Renault customers cry foul over battery pack rental terms – Owning the car but renting the pack puts car makers in drivers seat?
HERRON D., Renault customers cry foul over battery pack rental terms – Owning the car but renting the pack puts car makers in drivers seat?, The Long Tail Pipe.com, 28.09.2014
|Topics||Business Model, Competition, Property|
"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."
"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."
"Selling the car carries some extra restrictions on that transaction because of the leased/rented battery pack."
The article reports also some clauses of the Renault Zoé contract terms, some communications from Renault, and some suggestions for modifications in the business model.