Renault Zoe

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Nature Real
ID Name Renault Zoé
Provider Renault
Description Renault Zoé is an electric car which can be remotely charged and preconditioned, and which offers a remote charge scheduling. N.B. Even if today there is the possibility to choose the Zoé version "i" - in which the battery is not hired, but sold -, we will only examine the first (and still available) version of the Zoé, in which the car is sold but the battery must be hired.
Country UK
Release Date End 2012 (15.07.2015: date of the analysis)
Link https://www.renault.co.uk/vehicles/new-vehicles/zoe.html
Topics Business Model, Property
Correlated texts https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renault_Zoe, https://twitter.com/Groupe_Renault/status/401387987331981312, https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/11/drm-cars-will-drive-consumers-crazy, http://llewblog.squarespace.com/electric-cars/2013/3/29/the-renault-zoe-a-non-review.html, http://insideevs.com/report-renault-zoe-now-available-with-battery-priced-from-18388-called-i-zoe/, http://www.autoblog.com/2013/11/18/reactions-to-renault-zoe-battery-drm-are-overblown-but-knowle/, [[Correlated::Renault customers cry foul over battery pack rental terms – Owning the car but renting the pack puts car makers in drivers seat?]]

Notes

Components:

See Renault customers cry foul over battery pack rental terms – Owning the car but renting the pack puts car makers in drivers seat?.

Contractual characteristics

Links to Terms&Conditions: https://www.renault.co.uk/privacy.html (Personal Data Protection); https://www.renault.co.uk/content/dam/Renault/UK/brand-and-editorial/Aftersales/Renault_ZE_Warranty_Terms_and_Conditions.pdf (Renault Z.E./Electric Vehicle Warranty terms and conditions including the 4+ Warranty offer, applicable to all Z.E. vehicles); http://myrenaultzoe.com/Docs/BatteryHireLeaseAgreement.pdf (Battery Hire Lease Agreement); http://myrenaultzoe.com/Docs/R-LINK%20UPDATES.pdf (Mandatory R-Link Software Update)

Date of Terms&Conditions: 10.07.2015 (Battery Hire Lease Agreement); 22.05.2014 (Mandatory R-Link Software Update); 10.07.2015 (Renault Z.E./Electric Vehicle Warranty terms and conditions including the 4+ Warranty offer, applicable to all Z.E. vehicles); 10.07.205 (Personal Data Protection)

1. Is the consumer allowed to modify the software and/or hardware without retaliation? No
There is an explicit prohibition to alter or modify the battery. There is also an explicit prohibition for the customer to perform any work on the battery by himself or through an unauthorized repairer.

If the customer modifies the battery (these modifications include repairs and maintenance carried out by the customer himself, or through a repairer that is not authorized by RENAULT and such repairs or maintenance fail to comply with manufacturer recommendations): the car manufacturer is not liable for the damages that arise as a result of these modifications; the manufacturer won't replace or repair a defective battery; the manufacturer may end the Hire Agreement.

If the customer modifies the vehicle (these modifications include repairs and maintenance carried out by the customer himself, or through a repairer that is not authorized by RENAULT and such repairs or maintenance fail to comply with manufacturer recommendations): the car manufacturer is not liable for the damages that arise as a result of these modifications; the manufacturer won't replace or repair a defective battery; the warranty on the vehicle may not apply. Moreover, if the vehicle has been adapted (e.g. to be a refrigeration vehicle, an ambulance, etc.), the breakdown and recovery benefits can't apply.

Moreover, if the customer uses accessories (among which we cam presumably include also the battery) non approved by the car manufacturer, the Warranty on the vehicle doesn't apply.


We shall not be liable to you for damage to private electrical installations, the Battery or the Vehicle where you have failed to comply with the manufacturer recommendations in particular (but not limited to) loss that arises as a result of your: [...] failing to maintain the Vehicle or the Battery in accordance with the manufacturer/supplier recommendations; [...] making modifications to the Battery or Vehicle (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

We shall supply you with a Battery that is in good working condition and we shall replace or repair any defective Battery providing you comply with the terms and conditions of this Hire Agreement and the manufacturer recommendations for charging and use of the Battery (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

The warranty provided at clause 7.1. [We shall supply you with a Battery that is in good working condition and we shall replace or repair any defective Battery providing you comply with the terms and conditions of this Hire Agreement and the manufacturer recommendations for charging and use of the Battery. [...W]e shall provide you with an alternative vehicle] and 7.3 [We shall provide you with a Battery that has sufficient charging capacity for the term of this Hire Agreement and any extension to the term] does not apply to: components of the Battery that have been modified or the consequences of such modification [...]; problems that arise as a result of your carrying out repairs or maintenance yourself, or through a repairer that is not a ZE After-Sales Service Centre and such repairs or maintenance fail to comply with manufacturer recommendations (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

You must, at your own cost: [...] make good all damage to the Battery, whether or not such damage is your fault, as soon as is reasonably practical repairing and/or replacing parts where necessary (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

[Y]ou must not perform any work on the Battery yourself, nor allow any unauthorised repairer to perform any work on the Battery (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

[Y]ou must not alter or modify the Battery in any way (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

We may end this Hire Agreement after giving any written notice required by law if: [...] you do not pay any Rental or other sum owing to us under this Hire Agreement; or you are in material breach of any of the other terms of this Hire Agreement [...]. Following the occurrence of any of those events [...]: we may prevent further recharging of the Battery (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

