Renault 'ruining Zoe's chances'

2013-04-05 11:53

LONDON, England - Experts have called on Renault to give the Zoe electric car a real chance by not treating the battery as a leased item too expensive for those who would want to use it as a company car.

The Zoe will reach German showrooms in June 2013 and be sold with a "free battery-charger".

Although that might sound enticing, it's probably to soften the blow of all the other costs the Zoe comes with. The car's battery, for instance, is not included in the price but must be leased separately. It costs the equivalent of R102 800.

Independent automotive information company CAP called on Renault to "give some great electric cars a real chance" in the company-car market and include the battery in the car’s price. The company feels Renault is ruining the chances of the Zoe which happens to be a great car in their opinion.


Because the battery is a separate entity, it will be included as an extra tax item for some European areas if used as a company car; such laws apply to  items such as private use of a company car, free or subsidised accommodation and preferential loans from an employer.

CAP sees this as “another nail in the coffin” of Renault's battery-car prospects. The organisation has been in discussion with Renault for years over the issue of the battery being leased. Forecasters have argued that it is not possible to forecast the value of a vehicle with no intrinsic power source – likening it to forecasting the value of a conventional car with no engine.

British Fleet News magazine has revealed Renault will make things even more difficult for company-car drivers when the tax laws are implemented in other areas in Europe in 2015.


CAP's manufacturer relationship manager Martin Ward said the tax was unfair. "Ford, for example, could deflate the tax value of a Mondeo by excluding the engine.”

“Our frustration with Renault’s approach is based on the fact that we believe the Zoe is a very good car that isn’t getting a chance in the all-important fleet market. We have every confidence in the quality and reliability of the Zoe. We have seen it, driven it, lived with it and its 145km range means it has a place in fleets for shorter-range driving.

"However, until Renault removes the unnecessary layer of complexity caused by treating the battery as a separate entity, CAP will be unable to forecast used values so fleets can work out competitive lease rates."

“It is time for Renault to give some great electric vehicles they have worked hard to develop and refine a real chance in the company-car market by abandoning its 'battery not included' policy.”