Renault ends battery rental in Portugal and France (update)

Renault ZOE configurator in Portugal

After terminating the battery rental for new units in the UK and Spain, now Renault is also selling the ZOE in Portugal and France only with batteries included.

Important markets, such as Germany and Italy, still offer the option of renting the battery, but it’s only a matter of time before it runs out.


These are now the starting prices in Spain.

  • Life R110 (ZE 40 battery): 28.485 euros
  • Intens R110 (ZE 50 battery): 30.523 euros
  • Intens R135 (ZE 50 battery): 30.966 euros
  • Zen R135 (ZE 50 battery): 32.162 euros


These are now the starting prices in Portugal.

  • Zen R110 (ZE 40 battery): 31.990 euros
  • Zen R110 (ZE 50 battery): 32.990 euros
  • Intens R110 (ZE 50 battery): 33.990 euros
  • Intens R135 (ZE 50 battery): 34.490 euros
  • Exclusive R135 (ZE 50 battery): 35.790 euros


These are now the starting prices in France.

  • Life R110 (ZE 50 battery): 32.000 euros
  • Zen R110 (ZE 50 battery): 34.000 euros
  • Zen R135 (ZE 50 battery): 34.600 euros
  • Intens R110 (ZE 50 battery): 36.000 euros
  • Intens R135 (ZE 50 battery): 36.600 euros
  • Edition One R135 (ZE 50 battery): 39.600 euros


Although there is no consensus on battery rentals (some people actually like them), I consider their extinction to be good news for several reasons.

The main reason is that the battery rental suggested that EV batteries are fragile, when in fact the drivetrain of the ZOE is its weak spot, not the battery. ZOE’s battery will probably outlast the rest of the car…

We need automakers pushing the million-mile batteries narrative and providing good warranties, not an automaker spreading fear and telling you that EV batteries are likely to go kaput, so you need an endless battery rental to feel safe…


Moreover, the battery rental added more complexity to owning and selling an electric car.

First, you were required to insure the battery because it was owned by RCI, which is the finance company subsidiary of the Renault, Dacia and Nissan brands.

Second, selling an used electric car attached to a battery rental is a lot more difficult, for this reason some dealers actually buy the battery from RCI to then sell the used Renault ZOE with battery included. I know several cases where Portuguese and Spanish dealers imported used units from France that were attached to battery rentals, but bought the batteries from RCI so the cars were easier to sell.

Lastly, with a battery rental you can forget one of the best reasons to drive electric, which is low running costs…


Anyway, I’m convinced that with battery rentals all Renault initially wanted was to secure an endless source of revenue (which is understandable) and not to make electric cars affordable – as the automaker always suggested.

Even with a battery rental the Renault ZOE was still much more expensive to buy than its gas counterpart, the Renault Clio. Moreover, according to Renault the Twizy with its tiny 6,1 kWh battery also needed a battery rental to be “affordable”… ahahah!


So to sum up, I really think that the battery rental was a bad idea – for the customers – and Renault is now on the right track.

I also believe that now with cheap (around 90 euros per kWh) NCM 712 batteries from LG Chem made in Poland the Renault ZOE and the Volkswagen ID.3 can be the most profitable electric cars on sale in Europe, only (maybe) behind the Tesla Model 3.

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.

15 Responses

  1. Francesc says:

    i drive my ZOE from 2013. I will but my battery. On those days.. it was expensive.. and the best way was rental…
    But anyway.. too expensive…. battere+ICE prices are still 5000-7500 euros under the price REnault gives..

  2. Rok says:

    Hi Pedro,

    can you write an article that analyses powertrains, their efficiencies and problems related to it? Not just for Zoe but also about other EVs. Like the one you wrote about different batteries

  3. Famlin says:

    Good news, when someone buys an used vehicle, they dont need to ask whether the price includes battery or they still have to pay rent for battery. This battery rental is introduced to keep the BEV sales lower.
    Also the days of $1.200 / KWh has gone and at the end of last year, it was $156 / KWh.
    Slowly Renault is waking up. 

    • Pedro Lima says:

      One thing Renault got right. Superminis like the ZOE are what we need in Europe, not huge cars that North Americans use for roadtrips.

      GM did miss an opportunity in Europe with the Chevrolet Bolt EV, it was perfect for this market.

      I really want to see a supermini made by Tesla.

  4. Freddy says:

    You forgot another problem Pedro… some initial Renault Fluence (and believe Zoe also) battery rentals had issues with excessive degradation of packs and although renault was by contract forced to proceed with change of battery, they used lots of tactics to avoid this including saying they had no batteries to put on them…. many people sold their cars almost free because of this just to get rid of the rental… SO the main reason to get the rental was completely shatered by Renault. Thank god this is over…

    The price of the Twizzy in Portugal is now on 5 digits (over 12 KEUR)…Yikes!!!

  5. Famlin says:

    @Pedro Lima

    Can you please publish an article on this subject and let the readers post their comments.

    Most electric vehicles (like Tesla, Jaguar and upcoming vehicles) has empty bonnet. 
    Cybertruck has bonnet embedded into the truck and so we can call it 1 box type vehicle where bonnet, passenger & cargo are all in 1 section.

    On the other hand; 
    3 box type: Bonnet, passenger and cargo are the 3 boxes. 
    Sedan/Saloon (4 door), Coupe (2 door), Pickup (2/4 door). 

    2 box type: 5 door vehicles with Bonnet, passenger + cargo as 2 boxes.
    Wagon, Van, SUV, CUV, MPV, Hatch.

    Can the automakers get rid of bonnet by moving the passenger section forward to gain space. This is exactly what is done with cybertruck. If you observe keenly, the front windshield ends just above the middle of the wheel, but in other trucks, windshield ends behind the wheel.

  6. Leo B says:

    People don’t rent just the battery, they now rent the entire car. It’s called private lease and it has become rather popular in the last few years over here in the Netherlands.

    The cheapest rate for the Zoe Life is €399/month (60 months period, 10.000km/year), which includes all costs (insurance, maintenance, tax) except electricity. The monthly fee rises if your lease period is shorter or your yearly mileage is higher. If you drive 15.000km/year or less, it’s usually a very competitive fee, probably lower than buying the car.

  7. Wesley says:

    Do the existing ZOE drivers can still lease the battery instead of buying after Renault stop battery rental for new units?

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