You, the Beneficiary under this agreement, together with any authorised driver of the Vehicle [...], are entitled to the breakdown and recovery benefits detailed below. The benefits are also available to passengers transported at no cost [...]. Any Vehicle that has been adapted (for example, refrigeration vehicles, driving school vehicles, ambulances, hearses etc.) or is used or intended to be used for transporting passengers at cost [...] are not entitled to these benefits (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

The Renault Warranty does not cover: [...] Any components of the Vehicle that have been changed following the Delivery Date and the consequences (including but not limited to damage, premature wear, alterations) of such changes on other parts or components of the Vehicle or the Vehicle specifications. Any routine servicing agreed by the Customer or which the Customer chooses to undertake, even though it conforms to the manufacturer's recommendation. [...] The Damage resulting from a lack of repair, maintenance or servicing to the standard recommended by RENAULT. [...] Damage caused by the following: [...] The fitting of non-RENAULT approved accessories (Source: Warranty)

Conditions under which the RENAULT Warranty can be applied. [...] If the vehicle is off the road and cannot be driven to a RENAULT Network workshop, the Customer shall contact the nearest member of the RENAULT Network [...] and request assistance with transporting the Vehicle to where it can be dealt with (Source: Warranty).

Generally speaking electric car owners at this time don’t have that freedom. Buy a Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, etc, and you’re stuck with the battery pack options supplied by the manufacturer. No 3rd party battery packs, and it’s an uphill slog if you want to replace the pack yourself. Fortunately it’s not impossible to do it yourself, because tinkerers at home are getting packs from crashed vehicles and performing teardowns and learning how to diagnose pack problems on their own. Bravo. Leaf/Volt/etc owners have this much freedom because they’re buying the whole car as a package, and therefore own the battery pack. Other than the risk of voiding the warranty, they’re free to do what they want. Under Renault’s battery pack rental/lease program – sure the customer owns the car, but they don’t own the battery pack. Therefore the customers hands are tied against do it yourself anything with the battery pack (Source: http://longtailpipe.com/2014/09/28/renault-customers-cry-foul-over-battery/).

2. Does the provider reserve to himself the right to modify/delete his own content? Not processed
3. Does the provider reserve to himself the right to modify/delete consumer content? Not processed
4. Is the title on software explicitly transferred to the consumer? Not processed
5. Is the title on hardware explicitly transferred to the consumer? Not available
The answer to this question is "Not available", because the hardware component must be distinguished in i. the vehicle and ii. the battery:
  • the vehicle (= the base vehicle and electric powertrain, excluding the battery) is sold;
  • the battery is hired.

A positive consideration is that the car manufacturer is really transparent - both in the contractual terms and on the website. However, we must question what happens if/when the hire contract is terminated.


This is a Hire Agreement. [...] We agree to let and you agree to hire the Battery. [...] Throughout the term of this Hire Agreement we shall be the owner of the Battery (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

[Y]ou will at no stage own the Battery (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

You must continue to pay the Rentals under this Hire Agreement if the Battery becomes unusable for any reason (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement). But: We shall supply you with a Battery that is in good working condition and we shall replace or repair any defective Battery providing you comply with the terms and conditions of this Hire Agreement and the manufacturer recommendations for charging and use of the Battery (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

You are responsible for the Battery from the time of delivery and from this time the risk of loss or damage shall pass to you (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

As we own the Battery, you must respect our rights of ownership and you must not: claim ownership yourself; sell the Battery or try to sell it; sub-hire or otherwise allow any other person to obtain any rights over the Battery [...] (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

You, the Beneficiary under this agreement, together with any authorised driver of the Vehicle [...], are entitled to the breakdown and recovery benefits detailed below. The benefits are also available to passengers transported at no cost [...] (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

The word "vehicle" includes the base vehicle and electric powertrain excluding thee battery, which is leased to you [N.B. But for the "i" version of the Zoé there is also a warranty for the battery, because it is sold and not hired] (Source: Warranty).

We can't imagine the criticism Renault would generate if it tried a move like this. But still, if you lease something and then stop paying for it, what happens? When the repo men come, is it a rights management issue? No, not really. So, now that it has been revealed that Renault has the ability to "lock down" the battery in the Zoe if you stop paying, is this really an ownership issue? No, not really. It is a good thing that we know as much as possible about how companies control and keep track of our cars, but, like our friends at Green Car Reports, we won't join in calling this DRM in cars (Source: http://www.autoblog.com/2013/11/18/reactions-to-renault-zoe-battery-drm-are-overblown-but-knowle/).

6. Is the consumer forbidden from reselling the device? No
It expressly results from the contractual terms that the customer is allowed to resale the vehicle.

Obviously, he can't resell the battery, because he has just hired it. However, this doesn't prevent resale (at least under a juridical perspective), because he must simply inform the car manufacturer of the resale and of the name and the address of the buyer.

Some considerations could however discourage the first acquirer from reselling it: in fact, in some circumstances expressly cited by the contractual terms (actually, elsewhere in the contractual terms it seems that the car manufacturer is free to refuse the conclusion of an hire agreement without reason) the car manufacturer will refuse to concede a battery hire agreement to the second acquirer, and in this case the first acquirer will be constrained to continue to pay the rentals under the hire agreement. Moreover, where the second buyer is not a dealer, the first acquirer must continue to pay the rental fees for the battery until the former concludes a new Hire Agreement with the car manufacturer: this means that if - for any reason - the second buyer decides to not conclude the contract, the first customer will be constrained to continue to pay for a battery destined to a car that he doesn't own anymore.

A positive aspect, however, is that - in case of resale - the warranty on the car continues to apply.


