for 5.900 € (VAT included) for Leaf’s 30 kWh battery to avoid the lifetime battery lease on the Flex version.
There is no reason for a Zoe without its battery costs more than a Clio. Renault can do better.
Without the battery it’s very possible to price the Zoe starting at 14.000 € and the Twingo ZE at 10.000 €. It should also exist the opportunity to buy the 42 kWh battery for 8.400 € (200 €/kWh) and the 23 kWh for 4.600 €.
You can even put a surfboard inside the little car or just sleep comfortably in it. Perfect city, surfer and camper car.
I would be happy if Renault announced the Twingo ZE next month at Geneva International Motor Show and start selling it in the summer. But it’s probable that it will only happen in October at Paris Motor Show with sales starting at the year end when Smart ForFour ED arrives, both will use Renault’s R240 electric motor.
The tricky question is, will a 14.600 € Renault Twingo ZE with battery included justify the existence for government incentives? This is why I think in most cases government incentives artificially keep the prices high. Automakers keep the prices high so they can justify the incentives existence. We can see this with the Zoe costing in Germany 16.500 € and in France 22.100 € before incentives. It’s 5.600 € that goes straight to Renault’s pockets and it’s not used to drop the price for consumers.
If Renault doesn’t introduce Twingo ZE this year, they will see Volkswagen take the lead in Europe. Because in the summer the e-Golf will get a range increase and the e-Up a price drop.