Renault Zoe battery rental no longer mandatory in France

Renault Zoe and battery

While in most countries the battery rental in Renault electric cars was no longer mandatory for a while, the domestic market (France) was the exception.

However, starting next month, French buyers will be able to pay 8.900 € (20 % VAT included) extra and get the Renault Zoe with the ZE 40 battery included. No more lifetime rental.


Let’s see Zoe’s prices in France before government subsidies.

  • Renault ZOE Life: 23.700 € (with battery rental); 32.600 € (without battery rental)
  • Renault ZOE Zen: 25.100 € (with battery rental); 34.000 € (without battery rental)
  • Renault ZOE Intens: 25.900 € (with battery rental); 34.800 € (without battery rental)
  • Renault ZOE Edition One: 28.300 € (with battery rental); 37.200 € (without battery rental)


Without question, it’s great that the battery rental is no longer mandatory, but it doesn’t solve everything.

For start, if 8.900 € seem excessive to you, you’re right. In Portugal where the VAT is higher (23 %), to avoid the battery rental buyers have to pay 7.500 € extra, which is 1.400 € less.

However, the problem isn’t the battery’s price. The real problem is that even without the battery the Renault Zoe is extremely overpriced when compared to gas counterparts like the Renault Clio or the Nissan Micra – that are made at the same Renault Flins plant as the Zoe.

For example, the new-generation Nissan Micra is a much better equipped car with plenty of modern safety features that help to prevent accidents and has a starting price of roughly 12.000 €…


Furthermore, government subsidies are counter-productive and are actually used to keep prices artificially high.

It’s not a surprise that when governments subsidize private goods, the subsidies go straight to the pockets of corporations who sell them, instead of helping to reduce prices for consumers. Moreover, to keep receiving the subsidies, corporations will keep prices high to justify them. It’s basic economics! Just look at subsidized private health care or education in the USA…

With the French Government subsidy of 6.000 € included, Renault Zoe Intens costs 19.700 € (20 % VAT included). While in Portugal for example, with only 2.250 € of government subsidies to buy an electric car, the same Renault Zoe Intens costs 17.070 € (23 % VAT included)…



Nonetheless, not all public policies are stupid and counter-productive. There are governmental policies that work. For example, if a government wants to promote health and increase the consumption of healthy food, it doesn’t subsidize it – because it won’t work -, instead it raises taxes on the unhealthy food, or even bans dangerous ingredients.

To sum up, legacy automakers don’t want to change things and sell electric cars, they’re fine with the status quo. They’ll only get serious about selling electric cars when selling their current mainstream cars becomes more difficult or even impossible. It’s better to sell electric cars than nothing at all…

Giving subsidies won’t work, they’ll just take them and keep doing the same old, same old. Governments have to make selling ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) cars much more difficult to promote change. Either by increasing taxes or even ban them, since their current prices don’t reflect their real costs to society.


Sorry for the long rant. The end of the mandatory battery rental is definitely good news and a step forward, but there are a lot more underlying problems that we need to address to promote electric car adoption.

It baffles me how so many people that I consider intelligent such as electric car fans or associations, ask for more government subsidies to buy EVs, instead of demanding higher taxes for ICE cars and fossil fuels to promote EV adoption.

Anyway, what do you think? Is the end of mandatory battery rental in France enough to make the Renault Zoe a good alternative to more modern electric car models that start to arrive?



More info:

Pedro Lima

My interest in electric transportation is mostly political. I’m tired of coups and wars for oil. My expectation is that the adoption of electric transportation will be a factor for peace and democracy all over the world.

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3 years ago

Unfortunately we have not (yet) an EU-wide DTT news channel that could tell Europeans that last year about half a million Europeans died of air pollution.

3 years ago

I see renault does what you tell… Zoe is overpriced a lot. At least 5-6K€…

No problem sion is coming from sonomotors…

3 years ago

Over priced… Battery not considered . sorry

3 years ago

I think it is strange that there is no EU regulation on this, how can it be that EVs are so differently priced in EU countries. They make all kinds of EU regulations that are to prevent that you pay more for something in one country than another country, but cars are excepted from that.
By the way in Denmark the Zoe Intens costs about 37600 Euro, that is including the battery (no rentals for new cars anymore).
The Zoe Life with the 22KWh battery is about 32300 Euro including battery. These prices are including incentives, where the incentive is that you pay less registration fee than other cars.
On topic: I think it is a good idea to stop the battery rental, either you rent or lease the entire car or you buy the car including the battery.

3 years ago

Where to find second hand zoe with battery and reasonable price? Most of all zoes in autoscout24, mobile etc search are batteriemiete etc in whole europe wide. There are some battery included but asking price are quite high. If understood correct you could sell for example german umwelt bonus car after half year ownership ?

3 years ago
Reply to  voimavirta

Good question, I have seen one Zoe where the battery was included and that was a 22KWh battery. I guess if you want a Zoe with battery included you have to buy a new one.

3 years ago

Well said Pedro…!
We used to complain about not being able to buy the battery, now we will complain about the price, which also makes a lot of sense!! Bens from France.

Paul de Wit
3 years ago

In the UK the used prices on AutoTrader start from £5.500 Zoe without battery (£50 a month) and about £ 10.000 with battery included.
That means that the price of the battery equals 7.5 years of rental.

3 years ago
Reply to  Paul de Wit

Those are some cheap Renault Zoes you have in the UK, both with and without battery lease.

3 years ago

On the other hand, if they sell their cars with battery lease they can not defend the high price of the car with the high price of the battery. I think a starting price of 23700 is still a very high price for a car without battery.

3 years ago

Madre mia ¡¡¡¡32.600 euros el acabado basico!!!!. Menuda tomadura de pelo, este vehiculo esta en la categoria de mini-utilitario su precio real y tirando por lo alto deberia rondar los 15.000-18.000 euros con batería incluida. Pedro Lima prohibir los termicos no es el camino, bajo mi modesta opinión “prohibir los diesel si sin duda alguna”. Se tendria que obligar bajo ley en todos los paises que cualquier modelo nuevo equipase una versión hibrida con un motor termico eficiente “nada de motores grandes” bien sea de gasolina o GLP por ejemplo y otra enchufable con unos 70-100km de autonomía real minima en eléctrico “menos es casi una tomadura de pelo el famoso Mitshubisi Outlander PHEV por ejemplo tiene unos 35Km reales pese a los 54Km que anuncia la marca”. Pedro el cambio real al eléctrico se producira de forma natural y masiva cuando los precios sean practicamente equivalentes entre un ICE y un EV tanto sean a Batería o a hidrógeno “aunque si no me equivoco estos ultimos también llevaran otra pequeña batería”. Por cierto Pedro Lima ¿Que le parece el anuncio de Bosch de abandonar la fabricación de baterías con su filial Seeo ya que esta sera vendida?. La noticia francamente me ha dejado muy desconcertado creia que los avances de Seeo iban viento en popa pero por lo visto no es así, Bosch hizo una promesa y la ha incumplido de forma descarada……

3 years ago

Why not leasing the battery? No worry on the battery issue since Renault will ensure its status.