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Poll: Fluence - asset or liability?
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Liability
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Fluence - asset or liability?
05-24-2017, 06:05 PM
Post: #1
Fluence - asset or liability?
Hi All,

I've looked through a few threads on this forum to understand the pros and cons of owning a Fluence. It looks like activity here is starting to dwindle, but it would be great if anyone could help with some questions I've got. Some of these questions might feel quite harsh, but given how unique and rare these cars are, I need to have a full understanding of what I'd be getting myself into.

I've been looking into going electric - but only if it reduces my current running costs for my petrol car - I spend about £220 per month on petrol.

Insurance + tax for my current car would be approximately equal that of a Fluence.

I'm aware of the RCI battery lease costs - I'm fine with that as they're so expensive to replace - I've been quoted £133 per month for 18k miles per year on a 3 year lease.

I drive about 50 miles per day for work but I'd be able to charge it there, so most of the time I would have no additional electricity costs - as long as I could drive it home and back to work on a single charge.

I like the look of the Fluence and there are a few available at the moment for what seems to be an attractive price (I guess there are a few for sale now as the warranties are coming to an end) - however having read through a few threads in this forum, I've got a few concerns.

1. Assuming the battery gets to its worst case efficiency (75% before replacement) - is 50 miles between charges realistic on a regular basis (I know I'd have to drive carefully? This is about 1/3 country road, 1/3 fast motorway, 1/3 motorway heavy traffic.

2. The Fluence has no 'fast charge' capability - I believe the chargers at work are fast chargers of some sort - would I be able to use these, or would I have to run a cable from a normal 13A plug socket?

3. I accept that in 3 years' time the Fluence will be even more obsolete than it is now and that it might be impossible to give it to someone and get them to sign up to a battery lease, let alone sell it. I'm fine with that, apart from the fact that scrapping it would mean I'd have to return the battery to RCI, seemingly at a cost of £2,000 - is that really likely to be the case? If so, I'd say that Fluences are currently overvalued - as they come with a £2000 liability on top of the monthly lease cost and the issues with it being such a rare and unsupported car.

4. Is it possible to get insurance that truly covers the full cost of a Fluence being written off as a total loss? I.e. will insurers pay to return the battery to RCI? Is cover for the battery implied by normal insurance policies?

5. All Fluences are now out of Renault's warranty - would a normal 3rd party warranty cover all necessary components that could fail on a Fluence? Are there any functional parts (e.g. drivetrain, suspension, not cosmetic parts like panels) that are unique to the Fluence that may be impossible to obtain even if the Warranty would cover them if they were available?

6. Has anyone investigated the possibility of installing a third party battery of the same spec to avoid the potential RCI lease issues? Has anyone costed this?

If the answer to any of these questions is negative, then I'd say that Fluences are more liabilities than assets, and as such I wouldn't be willing to pay any amount to own one.

Help with any of these questions would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
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