Even more flexible EV ownership packages from Renault


  • Full purchase battery option now available on ZOE i and Kangoo Van Z.E. i
  • Battery Hire scheme continues on ZOE, Twizy & Kangoo Van Z.E.
  • Five-year / 60,000-mile battery warranty on i versions
  • ZOE i available from £18,443 after Government Plug-in Car Grant
  • Kangoo Van Z.E. i from £16,161 (+VAT) after Government Plug-in Van Grant
  • Battery Hire now even more affordable with new offers – from £25 per month for ZOE and from £33+VAT for Kangoo Van Z.E.

Renault UK is today introducing new ownership packages with two of its most popular electric vehicles as part of its determination to make Z.E. (zero emissions in use) mobility flexible and accessible to the widest number of drivers.

Customers will now be able to order new ZOE i and Kangoo Van Z.E. i versions that are supplied ‘Full Purchase’.  This means that there is now the choice between full ownership of the vehicle and the battery, or buy-the-car/hire-the-battery schemes.

Potential Renault electric-vehicle customers can therefore tailor an ownership package to their exact requirements. There’s also good news for those who prefer the peace of mind and lower purchase cost of battery hire, with a special offer with lower monthly rates for ZOE and Kangoo Van Z.E.

Whichever ownership package the customer chooses, the model line-up is exactly the same, with the exception of an ‘i’ badge on the tailgate for full purchase vehicles to ensure easy identification for the used vehicle market.

The ZOE continues to be available in Expression, Dynamique Zen and Dynamique Intens trim levels, while the Kangoo Van Z.E range mirrors the versions available in diesel form, with Van, Maxi, Crew Van and Kangoo Maxi Crew Van Cab to choose from.

The ZOE i is available from £18,443 ‘on-the-road’, after the Government’s Plug-in Car Grant, compared to £13,995 on battery lease. The Kangoo Van i range starts at £16,161 (+VAT) after the Government grant, compared to £12,995 (+VAT) if the battery is leased.

These full purchase models are protected by a five-year, 60,000-mile warranty on the batteries in addition to the standard Renault vehicle protection of four years / 100,000 miles. The battery warranty gives the customer peace of mind against possible decreases in battery performance over time, guaranteeing a minimum of 70 per cent of the original capacity for ZOE and 66 per cent for Kangoo Van Z.E.

Ken Ramirez, Managing Director, Renault UK, commented:

“Renault was a pioneer in the EV market and has remained a leader by offering the best technology, across a wide Z.E. line-up and at affordable prices.  The battery leasing scheme has proved popular with customers for the flexibility and lower purchase prices it offers.  The addition of full purchase versions on our core EV models will offer private and business customers a greater choice and further strengthen our position in the UK EV market.”

CAP Monitor, one of the UK’s leading assessors of vehicle residual values, has responded positively to these initiatives.  Martin Ward, CAP Manufacturer Relationship Manager commented:

“The ZOE and Kangoo Van Z.E. ranges have become a time-tested, high-quality, innovative and important component of a fast-growing vehicle sector. CAP Automotive welcomes any steps that broaden choice for the customer and increase the opportunities for take-up of these cars by the motoring public and businesses.”

Battery Hire – Customer Offers

Meanwhile, the battery hire scheme, which has proved to be such an attractive proposition with early adopters of electric vehicles, becomes even more appealing with the introduction of a new special offer.

Battery hire will start from £25 per month (down from £45) for the ZOE and from £33+VAT per month (down from £61+VAT) for the Kangoo Van Z.E. range.  Over a 36-month period this represents a total saving of £900 on ZOE and £1,008+VAT on Kangoo Van Z.E. on the cost of the battery lease.

The flexibility and convenience of Battery Hire make these offers even more attractive, with a Lifetime Performance Guarantee on batteries under its lease scheme, including repair or replacement if they fall below 75 per cent of their original capacity, as well as the peace of mind of roadside recovery even in the event of an owner running out of charge away from a charging point.

