Watching Zoe prices.... - Renault Z.E. Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-24-2014, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Watching Zoe prices....

I watched the used Fluence prices a year ago as they came in at 12k, then slipped ... and slipped ... etc... the rest we know!

Watching the Zoe prices, they seem to be following exactly the same 'trajectory' - now starting at 10,995 for a sub 1,000 miler. By August time I expect to see 9k models, and if so then by Christmas '14 we'll see 6k to 7k offers.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-24-2014, 02:15 PM
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RE: Watching Zoe prices....

So why are prices and sales of both Renault EV's collapsing and those of the Leaf at holding up? A Leaf with 45k miles is for sale at 10,000.

Please Renault, give people the OPTION of buying the car with the battery. Most of Nissans sales are for the total car, despite them introducing the option to lease the battery. If that doesn't tell you something, then all is lost.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-28-2014, 02:58 AM
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RE: Watching Zoe prices....

From what I can gather, it is the fact that your pride and joy is severely limited to - real-world 60 miles before you are forced to seek a recharge. For many, that is a step too far. I've been an EV user since 2007, but I always needed an ICE fall back for urgent over 80m trips where stopping to recharge is not practical.

Having used a Twizy since July, I now have a separate issue - chronic neck pain. The ride in the Twizy is not in itself unduly hard, but the state of roads locally coupled with urban speed humps and road 'tables' is the final straw - and on doctor's orders I've been told to review my option.

The ride in the Fluence is clearly superior, and the failure of the battery-Swap deal was a no brainer from the start, but I doubt whether there are many prepared to spend so much money on a EV that has a battery lease and still has long distance issues.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-28-2014, 03:17 AM
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RE: Watching Zoe prices....

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrumpyCabbie
So why are prices and sales of both Renault EV's collapsing and those of the Leaf at holding up? A Leaf with 45k miles is for sale at 10,000.

Please Renault, give people the OPTION of buying the car with the battery. Most of Nissans sales are for the total car, despite them introducing the option to lease the battery. If that doesn't tell you something, then all is lost.
If only it were that simple! I have a Vectrix EV, purchased in 2008 for 7k, the price included the battery and had a range of 80m (56m in the real world). Some 5 years on, I have a range of 11m and nothing the user can do will increase this to something more practical (25m would be my minimum).

Prior to Vectrix collapsing, I could source a battery swap, and more efficient Li-Ion pack was a possibility it was smaller, had more Ah and increased the range over the OEM pack installed originally. The cost? 4,800, to include the pack and the replacement BMS but not fitting. This was an extra 250.

There is no way I will spend a further 5000 in order to achieve the estimated range that was promised to me at the time of original purchase. Going for the Twizy, and the 45 PM lease was painful - but I had the security of knowing I not only had free 24x7 recovery, but if my battery issues returned, I could insist on a replacement.

I too was critical of being forced to make monthly payments - but I have a 7k investment that is nothing more than a beautiful paperweight, that might have cost just 4k and had a maintenance plan.

Don't knock it - the Leaf forums, whether litigious or not, may well be Nissan's EV downfall in due course.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-28-2014, 04:19 AM
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RE: Watching Zoe prices....

Yours is a point well made. But I can't help thinking that within a very short space of time, batteries will become cheaper in a simple case of economies of scale. We are now seeing some substantial increases not just EV sales but in model and manufacturer availability, and I would like to think that battery packs will become more affordable, not to mention more durable.

I might be wrong about that, but if BEVs are the way forward as I think they are (FCEVs are just as complex as ICEs, require specialist servicing and maintenance, there is no hydrogen infrastructure and, perhaps most importantly, you can't actually buy one) then battery prices simply have to fall. In other words, you may yet be able to revive your Vectrix.

On the subject of how Renault lease their batteries, what happens if you stop paying the lease on it? Do they come and repossess it? I'm just thinking that if, for example, I were to buy a Fluence and in three years' time I stopped paying the monthly battery rentals, I could then ask Renault to remove the pack and buy it myself - that is on the assumption that what I said above holds true.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-28-2014, 05:21 AM
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RE: Watching Zoe prices....

