Is that it? - Renault Z.E. Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-08-2013, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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Is that it?

OK, so we've seen a half dozen Twizies, no Zoees and two Fluences* come up on this site as UK owned.

*[soon 3, once the new chap collects his on his 300 mile trip?!]

Is that it?

Makes for a slightly boring forum!!!! ......

.... anyone else out there contribute their experiences??...

Or has the market for Renault ZE already saturated in the UK?

It was an argument that folks condemned GM for, when they scrapped the EV1, but as GM said, yes, there were a few committed folks but the cars just weren't selling. Is this the same?

Great engineering effort by Renault, shame about the sales.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-08-2013, 05:52 PM
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RE: Is that it?


It could be other factors too. The UK public like to buy cars just like they like to buy houses. It might make more sense to lease, esp with whoever it was who said that if it appreciates in value, buy it and if it depreciates, lease it. Doesn't matter. People like to own something. But with the Renault EV model you don't own the battery. Again, there are benefits to that but people don't think logically and want to OWN it all.

The battery lease model is also causing issues in buying and insuring the car. It appears some have found problems getting an insurer to cover the vehicle because of the weird battery lease arrangements. There are then some question marks over whether the battery is then fully covered in the event of a total loss.

Finally, I was looking at getting a Fluence as in July I was quoted a great PCP deal by Renault. I have now been told that that is no longer on the table and I can only buy the car via HP (or cash, which isn't gonna happen lol). I have spoken to Motorpoint about some of their Fluence (is it Fluence or Fluences?) and apparently their finance companies (Lloyds and Close) will not provide finance because of the battery lease.

Now whether that is correct or not, or whether someone somewhere has misunderstood or got their wires crossed still causes ownership issues for a prospective purchaser - like me!

Another way to look at it Donald, the Leaf is selling, Renaults are not. Why? What is the difference? Is it the battery lease or the worrysome reliability concerns about Renault?

My two penneth worth is that I would only consider a Fluence INSIDE warranty. There is NO way I would buy would outside. That really would be asking for trouble. Just what is the warranty by the way? The original Prius was 8 years/100,000 miles to give an example.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-08-2013, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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RE: Is that it?

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 have any 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?)
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-09-2013, 02:20 AM
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RE: Is that it?

The Renault dealers I rang (and there were 3) all tried to 'pre - vet' me for the car. They asked how many miles I did, where I went, did I have a second car etc. Why? If I do 12,000 a year and want to run it to the extremes of range, then that's upto me.

I wonder if there's a fair bit of infighting going on at Renault! Do they want to sell a car that doesn't need oil changes, clutches, air filters etc, possibly putting some dealer staff out of a job?

Nissan is also doing the battery lease. What percentage of Leafs sold are now with the battery lease? If it's a small percentage, then there's your issue. If it doesn't improve after a year, then Renault need to pull the plug on it, at least in the UK.

Somethings up though. Tesla is the best selling car in Norway. Why? It costs a fortune and is electric. Because it's bl**dy good.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-09-2013, 03:56 AM
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RE: Is that it?

I agree Tesla seems to have done things right. In the USA they even provide charging points in those areas where the cvars are marketed, that's rel customer service.

I do wonder whether the reliance on Government handouts to encourage sales is the right approach, it takes the pressure off the manufacturers to produce something that sells because it's worth buying. I think back to the British nuclear industry where we built several atomic power stations that could never stand on their own two feet, without hevty subsidy. If you ran your famiklt finances in this way you'd be labelled crazy.

There's not much wrong with the notion of EV's, but the indecent rush to market has not been thought through and it could still end in tears.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-10-2013, 06:50 AM
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RE: Is that it?

Not long ago, this forum was unmoderated and heavily spammed.

I contacted the forum owner and offered to help out. I spent hours banning hundreds of spam bots but by then many people had already left for good.
Trevor added a forum to his The Zoe owners here moved over there. Twizzy owners left for a Twizzy only forum.

That leaves Fluence owners and Kangoo owners. There just aren't many of either in the UK.

I've continue to kill spambots to support this EV community in hopes it will eventually grow back.


We are probably going to get an i3. I'll stick around, at least for now.

We've decided not to get a Renault because of terrible local dealer support.

The best alternative to posting here is Leaftalk but they can be downright unfriendly to anyone who doesn't own a Leaf. I still post there but have considered walking away.

mybmwi3 is growing but like this forum it is just short of critical mass.
Andrew*Debbie is offline  
post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-10-2013, 12:33 PM
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RE: Is that it?

Originally Posted by Andrew*Debbie
The best alternative to posting here is Leaftalk but they can be downright unfriendly to anyone who doesn't own a Leaf. I still post there but have considered walking away.
I agree with you and I did walk away. It started off ok but if you didn't own a Leaf or criticised or even questioned something about them, you were hit with vitriol and venom. Law suits have been threatened between fellow members a number of times and I was also subject to a request for details to hit me with one too! There are some nice members on there, but my personal opinion is that it's only a place for the brave!

It must be a British thing as I've been a member of Priuschat for years in litigation friendly America, but never heard of anyone threatening law suits on there, let alone being serious about it.

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