Reactions to a Fluence - Renault Z.E. Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 05-17-2014, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Reactions to a Fluence

Having now had my Fluence for a little more than a month I have had time to note the reactions of quite a few people to the Fluence.

As persons with an interrest in EV we expect other people to know a little about EV's. Well, people don't.
The most common reaction to my Fluence is without a doubt surprise. When people in general think about EV's they think of something small, box shaped, odd and flimsy looking. Well, a Fluence is just a car, kinda big, - and then its electrical.
I think that by being just that (mainstream and biggish and not standing out in any way when it comes to design) a Fluence is doing more positivt for EV's than most other EV's. It shows people that an EV is just a car. Its not something you buy to be special or to save the world. It's just a stylish car that's nice to drive, - plus it's easy to maintain (no oilshifts and stuff) and and easy to refuel (just plug it in).

When I show people the Fluence quite a few ask in a kind of disbelief "really, its electric?". An other typical first remark when seeing it is "but it's big!" or "it looks just like a car", - well surprise, it is a car.
And making the way to the car in the car park most people will try to spot some small car, point it out and ask "is it that one?". No it's not, its the Mondeo sized saloon over there!

Someone has clearly failed to educate the general public about the reality of EV's. Could be the authorities or the car manufactures, - or both.
EV car owners, and especially Fluence owners, plays a great part in educating about EVs just by driving a EV.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 05-18-2014, 06:20 AM
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RE: Reactions to a Fluence

We've commented briefly on this 'phenomenon' here before. Yes, the Fluence is not 'within the expectation' that others hold of EVs and I think this is, at least in part, a contribution to why it has not been taken up as greatly as other gawky looking EVs.

Breaking that down further, there are, I would presume, some folks keen to have an EV that 'looks like an EV' and have positively biased away from Fluence because it is 'ordinary. But there are others that simply can't see the car as an EV.

Interestingly, when Leaf and Fluence came out at similar times, the press compared them and said how the Fluence was dull and 'old school' whereas the Leaf was all whizz-bang high tech and wonderful. Fast forward a few years, and some of those same jouros are now saying they find the flashy interior and dash of the Leaf too cluttered and distracting.

The other greater part in regards expectations is that Renault have simply put no effort whatsoever into raising interest with consumers. They did a storming job with the press, but stopped there and did not make an effort to enter the public's conscious. Booted-saloons are not popular here in UK, but I don't think that was an issue, as there are other booted saloons here.

The only logical conclusions in this that make consistent sense is that there is still a cultural battle going on in Renault in which some want to push EVs, inc Ghosn, but the old-guard are avoiding distracting a buying public from their core business of ICE cars.

I think that is a very idiotic way to go about it, because if they advertised the ZE range strongly then they would still attract potential ICE-buyers 'by association' to the higher state of technology shown in the ZE range. A potential customer is just as likely to see a ZE advert and, after looking into it, decide to get a Megane ECO2 diesel and much as they might decide to get the Megane in the first instance. In other words, ZE was a brilliant opportunity as a 'calling card' to Renault tech, and they fumbled it completely. I can see the possibility that Renault will withdraw from UK market all together. They have already withdrawn several models. It's a big shame, because that's not down to the cars, that'd down to the lack of 'dynamism' within Renault UK. They seem to have improved the customer service of late, but then played butter-fingers with the brand image.

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