When the first generation of Renault’s small electric car Zoe When Renault’s marketing strategists came onto the market, they had a brilliant idea: Instead of selling the expensive battery with the car, customers could also rent the battery pack monthly and thus shift the risk of loss of performance and range to the manufacturer. Other electric models such as the unconventional Twizy or the high-roof combination Kangoo were then offered with battery subscriptions.
Renting is over in February 2021
The idea worked: To this day, a large majority of buyers would opt for the rental model, not just in Switzerland. But now the trend is reversing: “We are seeing that the demand is changing a lot and the trust of customers in the technology has grown,” says Renault Switzerland spokesman Marc Utzinger. That is why – as in the entire Renault Group – the decision was made in Switzerland to completely dispense with the rental model by the end of February 2021 at the latest and only offer the batteries for sale.
The changeover brings several advantages for Renault: The complete sale means significantly less administrative effort and trading in used models is also made easier, since the batteries previously had to be rented for resale. But what does that mean for the success of French electric vehicles? For example, the Zoe is Renault’s 2020 best-selling model in Switzerland (2132 sales by the end of October) and ranks 14th in the industry. Is Renault threatening to scare off its customers with the change in strategy?
Electric from 18,200 francs
“No!” Says spokesman Marc Utzinger vehemently against it. Because the Zoe would now have an electrical bonus of CHF 10,000 – that makes an effective base price of CHF 25,900. Let’s make a comparison: The cheapest Zoe in the rental model (including deduction of CHF 8500 premium) currently costs CHF 19,600, to which at least CHF 94 per month is added depending on the mileage. If a buyer drives his Zoe for more than 67 months, the battery purchase is cheaper than the previous minimum rent.
Renault also has another new electric dwarf in its range: the one available now Twingo Electric starts at CHF 18,200 (including CHF 2,000 bonus), making it the cheapest electric car in Switzerland.