Guillaume Berthier, commercial director of Renault’s electric vehicle admits that the mandatory battery lease makes harder to sell the Twizy. In his opinion this only happens because the Twizy is used mostly in the summer. Because of this drivers aren’t happy to pay the monthly lease of a car that stays in the garage most part of the year. If I already think that the Zoe’s battery mandatory leasing is a scam to make the running costs higher than diesels, what to say about the Twizy’s tiny 6,1 kWh battery?! Can Renault really say that buyers are afraid to buy a battery that costs less than 2.000 € and prefer to pay a lifelong lease?!
Berthier says this problem doesn’t exist in the Zoe. According to him, in the UK 90 % have chosen to lease the battery, only 10 % have bought the battery. This is misleading, because it’s very difficult to find an i-Zoe (battery included) in UK Renault’s dealers. Good luck finding one.
Renault keeps ignoring that in Nissan Leaf’s case, the Flex version, in which the battery is leased, is not popular. Making the running costs higher than a diesel car, destroys one of the electric car’s advantages. Renault also ignores the feedback that potential buyers give them. By reading the forums it’s common to see the battery lease as the reason that made buyers to turn to other electric cars.
Berthier also says that Renault’s priority is to reduce the price of electric cars. Range isn’t a major concern. This doesn’t sound right when Renault sells the Clio for a starting price of 13.700 € and the Zoe without the battery for 22.100 €.
What makes me mad it’s the fact that Renault’s engineers made a great electric car, the Zoe is in fact unique. If sold worldwide with battery included it could easily surpass the Nissan Leaf’s sales numbers. It’s a shame that who makes the decisions doesn’t want to sell it.
Summing up, the good news is that the battery leasing will become optional for the Twizy, not mandatory. This will boost summer sales. The bad news is that the Zoe has to wait a little longer, yet the end of the mandatory battery leasing nonsense is inevitable. The last information I have is that it’s still 3 months away, at least for Portugal.