As we own the Battery, you must respect our rights of ownership and you must not: claim ownership yourself; sell the Battery or try to sell it; sub-hire or otherwise allow any other person to obtain any rights over the Battery [...] (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

You, the Beneficiary under this agreement, together with any authorised driver of the Vehicle [...], are entitled to the breakdown and recovery benefits detailed below. The benefits are also available to passengers transported at no cost [...] (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

You must tell us if you sell the Vehicle and you agree to complete and return to us such documentation that we provide to you from time to time for the purpose of providing us with the name and address of the buyer of the Vehicle. You must tell the buyer that the Battery is owned by us and hired by you. [...] If your buyer is subject to the circumstances set out in clauses 12.1 [bankruptcy], 12.2 [dissolved partnership or appointed administrator] or 12.3 [call of creditors' meeting] then they will not be eligible for a hire agreement for the Battery [...]. In these circumstances this Hire Agreement shall continue and you will continue to be responsible for the payment of Rentals under this Hire Agreement (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

To help us to decide whether we should enter into this or any future agreement with you [...] (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

We may assign, novate or otherwise dispose of any or all of our rights or obligations under this Hire Agreement at any time by notice in writing to you. You may not do so (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

Transfer of ownership of the Vehicle does not alter the terms and conditions of Warranties (Source: Warranty).

Selling the car carries some extra restrictions on that transaction because of the leased/rented battery pack (Source: http://longtailpipe.com/2014/09/28/renault-customers-cry-foul-over-battery/).

If you own the vehicle and sell it: (a) Where the buyer is a dealer [...] [t]he date of the sale shall be the date on which your obligation to pay Rentals comes to an end, or (b) where the buyer is an individual [...] [o]nce the buyer returns the new hire agreement to us duly signed your obligations (including but not limited to your payment obligations) under this Hire Agreement shall end. Until we receive the signed hire agreement your responsibilities under the Hire Agreement shall continue (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

7. Is the consumer forbidden from transferring the account? Not available
Here, the "account" is only linked to services that are optional, and that therefore are not material for car usability. In any case, even if nothing is stated about the possibility of transfer, we must highlight that the contractual terms expressly allow the customer to let other people use these services. The customer remains however responsible for the sue of the service and of the data/information provided by it.

However, given the fact that the battery is only licensed to the customer, we may question if the customer is allowed to lend the car (here, we can't properly speak about an "account", but it is anyway a question that deals with the possibility of use of the product by third parties). The answer is positive: in fact, the contractual terms expressly state that the customer can authorize other persons to use the car.


You, the Beneficiary under this agreement, together with any authorised driver of the Vehicle [...], are entitled to the breakdown and recovery benefits detailed below. The benefits are also available to passengers transported at no cost [...]. Any Vehicle that has been adapted (for example, refrigeration vehicles, driving school vehicles, ambulances, hearses etc.) or is used or intended to be used for transporting passengers at cost [...] are not entitled to these benefits (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

The Beneficiary is fully responsible for the use of the Optional Services and for any use made of the data/information received through the Optional Services, even if it is not the Beneficiary who uses them (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

The Beneficiary agrees to inform, prior to the use of the vehicle, any other user of the vehicle [...] of the [...] possibility of deactivating the Connected Services (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

8. Is there an explicit prohibition to use the device in combination with a third party service? No
Third-party maintenance and repair services on the "device" (which, in this context, is the car, and not the battery) aren't forbidden. Indeed, the customer is forbidden from turning to repairers non-authorized by the car manufacturer for battery fixing, but he is however not forbidden from turning to non-authorized repairers for the car fixing: in this case, the warranty simply may not apply. However, if it would emerge that the battery provided by the car manufacturer is factually essential for the use of the device (see TC2), the effects of the prohibition of battery third-party fixing would extend its consequences also on car usability.

For what concerns the possibility/impossibility to use a third-party battery, nothing is stated. Therefore, it is not contractually forbidden to draw upon alternative batteries. But two considerations must nevertheless be made:

  1. it must be verified if there are technical obstacles to the use of an alternative battery (e.g. DRM): if this is the case, i. the use of a third-party battery would be more difficult to implement (see TC2), ii. it should be verified if a circumvention of the DRM could be considered illegal, and iii. the need to make modifications to the vehicle in order to make the alternative battery workable will drive the customer to lose the warranty, even if - we must admit - the customer may lose the warranty simply by the fact of using a third-party battery, this one being an accessory non-approved by Renault (see CC1);
  2. the contract terms don't include a customer's right to terminate the hire agreement before the agreed date: so, if he decides to change the battery before the end of the hire contract, he still should pay the rental fees for the car manufacturer's battery that he doesn't use anymore.


The warranty provided at clause 7.1. [We shall supply you with a Battery that is in good working condition and we shall replace or repair any defective Battery providing you comply with the terms and conditions of this Hire Agreement and the manufacturer recommendations for charging and use of the Battery. [...W]e shall provide you with an alternative vehicle] and 7.3 [We shall provide you with a Battery that has sufficient charging capacity for the term of this Hire Agreement and any extension to the term] does not apply to: components of the Battery that have been modified or the consequences of such modification [...]; problems that arise as a result of your carrying out repairs or maintenance yourself, or through a repairer that is not a ZE After-Sales Service Centre and such repairs or maintenance fail to comply with manufacturer recommendations (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

You must, at your own cost: [...] make good all damage to the Battery, whether or not such damage is your fault, as soon as is reasonably practical repairing and/or replacing parts where necessary (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

[Y]ou must not perform any work on the Battery yourself, nor allow any unauthorised repairer to perform any work on the Battery (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

The Renault Warranty does not cover: [...] The Damage resulting from a lack of repair, maintenance or servicing to the standard recommended by RENAULT (Source: Warranty)

The Renault Warranty does not cover: [...] Damage caused by the following: [...] The fitting of non-RENAULT approved accessories (Source: Warranty).

