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Renault UK Offers Free Charging Stations With Zoe Electric Car

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2013 Renault Zoe electric car

2013 Renault Zoe electric car

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Renault's absence from North America means the Zoe electric car won't be reaching U.S. shores any time soon. And that's kind of a shame.

It's about as chic as you'd expect for a car originating from France, and makes you wonder why some other companies can't put a bit of effort into styling their electric cars, too.

However, price could sell the Zoe in Europe--and in the UK, Renault is also offering buyers home charging stations, absolutely cost-free.

It's able to do this thanks to the UK's electric car incentive package.

Not only do UK buyers currently get almost $7,600 off the price of a new zero-emission vehicle under the government's Plug-In Car Grant--dropping the price of a Zoe to only $20,700--but the government also pays for up to 75 percent of the cost of a domestic charging point.

Renault will pay the other 25 percent, meaning Zoe buyers can get a professionally-installed electric car charging point absolutely free.

Energy supplier British Gas will install the 32 amp, 7 kW wall box on the owner's home, prior to delivery of their new Zoe. Renault's extra 25 percent share will save owners around $760, and comes with an attached cord so owners don't need to use a separate cable for home charging.

Renault estimates that 90 percent of charging will take place at home, though the Zoe is also fast-charge compatible, offering the usual 80 percent capacity boost in 30 minutes. As part of the package, Renault also offers free access to a public charging network across the UK.

As with all Renault's electric vehicles, there is another cost involved: monthly battery rental. This starts at £70 per month, or around $106 at current exchange rates.

For some, it'll be enough to sour the deal--while a Zoe costs no more than an equivalent diesel subcompact in the UK after the government subsidy, a typical low-mileage owner may spend less than $106 per month on fuel anyway.

For others, it may simply be peace of mind, since the battery rental package comes with a comprehensive after-sales support package covering the battery itself, and providing you with a lift should you ever run out of charge.

And of course, owners will still enjoy the Zoe's neat styling and smooth electric car driving characteristics--while paying absolutely nothing for a home installed charger.

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Comments (4)
  1. So you've bought an electric car and you could save because you don't need to buy gas. But in an effort to make the car look cheaper you have to rent the battery so you'll be paying £840. ($1,272.) per year for as long as you have the car. One of the perks of owning an electric car is supposed to be low running costs. Yes you'll pay less up front but you'll pay it over time anyway and you will never truly own the car.
     
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  2. Yes and there are some prospective owners who will want the safety net of never having to worry about the battery, something highly suspect with most. You can compare this yearly charge to service plans people opt into for conventional cars or even insurance for what "might" happen and mostly never does.
     
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  3. It is not like a yearly service plan it's a lease, your paying to borrow the battery. And so far battery failure has been extremely rare, sure it may calm battery anxiety but it's another one of those things that may not be necessary in the future. Battery replacement is yet another thing people are getting high cost anxiety about, sure batteries aren't cheap but it will improve over time. It's actually not bad if you compare it to an engine replacement in an ICE powered car. With in the time most people own a car I doubt they'll be replacing the battery.
     
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  4. For that reason buying a Renault ZOE makes one sort of an "early adopter" of sorts. Since you are not truly buying the car outright completely, you're ALWAYS renting the battery. I'd still be jumping out of my skin if I lived in Paris, France, wanting to buy a Renault ZOE. I love it's taillight design and though I don't like the Leaf-like front end styling, I tolerate it for the greater good. I don't even mind the sound they have installed to warn the blind pedestrian or even pedestrians that you're silently motoring by them.

    Antony Ingram - would you buy a Renault ZOE if they were imported to America? The technology packed into this car is nothing short of astounding, everyone interested in buying one MUST DO THEIR DUE DILIGENCE HERE.
     
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