Renault Fluence EZ concept, 2009 Frankfurt Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
As part of the ongoing debate over leasing and purchasing batteries for EVs continues, a new option is now on the horizon. Most consumers buy vehicles in the U.S. rather than leasing them. This changeover is relatively recent as the economic downturn put an end to many attractive leasing programs. Typically, high end vehicles or those with strong demand cannot be leased through the automaker as lease support is non-existent on many high demand models. This will likely be the case for many upcoming EVs. Buyers will have to dish out money to purchase many upcoming EVs and EREVs in high demand.
However, most businesses that have commercial fleets of vehicles have found that leasing is beneficial. They acquire vehicles in a different way than typical consumers do and their method may be of interest with regards to EVs. Businesses typically lease their fleets vehicles through an outside company and not directly from the manufacturer. This outside company purchases vehicles from the manufacturer and leases them to businesses while making a slight profit for their risk.
One such leasing company is Athlon Car Lease. This Dutch based company leases vehicle to commercial accounts for fleet use. They provide leasing services throughout eight European countries and have recently decided to partner with Renault for distribution and leasing of the companies upcoming EVs. Leasing EVs is part of Athlon's Sustainable Mobility Plan.
Commercial fleet accounts are not the same as personal leases, but the idea could expand beyond fleet use. If consumers are unwilling to invest in the upfront costs of many EVs model and despise leasing just the battery to reduce costs, perhaps leasing the entire vehicle would be more intriguing. The new technology of EVs presents a risk reward investment for many consumers. Some will be unwilling to take the initial risk on new technology, but leasing may get them in this type of vehicle now with minimal risk and create a lifelong EV buyer in the future.
Athlon Car Lease and Renault become Partners in Rollout of Electric Vehicles
Today Renault and Athlon Car Lease International have announced their cooperation in the joint delivery of Electric Vehicle (EV)-solutions to their mutual clients.
Renault and Athlon have agreed to offer their customers innovative solutions developed jointly and involving the staff and networks of both partners. Athlon supports Renault's EV project.
Constituting a clean means of transportation, electric vehicles are providing an increasingly attractive solution to changing current mobility requirements. According to Renault research, 80% of all Europeans currently travel less than 60 kilometers per day. Athlon's and Renault's partnership aims at making zero-emission vehicles available to as many people as possible, starting in 2011.
As part of its CSR strategy, the Dutch based leasing company, Athlon Car Lease International has developed the 5-step Sustainable Mobility Plan in which it is taking the first step to becoming a provider of mobility services. Part of the 5-step Sustainable Mobility Plan is Athlon's development program "CHARGED" for EV's. "CHARGED" will help us creating a new business model in the new EV value chain enabling new values for both cars and batteries, infrastructure and developing a one-stop-shop for our customers and end-users. It is in Athlon's interest to cooperate with all stakeholders within the new EV-domain.
Commenting on the cooperation, Hans Blink, President of Athlon Car Lease International, says: 'we have noticed a broad interest among our clients to experience and get involved in EV driving. Renault is the first OEM that will have a full range of EV's available in the near future and therefore we are happy to collaborate with and receive support from Renault. By joining efforts in our common interest in the EV demand, we aim to provide our customers with end-to- end solutions in EV driving.'
"Thanks to our 'Zero-Emission' mobility program, Renault will offer a broad range of zero- emission vehicles starting in 2011. For Renault, electric vehicles with zero carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide or particle emissions constitute a real answer to current environmental concerns. We are proud that Athlon has chosen Renault as its partner," commented Uwe Hochgeschurtz, Director of Renault's Corporate Sales Division.