Rumor: Renault will end the battery leasing next year
As we saw in previous articles, Renault’s sister company, Nissan, is already leaving the battery leasing scheme. In Portugal and Spain, you can only order a Nissan electric car with battery included as you can see it here. While in the UK, Nissan Flex owners can now buy the batteries and terminate the battery rental as you can see it here.
Now it’s Renault that’s showing signs that it’s finally leaving the battery rental scheme.
Ocni, a member of the http://renault-zoe.forumpro.fr forum, wrote that he was informed that Renault by the end of 2017, will end the battery lease scheme and every new electric car sold by Renault will have the battery included. More importantly, Ocni adds that Renault electric car owners who are currently renting the batteries will become their owners. This will be explained as an act of goodwill and marketing towards EV pioneers.
He got this information at the Paris Auto Show from a source that he considers to be reliable.
While getting a “free” battery might seem unlikely at first, it does make sense, since I believe that Renault has been selling their electric cars with the battery cost included in the price since the beginning. All the money the company makes with the battery rental is extra profit. This explains why a Renault Zoe Life without its battery is approximately 13.000 € more expensive than a Clio Life as you can see it here.
I think that this rumor might turn out to be true and people who are currently leasing the batteries will get them for “free”, at least if they have been paying the rental for 36 months or more.
The late 2017 date makes sense, since it’s when the LG Chem battery cell plant in Poland will open. The opening of the LG Chem European plant will make possible a huge increase of Zoe’s production – and hopefully the Nissan Micra EV. The production increase needs to be accompanied with a price cut, to get the units sold as fast as they can make them.
What do you think? What’s the best strategy for Renault to quit the battery leasing scheme? Offer the battery or sell it at a symbolic price?