Generally speaking electric car owners at this time don’t have that freedom. Buy a Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, etc, and you’re stuck with the battery pack options supplied by the manufacturer. No 3rd party battery packs, and it’s an uphill slog if you want to replace the pack yourself. Fortunately it’s not impossible to do it yourself, because tinkerers at home are getting packs from crashed vehicles and performing teardowns and learning how to diagnose pack problems on their own. Bravo. Leaf/Volt/etc owners have this much freedom because they’re buying the whole car as a package, and therefore own the battery pack. Other than the risk of voiding the warranty, they’re free to do what they want. Under Renault’s battery pack rental/lease program – sure the customer owns the car, but they don’t own the battery pack. Therefore the customers hands are tied against do it yourself anything with the battery pack (Source: http://longtailpipe.com/2014/09/28/renault-customers-cry-foul-over-battery/).

Renault make no provision to return the battery to them but tell you if you don't pay the rental it will be removed at your expense. No one has tried this yet (Source: https://speakev.com/threads/are-there-any-3rd-party-twizy-batteries.6292/).

9. Are there explicit duration boundaries to consumer’s enjoyment of the device? No
There is an explicit prohibition for the customer to perform or to let an unauthorized repairer perform a work on the battery. If the customer fails to comply with that clause, the car manufacturer is not only relieved from the obligation of replacing or repairing the battery in case of its defectiveness, but he can also terminate the hire agreement (and therefore claim the battery return).

Also, if the customer stops paying the battery rental fees, the car manufacturer has the right to prevent further recharging of the battery (which makes the battery useless).

Furthermore, the car manufacturer is compelled neither to conclude an hire agreement with a car buyer, nor to extend its duration (therefore, a car buyer can remain without the battery necessary to use it). Moreover, the period of hire can't be extended beyond 72 months (even if this doesn't necessarily mean that the conclusion of a new hire contract after this period is impossible; however, in this case new and higher rental fees may be offered to the customer).

Therefore, the consumer's enjoyment of the battery is limited in duration, even if this temporal limitation is not preconditioned in time (it is true that the hire agreement has a term, but further agreements don't seem to be prevented) and even seems merely contingent. However, the answer to this question is "No" because the "device" is not the battery, but the car - which is property of the customer -, and we have established that there is no prohibition to use the car with a third-party battery. However, we must verify if the car is usable even without the car manufacturer’s battery (see TC2), in order to understand if the duration boundaries established in relation with the battery extend their effects on the vehicle also.

We must nevertheless highlight that - if it would emerge that the battery is necessary in order to use the car - customer's enjoyment of the car would be not only limited in time, but also in space: in fact, the battery can't be taken outside the United Kingdom without car manufacturer’s consent, except for an exhaustive list of countries, where the battery can be taken without consent for a period not exceeding a month.


The Period of Hire shall be the fixed period specified in the Schedule. [...] We may by written agreement with you agree to extend the period of hire [...]. This Hire Agreement is subject to a maximum term of 72 months. In the event that we agree to extend the period of hire, then new payment terms will apply [...] (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

You must continue to pay the Rentals under this Hire Agreement if the Battery becomes unusable for any reason (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement). But: We shall supply you with a Battery that is in good working condition and we shall replace or repair any defective Battery providing you comply with the terms and conditions of this Hire Agreement and the manufacturer recommendations for charging and use of the Battery. [...W]e shall provide you with an alternative vehicle (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

[W]e shall not be liable for any loss or damage which arises from, or as a result of, any defect in the Battery (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

We shall provide you with a Battery that has sufficient charging capacity for the term of this Hire Agreement and any extension to the term (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

The warranty provided at clause 7.1. [We shall supply you with a Battery that is in good working condition and we shall replace or repair any defective Battery providing you comply with the terms and conditions of this Hire Agreement and the manufacturer recommendations for charging and use of the Battery. [...W]e shall provide you with an alternative vehicle] and 7.3 [We shall provide you with a Battery that has sufficient charging capacity for the term of this Hire Agreement and any extension to the term] does not apply to: components of the Battery that have been modified or the consequences of such modification [...]; problems that arise as a result of your carrying out repairs or maintenance yourself, or through a repairer that is not a ZE After-Sales Service Centre and such repairs or maintenance fail to comply with manufacturer recommendations (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

You must, at your own cost: [...] make good all damage to the Battery, whether or not such damage is your fault, as soon as is reasonably practical repairing and/or replacing parts where necessary (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

[Y]ou must: [...] promptly comply with any manufacturer's recall of the Battery (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

[Y]ou must not perform any work on the Battery yourself, nor allow any unauthorised repairer to perform any work on the Battery (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

You may, without needing our prior consent, take the Battery to any country listed within clause 7.6. above for a period not exceeding one month at any one time. Otherwise, you may not take the Battery outside the United Kingdom without our prior written consent (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

We may end this Hire Agreement after giving any written notice required by law if: [...] you do not pay any Rental or other sum owing to us under this Hire Agreement; or you are in material breach of any of the other terms of this Hire Agreement [...]. Following the occurrence of any of those events [...]: we may prevent further recharging of the Battery (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

To help us to decide whether we should enter into this or any future agreement with you [...] (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

No amendment may extend the Period of Hire beyond 72 months (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

In plenty of cases, DRM has led to users losing altogether the ability to watch, listen to, read, or play media that can't be "authenticated." Video games with online components now routinely reach an end-of-life period where the company providing the authentication decides it's no longer worth it to operate the servers. That raises the frightening possibility of a company like Renault deciding that it's not cost-effective anymore to verify new batteries—and leaving car owners high and dry (Source: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/11/drm-cars-will-drive-consumers-crazy).

