The idea is excellent, but unfortunately it has yet to be introduced on a large scale in North America. Owners of several electric cars in Europe can lease their EV’s battery, which allows them to subsequently upgrade it when a larger capacity battery is introduced.
Such is the case with the Renault Zoe, a cousin of the Nissan Leaf, which was equipped with a 22 kWh battery when it was introduced in 2012. The latter offered about 140 kilometers of range. The new Renault Zoe presented at the Paris Motor Show last November is equipped with a 41 kWh battery which gives it up to 400 kilometers of range.
Owners who leased their batteries originally can replace their 22 kWh battery with the 41 kWh unit and therefore benefit from the added range.
Battery leasing also provides greater peace of mind to electric vehicle owners as Renault promises to replace the battery in case of malfunction at no extra charge throughout the lifecycle of the car.
The reliability of electric car batteries is certainly not the element that is slowing the progression of EVs in North America, but offering leasing could nevertheless help some consumers who are hesitant make the switch to an electric vehicle. Case in point, Renault says it has already leased more than 100,000 batteries.