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Renault has 100,000 electric vehicles with leased batteries on the road, can now upgrade with 41 kWh packs

With the ZOE, Renault pioneered the idea of selling electric vehicles while only leasing the battery pack for a monthly fee. The idea is controversial. While it significantly reduces the entry price, the vehicle is virtually useless without the battery pack and the fee can be expensive.

Nonetheless, the program proved popular since Renault announced that it recently signed its 100,000th battery lease and now those ZOE owners have an interesting opportunity. They can upgrade their battery pack to Renault ‘s new 41 kWh pack released last year.

Most of the vehicles are equipped with a 22 kWh pack that was standard when Renault launched the ZOE in 2012. It enabled a range of roughly 80 miles (~120 km) on a single charge.

But with the introduction of the new 2017 ZOE, Renault surprised everyone with a 41 kWh battery for about ~200 miles (~320 km) of range.

It’s a significant improvement and existing customers can actually take advantage of it for a higher monthly fee. It’s actually relatively rare in the EV segment for automakers to offer battery pack upgrades. Tesla did it for a few models, like the Roadster, and BMW also offered it for the new 33 kWh pack in the i3.

Here’s the monthly price difference between the 22 kWh pack and the 41 kWh pack:

It ranges from the equivalent of $62 to $137 USD, which in most cases should be less than what driver pay for gas even when taking into account charging.

An interesting statistic: Renault says that 93% of its electric vehicle customer decide to lease the battery pack. Of course, in some markets, the only choice is to lease the battery and therefore, it skews the statistic.

Here they explain the advantages:

With the arrival of the new Z.E. 40 battery pack, Renault has introduced a more streamlined pricing scheme with no minimum length of commitment, consisting in two options. The first, Z.E. Flex, is a pay-as-you-drive system whereby the rate is calculated as a function of the distance actually covered. The second option, Z.E. Relax, is reserved for retail customers and offers unlimited mileage. These options facilitate the control of running costs for ZOE owners. What’s more, customers get optimal flexibility and the ability to adapt to changing personal needs, since they can switch options at any time.

An increasingly popular trend in France is the all-inclusive leasing package, which covers the battery and the vehicle itself. This option is chosen by more than 60 percent of ZOE customers, who enjoy the advantages of battery leasing and the ability to control their overall vehicle budget. The new ZOE is currently available for €179/month* – an affordable rate that includes peace of mind!

* Price in France, deduction of €6,000 subsidy and €4,000 premium (subject to the trade-in of a diesel-engined passenger car registered before January 1st, 2006) included.

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