We can't imagine the criticism Renault would generate if it tried a move like this. But still, if you lease something and then stop paying for it, what happens? When the repo men come, is it a rights management issue? No, not really. So, now that it has been revealed that Renault has the ability to "lock down" the battery in the Zoe if you stop paying, is this really an ownership issue? No, not really. It is a good thing that we know as much as possible about how companies control and keep track of our cars, but, like our friends at Green Car Reports, we won't join in calling this DRM in cars (Source: http://www.autoblog.com/2013/11/18/reactions-to-renault-zoe-battery-drm-are-overblown-but-knowle/).

10. Are there explicit duration boundaries to consumer’s enjoyment of the service? Yes
Battery hiring lets the customer benefit of optional services (e.g. remote control of the battery level through an app downloaded on the smartphone, and breakdown and recovery benefits). These services last only as long as the Hire Agreement lasts, but they're optional services, therefore this doesn’t seem to pose car usability issues. Moreover, also vehicle users other than the customer but authorized by him can benefit of these services.


You, the Beneficiary under this agreement, together with any authorised driver of the Vehicle [...], are entitled to the breakdown and recovery benefits detailed below. The benefits are also available to passengers transported at no cost [...]. Any Vehicle that has been adapted (for example, refrigeration vehicles, driving school vehicles, ambulances, hearses etc.) or is used or intended to be used for transporting passengers at cost [...] are not entitled to these benefits (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

The following services are included with the supply of the My Z.E. Connect pack: Access to information relating to the battery, including: a/ age, charge status and charge history. Information will be available via the Renault Z.E. Driver Interface Internet site accessible from the portal 'My Renault' available on the internet site at the following address www.renault.co.uk; b/ Provision of electronic alert messages or "short message system" (SMS) alerts providing the Beneficiary with notification: concerning the level of battery charge in the event of low level charge; of the beginning and end of charge; indicating any charge problem. c/ Advice allowing the Beneficiary to optimise the use of the electric Vehicle (battery charge and lifetime of Vehicle) (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

The Optional Services will terminate on termination of the Hire Agreement for any reason. In the event of early termination for any reason other than under clause 12 in the Agreement ["Our Right to end this Hire Agreement"], the Beneficiary shall pay an administration fee of 35 pounds (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

The Beneficiary agrees to inform, prior to the use of the vehicle, any other user of the vehicle [...] of the [...] possibility of deactivating the Connected Services (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

11. Are there explicit terms and conditions allowing the consumer to access (view only) his data? Not available
The customer has the right to access and rectify the data about himself (this right being included in the Privacy Policy, we may infer that this "data" is only personally identifiable data).

However, the answer is "Not available" because, even if - under payment of a fee - the customer can also obtain a copy of the information that the car manufacturer holds about him, it is not clear if this "information about him" is only personally identifiable information or also that data that - without being "personal data" in the juridical sense of the term - may interest him because collected through the car and the battery (the doubt here is raised up by the fact that this statement is included not in the Privacy Policy, but in the Battery Hire Agreement).

For what concerns the information/data that is communicated to the customer through the optional services provided by the car manufacturer, it is not property of the customer, and - in case of loss of this information/data - the car manufacturer has no responsibility.


Upon payment of a fee, you have a right to a copy of the information that we hold about you, by writing to us at the address stated in the Schedule (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

RENAULT is not responsible for the loss of data/information linked to the use of the Optional Services (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

The data/information communicated to the Beneficiary of any kind whatever (software, artistic works, brands, designs and so on) through the Connected Services is the property of RENAULT or the third party who puts it at the disposal of the Beneficiary through the Connected Service (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

You have a right to access and can rectify data about yourself by contacting Renault UK (Source: Personal Data Protection).

12. Are there explicit terms and conditions allowing the consumer to delete his data? No
Except for the right to rectify personal data, the customer is not provided with a right to delete data/information that relates to him. However, the car manufacturer will delete or anonymise personal data at the end of the hire agreement, and location data after having delivered the services for which knowing the car location is necessary.


Personal Data will be retained for the term of this Agreement, after which time it will be destroyed or annonymised. Data relating to location will be removed/annonymised after delivery of the Connected Service (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

You have a right to access and can rectify data about yourself by contacting Renault UK (Source: Personal Data Protection).

13. Are there explicit terms and conditions allowing the consumer to export (with proprietary format) his data? Not available
The answer is "Not available" because, even if - under payment of a fee - the customer can also obtain a copy of the information that the car manufacturer holds about him, it is not clear if this "information about him" is only personally identifiable information or also that data that - without being "personal data" in the juridical sense of the term - may interest him because collected through the car and the battery.


Upon payment of a fee, you have a right to a copy of the information that we hold about you, by writing to us at the address stated in the Schedule (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

The Beneficiary is not authorized to copy, adapt, scan, reproduce, distribute, modify, publish, or create works derived on the basis of the data/information made available through the Connected Services without having expressly obtained the written agreement of RENAULT (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

14. Are there explicit terms and conditions allowing the consumer to export (with open format) his data? Not available
To answer this question, it should be established i. if the information which the customer - paying a fee - can obtain a copy of includes information collected by the car manufacturer through the car and the battery, and ii. if this information is provided in a machine-readable format or not.

