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Rumours abound that Renault might be moving towards allowing us to buy the whole car.
If they do, would you?
And what would you pay?

For me, I really don't know. After 13000 miles, I've got used to the deal, and like the fact that I can rapid charge without worrying that it might upset the battery. And of course, I couldn't have afforded Zoe if it had cost £6k more.

But, on the other hand, I do high miles and plan to keep the car for many years. So maybe I should buy, but only after they've replaced it in a few years time... ;)
 

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Rumours abound that Renault might be moving towards allowing us to buy the whole car.
If they do, would you?
And what would you pay?

For me, I really don't know. After 13000 miles, I've got used to the deal, and like the fact that I can rapid charge without worrying that it might upset the battery. And of course, I couldn't have afforded Zoe if it had cost £6k more.

But, on the other hand, I do high miles and plan to keep the car for many years. So maybe I should buy, but only after they've replaced it in a few years time... ;)
I like the idea of the battery lease as a safety net future proofing the battery life down the road..having had to replace ebike battery packs a couple of times,I felt it important enough to go this route with the Zoe..I dunno..if the EV running costs remain low,factoring in a replacement plan for the battery could be an option..I wouldn't see much benefit in residual values of a used car with a battery that needed replaced by the next owner..
 

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As a Twizy owner I do relatively low mileage and having just gone through my second summer my range has increased slightly. I'd buy my battery for the price they sold it in Norway? (only place the Twizy could be bought with a battery). Well a bit less as it is 2 years old. It will be 15 years before I reach 55k miles.
Therefore £45 * 12 *15 = £8100
Battery was approx £2700-£3000 or just of 5.5 years leasing.

Renault have stated that the battery has a life of around 10 years. Either way it is better to buy the battery.

However I would then lose the recovery service. But is that worth £540 a year?
 

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Didn't read all that but there is no insurance "nightmare" - the owner insures for full value and in the event of total loss battery value as per lease is paid to Renault. Simples.
Apparently Renault UK have been listening, and looking at their sales figures as a comparison to those of other rival EV's. On two websites I've seen Ken Ramirez (MD, Renault UK) had allowed himself to be quoted as saying...

  • "Renault will offer car buyers the choice of leasing or purchasing on its electric vehicles..."

http://myrenaultzoe.com/index.php/2014/10/renault-offers-ev-outright-purchase/
http://www.businesscar.co.uk/news/2014/renault-offers-ev-outright-purchase

The OTR statistics for the Zoe are extremely poor, no doubt because of the heavy costs of the battery lease. It's also very apparent that the Renault dealership network have no huge ambitions to push Zoe sales, which is a pity when it must have cost millions from first concept and design to tooling for production and putting models in the dealers showrooms.

There's also the puzzle about what your insurance company does in the event of a total loss of your Zoe, and how much of the value of the car is actually paid out, and to whom? Does Renault Leasing recover their capital? Does the Zoe owner? Would there be an ongoing liability against the owner to pay any shortfall to Renault? All the ingredients for a gripping nightmare.

My annual mileage would be circa 5,500 which means paying the battery lease at £70 monthly costs me 1.5p/mile, before costing any electricity into the equation.

After five years (anticipated ownership term) there'd have been £4,200 blown in battery lease costs. In five years time there'd be EV's with a battery range of 200+ miles per charge available. Production costs of the batteries will have also fallen significantly. My £15,500 (plus £4,200) Zoe would have been fully paid for, but might now only be worth £5,000 (or even less) and effectively be totally unrealisable because of the heavy price battery lease terms when weighed against battery technology and improved autonomy in 2019.

Sure, at 27,500 miles the original battery ought to still be in tiptop condition, but it still doesn't belong to me or the car and what worth would it actually have?

If Ken Ramirez doesn't ask more than another £3,500 for the outright battery cost on top of the existing Zoe tariff then there's still a chance Renault might pick up a lot of sales. Otherwise they're going to see the Zoe completely flop and take a hit in the order of millions on all it's cost them to produce and tool up for at Flins.

A low range EV that's only economical, under the present terms, for high mileage drivers (probably fleet because they could negotiate a large discount) is a bit of a grand oxymoron. There are a glut of 2013/4 Zoe's available now, from as little as £8,500, but the fact is right now nobody wants to purchase one due to the high battery lease costs, and possible total loss complications.

Would anyone care to guess what Renault will want as a price for the Zoe, with outright battery ownership? They would need to come out with a really good package to catch up with the competition.

Does anyone else suspect that at the same time Renault look at this issue that we may also see reduced prices levied for battery leasing?
 

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At Twizy level, the batties we were told were £2700, for insurnce purposes yet at the Chesterfield event Renault said the replacement Twizy battery they have just had to fit was around £6000! They also have heard the batteries may become a purchase item.
 

