Renault ZoeRenault has launched a new full purchase battery option for its Zoe and Kangoo Van electric vehicles, in response to industry criticism over its battery hire only scheme.

Previously, all Renaults EVs could not be purchased with batteries included: customers had to sign up for a battery lease scheme, costing from £45 a month.

This kept the initial purchase price low but drew criticism from leasing industry retained value expert CAP – which refused to quote an RV unless batteries were included in the original purchase price.

Renault has persisted with the battery hire scheme since 2010 but is now responding to market forces and launching the battery purchase scheme.

The new full battery purchase option is available on the new Zoe i model, which costs £18,443 on the road once the Government Plug-in Car Grant is taken off.

This compares to prices from £13,995 on battery lease.

Full battery purchase models come with a five-year, 60,000-mile battery warranty, which runs alongside Renault’s standard (and impressive) four-year/100,000-mile vehicle warranty.

Battery deal ‘will strengthen Renault’s EV position’

CAP has responded positively to the new option. Martin Ward, CAP manufacturer relations manager, said: “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.”

Renault has sold 2000 EVs in the UK since launching them in late 2010. Renault UK MD Ken Ramirez expects the new full purchase option to improve this.

“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.”

In a related initiative, Renault has also cut prices for EV battery lease: prices now start from £25 for the volume Zoe model, instead of the original £45 price.