In any case, data/information that is provided to the customer through the optional services is not portable information, because - in order to reproduce or distribute it - there is need for the car manufacturer's expressed written agreement.


Upon payment of a fee, you have a right to a copy of the information that we hold about you, by writing to us at the address stated in the Schedule (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

The Beneficiary is not authorized to copy, adapt, scan, reproduce, distribute, modify, publish, or create works derived on the basis of the data/information made available through the Connected Services without having expressly obtained the written agreement of RENAULT (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

15. Does the provider reserve to himself the right to unilaterally modify terms and conditions? Yes
The car manufacturer reserves the right to unilaterally modify the Privacy Policy, in some cases notifying those changes via e-mail.

However, there is no clause allowing an unilateral modification of the other legal items (e.g. the Battery Hire Agreement) provided by the car manufacturer.


We may assign, novate or otherwise dispose of any or all of our rights or obligations under this Hire Agreement at any time by notice in writing to you. You may not do so (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

We reserve the right to change this policy at any time. Where appropriate, we will notify data subjects of those changes by mail or e-mail (Source: Personal Data Protection).

16. Does the provider reserve to himself the right to unilaterally modify the software? No
A communication about a software update defines this one as "mandatory". However, we answer negatively to this question because this update is not automatic, but requires an act of download by the customer.


A Mandatory update to the R-Link software has been released. This will be available on the R-Link store [...]. The new software addresses a number of bugs bin the system, improves overall performance and speeds up timings of map updates and installation of applications, enhancing the user experience. [...] Customers will be notified that the update is available via "push" message direct to their R-Link device. [...] To download the update [...]. [...I]f more that one vehicle is linked to the account you must complete this update for all vehicles [..] (Source: Mandatory R-Link Software Update).

Technical characteristics

1. Which is the duration of the provider role?
2. Is the branded hardware necessary for product usability? Yes
The hired battery can be used only on the particular car indicated in the battery hire agreement.

But what about the usability of a third-party battery on the purchased branded car? Contractually speaking, there are no prohibitions. But technically, it should be verified if the car could be used with third-party batteries. Under a strictly technical point of view, we must say that Renault has has been accused of using DRM in order to remotely impede the battery recharging, for example in order to prevent customer from using pirated batteries; even if Renault has officially declared that the Renault Zoé doesn't have DRM restrictions, we must highlight that - with the Hire Agreement - the car manufacturer resreves the right to prevent further charging of the car if the customer stops to pay the renatl fees; but how can we be sure that the same prevention isn't materially possible when the customer uses an altrenative battery?

We should also answer another question: are there alternative suppliers of battery packs for the Renault Zoé? An interesting article (Renault customers cry foul over battery pack rental terms – Owning the car but renting the pack puts car makers in drivers seat?) gives a negative answer: "Renault is the only supplier of battery packs for its cars, giving Renault a potentially authoritarian role over the car"; moreover - the article states - there is even no possibility to tinker with the branded battery (teardowning it, diagnosing problems that it might show, or even - I add - using on the car second-hand batteries taken away from crashed cars), because the battery is only hired by the car manufacturer and not sold.

We must however highlight that now batteries are even available for sale, even if bundled with the "i" version of the Renault Zoé. There is therefore a possibility to recover some used batteries, but it should be verified if the difference between the two versions of the car is only the pricing scheme, or if also some technical features diverge.

We must also spend a moment for another consideration: if the hired branded battery was not necessary in order to use the car, probably Renault wouldn't be disposed to sell its electric car at a price more convenient than the one normally established for electric cars. Therefore - given the fact that sis still possible to acquire - for an higher price - electric cars that don't show a pricing model of car sale + battery hire, the choice of Renault to make this offer to consumers mustn't be necessarily seen seen as an evil thing. However, the fact that the car manufacturer doesn't give any assurance on the availability of the battery for a reasonable period (i.e. a period which allows the customer to "recover" the price paid for the car) must be criticized.


The Battery may only be used to power the Vehicle identified in the Schedule (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

The Renault Warranty does not cover: [...] Damage caused by the following: [...] The fitting of non-RENAULT approved accessories (Source: Warranty)

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has criticised Renault's decision to lease the Zoe battery packs to consumers as a rental service with an alleged Digital Rights Management (DRM) software. They claim it could render the vehicle unusable if the owner ceases payment or Renault withdraws support. Renault's monthly fee for the battery and its alleged use of DRM has also been strongly criticised by some technology writers. However, Renault publicly denied the use of DRM technology through its official Twitter account (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renault_Zoe).

Renault has opted to lock purchasers into a rental contract with a battery manufacturer and enforce that contract with digital rights management (DRM) restrictions that can remotely prevent the battery from charging at all (Source: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/11/drm-cars-will-drive-consumers-crazy).

OFFICIAL: #Renault EV batteries DO NOT come w/ #DRM restrictions.They're equipped w/ a TelCo Unit for maintenance & management purposes ONLY (Source:https://twitter.com/Groupe_Renault/status/401387987331981312).

A couple years ago when the terms were announced I simply wrote them up naming the financial terms – that the Renault ZOE or Twizy buyer would pay Renault about $100 a month for the battery pack lease. And that’s fine, you’re paying for the expensive battery pack over time just like we do when buying a cellphone on contract. It’s a low up-front cost, with the full cost paid over time. But it means Renault is deeply in control of your car. Unlike a cellphone where you can just pop in the SIM card for another carrier and carry on using it, an electric car battery pack is central to the usefulness of that car. Renault is the only supplier of battery packs for its cars, giving Renault a potentially authoritarian role over the car. If you don’t like Renault’s battery pack rental/lease deal you can’t go down the street to Henri’s Battery Shop and get a 3rd party replacement (Source: http://longtailpipe.com/2014/09/28/renault-customers-cry-foul-over-battery/).

