Fluence - asset or liability? - Renault Z.E. Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-24-2017, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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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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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-05-2017, 06:37 AM
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RE: Fluence - asset or liability?

I loved, loved our fluence, beautiful car and smooth to drive. We have been all over the country in it, with clever planning for charging. 60 - 70 miles in the winter at most, and 121 range we've had in the summer.

biggest problem, i bumped it in february, damage all front end, not a huge crash but due to the parts not readily available, it was quoted 4000 damage, so our insurance company wrote it off and offered us 3250 for it. what they didn't cost was the battery, which adds another 4000 to the vehicle. would they have written it off if they fully understood e.v's? Im not so sure, as now, nearly 5 months later, we are still to reach a settlement figure, because as you mentioned in your post, the insurance do not want to pay that 2000 to send the battery to france, even if there is nothing wrong with it. In fact, they point blank are refusing to pay it. which leaves us where? unable to buy another vehicle as we are still paying out for this one until it is settled!

I just want to make you aware of this, as much as I loved our fluence and it has served us well for 4 years, they are very complicated insurance wise, and insurance just do not know how to deal with them.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-11-2017, 06:27 AM
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RE: Fluence - asset or liability?

I still own a fluence with 38K miles, Renault replaced the Motor last year, it runs great but no fast charge kills it for long journeys. I was just offered 1250 from The Renault dealer I bought it from, I'm thinking of the Zoe but not impressed by there still complete lack of knowledge of EV's and totally unhelpful attitude when wanting to buy another EV.
Buy a Zoe or better buy a used Nissan leaf which includes the 30Kw battery.
I'm afraid the Fluence is a dead car rolling. Renault should offer a scrappage scheme for the car even if you are not buying another car because they want it dead, they sold them to the public in the first place and if they want to keep loyal customer's to the brand they should take it back.

Sadly Yours,
John
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