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At some future point the battery would degrade, and need replacement, but hopefully not before at least having racked up 50,000 plus miles. If eventually a replacement battery were £4,000 or so then it'd remain viable to replace it (I'd rather pay that than a PCP balloon payment).
Several owners of the earliest LEAFs on UK roads have reported losing their first battery bar, equivalent to 15% of battery capacity, at mileages between 49,000 and 59,000. Renault warrants their batteries to maintain 75% capacity for the lifetime of each vehicle by repair or replacement so Renault's battery lease insures against the risk of harmful degradation.

If you're a low mileage driver and the Zoe deal doesn't work you then look at something else – a Mk 1 LEAF or used iMiEV/iOn/C Zero perhaps? All have batteries included and are suitable for low mileage duties. Check out posts by @misterbleepy, who owns a Peugeot iOn and lives in Cornwall.
 

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Sounds like the 5 seats and rear access needs rule out the i-miev clones. So only option in uk must be Leaf or spend a bit more on the Model S

Several owners of the earliest LEAFs on UK roads have reported losing their first battery bar, equivalent to 15% of battery capacity, at mileages between 49,000 and 59,000. Renault warrants their batteries to maintain 75% capacity for the lifetime of each vehicle by repair or replacement so Renault's battery lease insures against the risk of harmful degradation.

If you're a low mileage driver and the Zoe deal doesn't work you then look at something else – a Mk 1 LEAF or used iMiEV/iOn/C Zero perhaps? All have batteries included and are suitable for low mileage duties. Check out posts by @misterbleepy, who owns a Peugeot iOn and lives in Cornwall.
 

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Another friend has a Leaf, and it's under 12 months old and has been affected by severe juddering in the drive train, which apparently is a commonly reported problem; and he's had two new lead acid batteries replaced inside a year (both caused the vehicle to refuse to start and involved recovery to Nissan workshops) which remains unexplained.
I can't find any reference to juddering drive train on here or via google, most common faults pop up on the US LEAF forum via Google.

12 volt battery could be the same we've been discussing for a while here: https://speakev.com/threads/nissan-leaf-12v-battery-totally-dead.19/ which does concern me greatly due to potential to leave you completely stuck without warning.
 

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We didn't buy the ZOE and it had NOTHING to do with the battery lease and EVERYTHING to do with past Renault experience brought horribly back in to focus after visiting the local Renault dealer.

We went for a LEAF Flex instead.
Presumably that's because your on a PCP with no intention to keep the car at the end of the PCP term?
 

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From memory I think he described it as 'a fight between the regenerative process and the friction brakes' that gives rise to the juddering. I believe that it's something Nissan are aware about.
Oh yes, that's been discussed here (possibly). It's hard to pin as some folk expect and feel different things. https://speakev.com/threads/harsh-braking.3429/
 

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Presumably that's because your on a PCP with no intention to keep the car at the end of the PCP term?
Yup. To be honest whatever choice we made felt like the wrong one because the choices were not there and the second hand market (and future exceptions) not established.

I can't help thinking a sensible person wouldn't have bought an EV until this year at the very earliest, but I'm not overly sensible at the best of times.
 

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I only ever buy on pcp as i never keep my vehicles more than 2 years maximum 3 years which works out at about £1680 or £2520 so i wouldn't want the full cost of the battery added to my 4 year pcp deal it wouldn't make sence for me. I understand if you plan on keeping the car for 5 or 6 years it would cost less to by the battery.
 

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Not sure they "need" to do anything, as mentioned already they outsell Nissan by 3 to 1 in the biggest European market.
Were they to sell the battery outright there is no reason to think it would not be the same price as that given as the current value in the lease which I believe is around £7000
 

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But it's not just the Zoe. Battery sales make more sense for the Twizy. Some people may only want the Twizy for the summer and park it up for the winter ( I don't see why). Why should they pay lease on it then? Having bought the battery you tend not to think about the on going costs and just leave it parked up.
 

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My annual mileage would be circa 5,500 which means paying the battery lease at £70 monthly costs me 1.5p/mile, before costing any electricity into the equation.

Qdos, I think you have made a mistake in your sums, if you only do 6500 miles a year, a £70 per month contract works out at £70 x 12 / 6500 = 12.9 pence per mile. Having said that I think that of the battery rental a bit differently, if you purchased the battery at the same cost as the purchase price in Norway it would cost you £7000, say the car has a life of 10 years that means the capital cost of the battery is £700 per year so you are paying an additional £140 per year for the peace of mind of hiring the battery which works out at 2.2 pence per mile. With a full 22kWH charge at home costing about £3 and a range of 80ish miles that makes the electricity cost 4.1p per mile. If the car was sold with a battery after a few years it would have additional value over a car with a battery rental deal so it has to be factored in. The depreciation of the battery of course is not linear so you could say that owning the battery costs even more in the first few years than £700 per year I've worked out. I therefore think that the cost of battery and electricity is around 6p per mile. This is about half the cost of my old Micra which averaged 46 miles per gallon so 13p per mile in fuel. It's the depreciation of the car that will bump up the ownership cost. When batteries improve I'm sure it will reduce the second hand value of our Zoe's.
 
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