Generally speaking electric car owners at this time don’t have that freedom. Buy a Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, etc, and you’re stuck with the battery pack options supplied by the manufacturer. No 3rd party battery packs, and it’s an uphill slog if you want to replace the pack yourself. Fortunately it’s not impossible to do it yourself, because tinkerers at home are getting packs from crashed vehicles and performing teardowns and learning how to diagnose pack problems on their own. Bravo. Leaf/Volt/etc owners have this much freedom because they’re buying the whole car as a package, and therefore own the battery pack. Other than the risk of voiding the warranty, they’re free to do what they want. Under Renault’s battery pack rental/lease program – sure the customer owns the car, but they don’t own the battery pack. Therefore the customers hands are tied against do it yourself anything with the battery pack (Source: http://longtailpipe.com/2014/09/28/renault-customers-cry-foul-over-battery/).

Mais pour s'assurer que le client continue de payer chaque mois son abonnement et n'utilise pas une batterie pirate en cas d'impayé, le constructeur français aurait équipé son véhicule d'un système de DRM qui empêche la recharge si l'abonnement est résilié, ou si une autre batterie est utilisée (Source: http://www.numerama.com/magazine/27529-des-drm-intrusifs-dans-la-voiture-electrique-renault-zoe.html).

This ZOE offering allows you to buy the vehicle and lease the battery, which [...] reduces the purchase price (Source: https://www.renault.co.uk/vehicles/new-vehicles/zoe/battery-and-charging.html).

3. Is the branded software necessary for product usability? Not processed
4. Is the branded "service" necessary for product usability? No
No, the services provided by the car manufacturer are only optional services (obviously, if we don't include among them the battery hiring service, for which I send you back to TC2).


The following services are included with the supply of the My Z.E. Connect pack: Access to information relating to the battery, including: a/ age, charge status and charge history. Information will be available via the Renault Z.E. Driver Interface Internet site accessible from the portal 'My Renault' available on the internet site at the following address www.renault.co.uk; b/ Provision of electronic alert messages or "short message system" (SMS) alerts providing the Beneficiary with notification: concerning the level of battery charge in the event of low level charge; of the beginning and end of charge; indicating any charge problem. c/ Advice allowing the Beneficiary to optimise the use of the electric Vehicle (battery charge and lifetime of Vehicle) (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

Optional Services (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

5. Do the device's administration rights belong to the product provider? Not available
Renault has been accused by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and by the Free Software Foundation Europe of using DRM in order to be able to remotely prevent battery recharging (and, according to some articles, also in order to prevent the use of pirated batteries), but Renault has officially denied using DRM restrictions on the batteries of the Renault Zoé. However, we must highlight that the Battery Hire Agreement includes a clause which states: "[W]e may prevent further recharging of the battery".

For what concerns the remote monitoring of the car by the manufacturer, Renault has admitted that the battery is equipped with a telematic box, through which Renault collects information about the customer's use of the battery and of the vehicle (even for management, maintenance, administration and accounting, Renault affirms). If the customer uses the optional services, Renault may also receive the location data of the vehicle, but the customer can deactivate (and reactivate) this location feature. Renault has been accused of collecting data on how the customer uses the car without his knowledge; actually, the Hire Agreement informs the customer of the collection of data realized by Renault, but indeed i. it doesn't specify what kind of information is collected, and ii. it should be verified if consumer's awareness of this data collection can come only from the contract terms (that often aren't read) or also from other and more "accessible" sources, such as the website and /or pre-contractual information given by the seller.

According to the Spiegel article, the Zoe (and most or all other electric cars) collect reams of data on how you use them, and send this data off to the manufacturer without your knowledge. This data tells the company where you are going, when, and how fast, where you charge the battery, and many other things besides


We may end this Hire Agreement after giving any written notice required by law if: [...] you do not pay any Rental or other sum owing to us under this Hire Agreement; or you are in material breach of any of the other terms of this Hire Agreement [...]. Following the occurrence of any of those events [...]: we may prevent further recharging of the Battery (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

For management, administration, and accounting we will collect information about your use of the Battery and the Electric Vehicle. This is to allow us to manage battery stocks, maintain hire payments at a competitive level, monitor performance of your Battery and monitor mileage and fast charge use. This data will be transmitted to us by the telematic box installed in the Vehicle. [...] If you have opted to install a Connection Pack we will also receive data about your location. If you do not wish us to receive location data you may disconnect the telematic box (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

The Beneficiary may prevent the recovery of Personal Data that would identify location, by deactivating the "RENAULT ZE Driver Interface" website and on its Smartphone type mobile. The Beneficiary may also reactivate this location feature by following the same procedure (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

In performing the Connected Services RENAULT will collect certain data so as to supply the Beneficiary an extended range of services and information. In this context, Personal Data [...] and in particular location data will be collected (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

A Mandatory update to the R-Link software has been released. This will be available on the R-Link store [...]. The new software addresses a number of bugs bin the system, improves overall performance and speeds up timings of map updates and installation of applications, enhancing the user experience. [...] Customers will be notified that the update is available via "push" message direct to their R-Link device. [...] To download the update [...]. [...I]f more that one vehicle is linked to the account you must complete this update for all vehicles [..] (Source: Mandatory R-Link Software Update).