Eep, the battery lease agreement has lots oh holes in it. As far as I can see there's no information as to what happens at the end of the lease. Why have a time limit on it anyway? Will they expect us to sign up again with the same part-worn battery, and at what cost? Or will they provide a new (almost certainly recon) pack. Maybe they'll apply the thumbscrews and up the lease cost??? We do seem to have entered into an open ended nightmare scenario.

We have the added problem of battery deterioration. Below a certain level it gets sorted, apparently but who determines when it's got to that level, seeing as battery performance varies wildly between summer and winter? Questions, questions.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-28-2014, 05:25 AM
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RE: Watching Zoe prices....

Quote:
Originally Posted by william
We have the added problem of battery deterioration. Below a certain level it gets sorted, apparently but who determines when it's got to that level, seeing as battery performance varies wildly between summer and winter? Questions, questions.
Indeed. Hence my interest in Lloyd's trouble, in that if Renault determine the battery pack is not at fault and not necessary to replace then I'm steering well clear. Because it will be obvious that the monthly rental is basically just a tax on ownership rather than an insurance against the sort of problems Lloyd and other owners face long term.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-28-2014, 08:02 AM Thread Starter
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RE: Watching Zoe prices....

You should find most of the answers to these questions elsewhere on this forum, or simply in the battery rental agreement.

Briefly, you remain responsible for continuing the rental on the battery indefinitely, whether it is on the road or not, or until you allow the contract to terminate. If you allow the contract to terminate and you do not renew, then you have to 'return the battery' (undefined what actually constitutes the battery).

Renault have indicated that the battery rental charges are expected to drop as the battery ages and you complete your contract, but obviously that would depend on what they think about it in a couple of years time. The battery contract appears to suggest that you are assured of continuing the battery rental at no more than the initial contract price. I think if it does increase then there would be legal problems for them.

if you do not pay your battery rental, apparently they are able to send a signal to your car to prevent further battery charging.

There is nothing in the purchase contract to suggest you are not allowed to hand the battery back, at any stage, and get a 3rd party to fit their own battery pack to the car. Your warranty would certainly be history at that point, but obviously in the future when the warranty expires one can hope that some entrepreneurial types might set up a business to to exactly that, and also increase the capacity. The question of type approval (accident rating) and whether you would find an insurer to insure a car with a non-standard battery is another matter altogether.

The lowest SOC before the battery is exchanged is 75%. They will determine this by the internal diagnostics in the battery, and is a test you will have to pay for if you doubt the battery's capacity. At the moment, lloyd's car is still not know to be near that figure, which I judge on the basis that if I run the heating at 24C and drive at steady 70 in 0C conditions, I get a range as low as around 45 miles. (75% of that is 33 miles.) If lloyd drives the car harder than that, then lower mileage still is likely.

Any Qs I have missed?
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-28-2014, 08:15 AM
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RE: Watching Zoe prices....

No, that's pretty thorough, thanks. I appreciate you taking the time to write it up.

I would love to see the actual agreement somewhere in print, but can't find a copy online. Maybe I'm just not looking hard enough. The fact remains that it is a cornerstone not only of Renault's EV strategy but of Renault EV ownership, yet it remains elusive and its purpose and effectiveness remain shrouded in mystery. Weird.

I can't help but think that is one of the larger problems facing Fluence and Zoe buyers, in that 70 is a significant sum to have tumble out of your bank account every month, and on something that seems not only open to interpretation but also providing a benefit that is not immediately obvious.

This is particularly the case when you consider how brands with a far greater perceived premium (e.g. Tesla, BMW) don't even offer battery rental as an option. So the question people ask is, what on earth am I signing up for exactly, and why does this EV need it and not that one?
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-28-2014, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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RE: Watching Zoe prices....

I've posted a link to it here, somewhere. Busy right now to dig it out, but go looking and you'll find it.
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