I'm aware the lease thing is an issue for you, and clearly for others too. Doesn't really explain it to me, because most new car buyers aren't buying to keep, but for a set time. They come with the 'standard' +warranty from Renault (4 years), though that is somewhat debatable for the pre-march '12 cars [I have documents saying that ALL ZEs get the 4+ warranty, but they might not have fully thought through about the 'pre-launch' Jan '12 vehicles like mine.]
Anyhow, the drivetrain gets a 5 year 100k warranty in any case.
I doubt most folks who would buy one would think about keeping beyond 5 years, so they could just arrange a lease for that time. Like you say, it may be beyond 'good thinking' but something else.
Still, I think much of it is down to a total lack of advertising. They did great to get the Fluence into all the press shows and EV launch events, but that was just industry-on-industry contacts, it didn't get under the public's 'skin', so to speak. Leaf hasn't either [to any real extent, maybe slightly better] and, frankly, I don't regard them registering less than 2k vehicles in over 2 years as justifying saying 'the Leaf is selling'. Well, not yet at least. Nissan have, literally, been giving Leafs away as part of large projects and/or unsustainably subsidised corporate schemes, and I would be very interested to know how many real private owners
of the current EV models.
I mean - reality is that I have one, I like it, it's a very relaxing drive. But most folks don't seem to want relaxing driving, they like to drive with their pants on fire, as fast as possible. That doesn't work with EVs. But even then, I would not be particularly bothered if I hand it back in a year or so's time, when my lease is due up, and I'll go back to my Vectra diesel which I've parked up, because it isn't
cheaper to run, taking into account either the lease cost or the battery life [in Leaf's buy-the-battery case], it is a reliability unknown, the range is really bad if you want to keep the cab nicely cosy-warm in winter, and the range isn't that much better when the weather's good! It's useable, but it's no good for people who can't afford multiple cars in the household, or don't have a drive or garage, or another host of other limitations.
I'm currently having some difficulties with my charging arrangements (more on that later, when I get to the bottom of it) and when you have problems getting a charge you can't simply move on to the next petrol station. So you have to concern yourself about that side of things too.
EV's are a bit like those special tools you might sometimes buy from manufacturers to do particular jobs - it does a particular job very well, and if you want that job doing then it's the right tool and worth the investment. But I can't see why most people would want them, given the current price of fuel and all other considerations and availability of very economical diesels, and not forgetting petrol-hybrid cars.
Bear in mind too that so many EV projects and supplier - from battery manufacturers, charger installers to the VMs themselves - have gone belly up, both in the past and today, that one wonders if EVs are at all viable without all the Government incentives propping it all up. Will an EV industry ever generate more money than it actually consumes? Tesla looks like it could be the first ever EV company to break even and make money on EV technology, but as I understand, it's up to date with repaying Gov loans, but it hasn't paid them off yet. (? AFAIK