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has criticised Renault's decision to lease the Zoe battery packs to consumers as a rental service with an alleged Digital Rights Management (DRM) software. They claim it could render the vehicle unusable if the owner ceases payment or Renault withdraws support. Renault's monthly fee for the battery and its alleged use of DRM has also been strongly criticised by some technology writers. However, Renault publicly denied the use of DRM technology through its official Twitter account (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renault_Zoe).

Renault has opted to lock purchasers into a rental contract with a battery manufacturer and enforce that contract with digital rights management (DRM) restrictions that can remotely prevent the battery from charging at all (Source: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/11/drm-cars-will-drive-consumers-crazy).

In plenty of cases, DRM has led to users losing altogether the ability to watch, listen to, read, or play media that can't be "authenticated." Video games with online components now routinely reach an end-of-life period where the company providing the authentication decides it's no longer worth it to operate the servers. That raises the frightening possibility of a company like Renault deciding that it's not cost-effective anymore to verify new batteries—and leaving car owners high and dry (Source: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/11/drm-cars-will-drive-consumers-crazy).

Mais pour s'assurer que le client continue de payer chaque mois son abonnement et n'utilise pas une batterie pirate en cas d'impayé, le constructeur français aurait équipé son véhicule d'un système de DRM qui empêche la recharge si l'abonnement est résilié, ou si une autre batterie est utilisée (Source: http://www.numerama.com/magazine/27529-des-drm-intrusifs-dans-la-voiture-electrique-renault-zoe.html).

OFFICIAL: #Renault EV batteries DO NOT come w/ #DRM restrictions.They're equipped w/ a TelCo Unit for maintenance & management purposes ONLY (Source:https://twitter.com/Groupe_Renault/status/401387987331981312).

According to the Spiegel article, the Zoe (and most or all other electric cars) collect reams of data on how you use them, and send this data off to the manufacturer without your knowledge. This data tells the company where you are going, when, and how fast, where you charge the battery, and many other things besides (Source: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131108/09350825182/renault-introduces-drm-cars.shtml).

6. Which possibilities does the consumer have to dispose of his data?
It is not clear:
  • what information the car manufacturer can remotely collect (see TC5);
  • what information "about" himself the customer can obtain a copy of through the payment of a fee (see CC13);
  • in which format this copy is made available (see CC14).


If you have opted to install a Connection Pack we will also receive data about your location. If you do not wish us to receive location data you may disconnect the telematic box (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

The Beneficiary may prevent the recovery of Personal Data that would identify location, by deactivating the "RENAULT ZE Driver Interface" website and on its Smartphone type mobile. The Beneficiary may also reactivate this location feature by following the same procedure (Source: Battery Hire Lease Agreement).

According to the Spiegel article, the Zoe (and most or all other electric cars) collect reams of data on how you use them, and send this data off to the manufacturer without your knowledge. This data tells the company where you are going, when, and how fast, where you charge the battery, and many other things besides (Source: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131108/09350825182/renault-introduces-drm-cars.shtml).

Usability

1. Can the consumer enjoy the product for an unlimited period? Not available
To answer this question, we should verify if the customer is technically constrained to draw upon the battery provided by the car manufacturer under the hire agreement (see TC2) and - if it is not - if alternative suppliers of batteries for the Renault Zoé exist (see TC2). If this is the case, we can say - given that the car is sold to him (see CC5) and that contractually the use of alternative batteries isn’t forbidden (see CC8) - that the customer can enjoy the car for an unlimited period. If, on the contrary, the hire agreement by Renault is necessary in order to enjoy the car, we can't say that the customer will be able to enjoy the car for an unlimited period (see CC9), and he wont' even be able to enjoy it without being subject to space boundaries (see CC9). Moreover, given the fact that it is forbidden to independently repair the battery, the turned up unavailability of repair services authorized by Renault will impede the customer from fixing the battery and therefore also from using the car.
2. Can the consumer sell the device? Yes
The consumer is not contractually forbidden from reselling the car (and the warranty on the car continues to apply), but the fact that the battery is only hired makes the resale more difficult:
  • the first acquirer has to inform the car manufacturer of the second acquirer's name;
  • the first acquirer has to continue to pay the rental fees until the hire contract between the car manufacturer and the new owner hasn't been concluded;
  • if the car manufacturer refuses to conclude a contract with the new owner or if the second acquirer doesn’t sign for the conclusion of the hire agreement, the first acquirer has to continue to pay the rental fees.
3. Can the consumer transfer the account? Not processed
See CC7.
4. Can the consumer delete his data? No
The customer has the right to rectify his personal data, but not to delete them. However, the car manufacturer will delete or anonymise his personal data at the end of the hire agreement (see CC12).

Nothing is stated about a customer's right to delete the data collected by the car. However, for what specifically concerns the car location data, the customer can prevent further collection of this data by the car manufacturer, and, in any case, the car manufacturer will delete location data after having provided the services for which the location is necessary (see CC12).

5. Can the consumer delete his account? Not processed
6. Can the consumer use his data? Not available
The customer has the right to access personal data, but the contractual terms are clear neither about the existence or not of a right to access to and export the data collected by the car, nor about the format of this exportation (see CC11, CC13, CC14 and TC6).

Moreover, for what concerns the data provided to the customer to the optional services, a right to portability of this data is not recognised (see CC14).

7. Can the consumer use the HW and SW in combination with third party SRV? Not processed
8. Can the consumer use the HW and SRV in combination with third party SW? Not processed
9. Can the consumer use the SW and SRV in combination with third party HW? Not processed
10. Can the consumer use the HW in combination with third party SW and SRV? Not processed
11. Can the consumer use the SW in combination with third party HW and SRV? Not processed
12. Can the consumer use the SRV in combination with third party HW and SW? Not processed