How do you get people to go electric? You get their buttocks in a driver’s seat of an electric car and ask them to step on the “go” pedal. This is widely known to be the #1 way to convert someone to electric driving, whether they come in with a lot of interest or a lot of trepidation. With that in mind, I have to say that I’m thoroughly impressed with what Renault Group is now doing in England & Wales.
In short, every single Renault courtesy car (what we call a “loaner” in the US) in England and Wales is now a fully electric Renault Zoe E-Tech. That should help the dealers sell a lot more electric cars!
Furthermore, the move tells customers, “hey, we really stand behind electric cars, and we want you to know this is no joke to us.” Additionally, just looking at the pounds and pence, electric cars have much lower operational costs, so maybe this is also about a simple calculation telling management that they’d save a lot of money using electric courtesy cars instead of fossil fuel powered ones.
In total, there are 15 Renault dealerships across England and Wales that are now switching to electric for this purpose. In total, this means 185 electric courtesy cars. “The new EVs join 21 Zoe E-Tech that already exist on the 164-strong courtesy car fleet, which previously included petrol Renault Clio, Renault Captur and Dacia Sandero models,” the company writes. Backing up what I wrote above, Renault added:
“Customers will be able to experience first-hand how an electric car such as the Zoe E-Tech can fit into their everyday routine and how easy it could be to transition from a conventional ICE vehicle to an EV. With each courtesy car travelling up to 5,000 miles a year, it will also help customers and Renault Retail Group to cut their carbon footprint and contribute to improving air quality in the local environment in which they work and live.”
Naturally, Renault aims to make the process as convenient and painless as possible for owners. So, the cars will be fully charged when handed over to customers, and the model has a 245-mile estimated driving range on a full charge, which is enough to go on several average driving days without recharging.
You can also now test drive a Renault Zoe E-Tech for 48 hours. How many Renault owners who sit in a courtesy car for a couple of days will decide to also take the company up on that 48-hour test drive option?
“The Zoe E-Tech with restyled exterior including a more dynamic design and new colours, has rapid 50kW charging which charges the battery from zero to 80 per cent in only 70 minutes. Customers can choose from Play, Iconic and GT Edition trim levels, with each offering a comprehensive and well-equipped standard specification. In addition, drivers also have the peace-of-mind that all new Zoe E-Tech models come with a five-year/100,000-mile warranty, plus an eight-year 100,000-mile battery warranty. The Zoe E-Tech is priced from £27,595 on the road after the PiCG (Plug-in Car Grant).”
So, the next time you (or I) blast automakers that are slacking and lagging on the electric vehicle transition, maybe leave Renault out of it. Would a company aimed at half-trying on this topic go and force all owners use an electric courtesy car, not even giving them the option of a fossil fuel powered one?
Also, more importantly, which auto company will do this next? Also, when will Renault expand this policy to other countries? Anyone want to offer some guesses on these questions?