Renault will cease the practice of leasing electric vehicle batteries by the end of 2017, if rumors are to be believed. Considering that the company’s alliance partner Nissan has recently begun to phase out battery leasing in Europe, though, the move would not be unexpected.
The company’s practice of leasing electric vehicle (EV) batteries has always been something of an industry outlier, so it’s always seemed somewhat likely that it would be abandoned at some point. We probably won’t know if there’s truth to the rumor for a while, though.
The timing (late 2017) is very interesting, though, and would make sense, as that’s around the time when the new LG Chem EV battery production plant in Europe is expected to open.
Push EVs provides more: “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.”
Interesting. It also makes sense as battery technology (capacity, energy density, $/kWh) improves. There is now less of an incentive or need to lease the batteries.
Continuing: “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.”
For what it’s worth, I’m guessing that this rumor is one with a lot of truth to it. This far out, though, who knows what the actual timing for the phaseout of battery leasing will be.