Renault has the widest range of all-electric vehicles on sale in the UK.  In addition to the stylish ZOE supermini and workaholic Kangoo Van Z.E., it also offers the fun-in-the-city Twizy.  Renault has already sold a total of 2,000 electric vehicles in the UK.



Battery Hire*        Battery Purchase

ZOE Expression                                 £13,995                          n/a

ZOE Dynamique Zen                          £15,195                          n/a

ZOE Dynamique Intens                      £15,195                          n/a

ZOE i-Expression                                           n/a                          £18,443         

ZOE i-Dynamique Zen                                   n/a                          £20,043         

ZOE i-Dynamique Intens                              n/a                          £20,043

*= Battery Hire on ZOE from £25/month


N.B.  All pricing figures are after the Government Plug-in Car Grant.



Battery Hire*        Battery Purchase

Kangoo Van Z.E.                                         £12,995                          n/a

Kangoo Maxi Z.E.                                        £13,895                          n/a

Kangoo Maxi Crew Van Z.E.                          £14,395                          n/a

Kangoo Maxi Crew Van CAB Z.E.                   £14,895                          n/a

Kangoo i Van Z.E.                                                    n/a                          £16,161

Kangoo i Maxi Z.E.                                                  n/a                          £17,062

Kangoo i Maxi Crew Van Z.E.                               n/a                          £17,561

Kangoo i Maxi Crew Van CAB Z.E.                       n/a                          £18,062

* = Battery Hire on Kangoo Z.E. from £33/month


N.B. All prices excluding VAT and after the Government Plug-in Van Grant.                                  

Renault and Bolloré form EV partnership

Renault and Bolloré form EV partnership
Renault and Bolloré form EV partnership

Renault and Bolloré are joining forces to promote electric vehicles (EVs) as part of three agreements relating to industrial cooperation, the founding of a joint-venture to sell EV car sharing solutions and a feasibility study on the development of a specific new Renault vehicle for car-sharing plans.

The Bolloré Group has commissioned Renault for its expertise in electric cars to gradually take over assembly of the Bluecar, formerly built solely in Italy. The vehicles will be assembled at the Renault plant in Dieppe (Normandy, France) from the second-half of 2015. For the Dieppe plant, this decision is an acknowledgement of its expertise and a promise for its future activity.

The Dieppe plant specialises in building vehicles in small series. It currently builds Clio Renaultsport and is set to build the future Alpine, scheduled for launch in 2016. The Dieppe plant will be able to rely on the expertise of the Renault group in electric vehicles to acquire the skills necessary to assemble this type of vehicle.

A new final assembly workshop will be set up specially within the plant to build these vehicles. The Bolloré group will thus have access to modern production tooling tailored to its requirements and delivering a significant reduction in costs.

Read more: Fuel Included

Electric Motoring With Fuel Included – Part 2

[Part 1 is here]

Development of the new ‘Fuel Included’ business progresses. I have registered the company as Fuel Included Limited with Companies House.

More significantly – in terms of the masses of paperwork required – I have registered both myself and the company with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the regulatory organisation that has replaced the FSA. This is because I will be providing leasing contracts to the general public, and since leasing involves giving credit, the business is considered to be involved in activities that require registration. Fortunately I have no criminal record so the process went through smoothly!

However, getting a simple business bank account through my usual Northampton branch of Barclays became a nightmare (with major delays and cancelled appointments). Finally the online account came through this week thanks to the intervention of my (local to work) Milton Keynes branch.

Fuel Included Limited is now fully up and running!

In parallel with all the admin required to start up a new business, I have been working hard on creating a good Fuel Included website. Obviously I have the experience of working on MyRenaultZOE.com, and in fact I have also created a number of other websites over the years, so I had a pretty good idea how I wanted it to go.

Original Fuel Included Logo
Original Fuel Included Logo

Having said that, as a commercial enterprise the site has to be of a particularly high quality and so I have taken on external advice and help. For example, I originally made a Fuel Included logo myself but was persuaded to have a new one created commercially – and I’m now very pleased with the outcome.

Official Fuel Included Logo
Official Fuel Included Logo

The main site is at FuelIncluded.com and is about half complete. It’s useable, but I’ll continue to develop and complete it over the next few weeks. I hope to have it finished by the end of November.

FuelIncluded.com Screenshot
FuelIncluded.com Screenshot

Sales are conducted through a separate domain site at Deals.FuelIncluded.com. This uses commercial car leasing software and I’ll write up more about how this works in my next post.

While I remain convinced that the British public can be persuaded to move over to electric cars – and may one day even embrace them – I still really look forward to having it confirmed!

My 600km trip from Belgium to Germany

Each year I go to Essen, Germany for a big board game convention. Since I bring home a sizable amount of games, we have opted not to use the train. Hauling back is simply easier with a car.

This year is the first time we don’t have an ICE available to make that trip, so we again faced the choice: go by train or use the ZOE. A quick look at the charger map made the decision easy: there’s plenty of AC chargers along the way, most of them 22kW or more.

The trip would take me from the South of Flanders in Belgium through the South of the Netherlands in to the Ruhr region of Germany. A 300km trip, one way.

We already have a The New Motion charging pass which we occasionally use in Belgium, but it also works on a lot of chargers in The Netherlands. After all, The New Motion is a Dutch company. So I felt confident I would be fine with just the one card.

I also had a look at Germany. The last charger I would use in The Netherlands was in Venlo, 65km from my destination. Going from there to Essen and back was certainly possible without recharging, but not at highway speeds. I quickly found out there where 2 AC quick chargers in Duisburg, only 15km from Essen that sould work with my New Motion card.

I also knew an RWE charger at the end of the street my hotel is in, so charging there would be more convenient. I contacted RWE and they told me I could use their chargers using the PlugSurfing service. I went on to the PlugSurfing website to register, and found they had two options: use the app or get a pass for almost €10. They where so nice as to tell me that not all chargers would work with the app yet, so the pass was a safer option. Since I probably wouldn’t have 3G connectivity and the app wasn’t compatible with my older smartphone, I got the pass, which arrived just in time for the trip.

We left from my home and drove to Turnhout, some 126km away. We drove mostly 90km/h on the motorway, and we arrived with about 20km of range left. Since the Turnhout charger is – like most AC chargers in Belgium – only 22kW, we had plenty of time to grab a bite.

We then drove on to Venlo, 101km further, also at 90km/h for most of the time. We had slightly more range left, but this was the last charger on our route that wasn’t in Germany, so I felt it was the last one we could count on. A nice surprise was that this charger was 43kW, even though the website had indicated it was 22kW. But there was also a secondary 22kW charger available. I did notice that even though it is rated at 43kW, it did take slightly longer to charge than it ever did on my trip the the UK, using Ecotricity chargers.

When the battery was at 99%, we went on our way to Essen. We arrived there with about 80km of range left, enough to get back to Venlo if nothing unexpected happened. But I decided to charge in Germany if possible just to make the trip back more comfortable.

After 6 days at the convention it was time to head back. Before breakfast and packing, I went to the RWE charger with my car. Upon arriving there the charger was ICEd, but my cord was long enough to reach it from a nearby spot. But the charger didn’t have an RFID reader, meaning that it could only be activated with the app, the opposite of what the PlugSurfing site had warned for. On the Duisburg then.

When we arrived in Duisburg we found the charger very easily. A plug-in Volvo was charging on one side with a Schuko plug, but the other side was free and both sides could be activated independently. You can’t plug in unless you unlock the port with your RFID card, so I swiped my The New Motion card, which was the one that was supposed to work. It took very long to authenticate before being rejected. I tried again, but the rejection was clearly cached in the charger, as it was immediately rejected again. I tried the PlugSurfing pass just in case it would work, but I got an error message which I didn’t understand.

I didn’t feel like placing an expensive international phone call to get the thing to work, so we went on to Venlo to charge there. We arrived there with 20km of range left. The rest of the journey went as planned.

I’m glad this happened in a situation where I didn’t really need the charge, but if I ever make a longer trip through Germany, I’ll make sure to do more research and be better prepared because this can hardly be called a success.

Electric Motoring With Fuel Included

Me and My ZOE (Image: T. Larkum)
Me and My ZOE (Image: T. Larkum)

It was late in 2011/early in 2012 when I first started taking notice of articles in the online press about climate change and electric vehicles. Being interested in all things technical I was particularly intrigued by the fast pace of development in electric motoring. By the Spring of 2012 I had decided to take the plunge, and on 1 May that year I paid the fee to pre-register for a Renault ZOE. Of course, I didn’t know then it would take more than another year to be delivered!

It’s now 14 months since our ZOE arrived in July 2013 and changed our minds on fossil-free motoring. It represents a big part of an ongoing change of lifestyle. In the same summer we had our second set of solar panels installed (big enough to cover the ZOE’s charging, while the first set provides for the house). We also changed over our domestic energy supplier from e.ON to Ecotricity in order to have a purely renewable electricity supply. A pleasant side effect of the change of supplier was to actually get a reduced rate across the board. We also started an Economy 7 tariff (the previous owners of the house had installed a second meter) to allow extra cheap charging at night.

Far from being a second car the ZOE is now our default vehicle for going everywhere, long trips as well as short ones. I use it every workday to commute from Northampton to Milton Keynes. It does the family errand runs at the weekend. More significantly, when we have to travel long distances as a family I much prefer to take the ZOE, for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it is of course cheaper per mile than our conventional Ford Focus. Secondly, it massively reduces our carbon footprint since it charges at home, and at Ecotricity rapid chargers on the way, with renewable electricity. Thirdly, and this is just not stated often enough, it is much nicer to drive than a combustion car because of its smoothness, quietness, and lack of gear changing (whether compared to a manual or automatic ’box).

Having become a convert to electric motoring I have naturally become something of an evangelist for EVs, something that seems to happen to the majority of EV drivers. I am forever answering questions from people – friends, family, bystanders – about the ZOE.  What is disappointing is that most people have such ignorance about electric cars – not just in terms of details, but to the extent that many seem to believe that they don’t exist, or actually can’t exist, until they see one. They are then very pleasantly surprised when they get a lift in one, or – better – get to test drive one.

Earlier this year I decided to do something more concrete about this sad situation, to do something positive in the field of electric motoring and renewable energy. After kicking around various ideas and getting feedback from interested parties I focused in on electric car leasing as a market opportunity that was waiting to be filled. I began work on a business plan that was completed in July.

What I don’t think most people can understand is that although electric cars are expensive to buy, their low running costs mean you can easily save money in the long run. Unfortunately most people don’t seem to have that long-term ‘total cost of ownership’ idea in mind when buying a new car. I think the solution is to offer a new car at a monthly fee with fuel included in the price. This is analogous to how most people expect to pay for their mobile phones, and for the same reason – it avoids a large upfront cost.

The ‘unique selling point’ of the business plan is that the company will offer new electric cars on long-term lease with fuel (i.e. electricity) covered by the monthly cost. These cars can be fully electric, in which case all fuel is included, or plug-in hybrids in which case the electricity component is included. In the latter case, however, the car will be chosen to best target the customer’s circumstances so that the bulk of driving (particularly a daily commute) can be achieved entirely on electricity. At the same time it allows the customer the flexibility to choose to drive on fossil fuels if they wish (for example when in a rush, or to take the car on holiday, and so on).

The economics are such that for some drivers – particularly high mileage drivers (i.e. those that can recharge at work) – the cost of a new fuel included car can be less than they currently spend on petrol. Those drivers get to drive a new car for free.

I am currently in the process of creating a start-up company to offer this new form of personal motoring. I believe it will have long-term success, though it may well have a slow start in what is currently a small, and arguably hostile, market in the UK.

[Part 2 is here]

[The new Fuel Included website is at FuelIncluded.com – any feedback appreciated.]

Your one stop source for news and updates on the Renault ZOE. For the latest prices and deals with free charging visit FuelIncluded.com.