RSS Feed

Related Articles

Related Categories

Brits not sold on battery leasing for electric cars

21st May 2013 Print

Almost half of all Brits would want to buy their car and its battery if they were to buy an electric car, new research suggests (46 per cent).
While carmakers are increasingly offering a split approach to selling their alternative fuel models, it seems they could have a fight on their hands as British people stick stubbornly to their ‘home is my castle’ ownership-obsessed mentality.
Carmakers including Renault, Nissan and smart have been joined recently by Tesla in taking a different approach to vehicle finance. For Nissan and smart, it is possible to buy outright or opt for a split lease/own for their LEAF and fortwo electric drive models respectively, while Renault currently only offers its ZOE electric car with a buy the car and lease the battery approach.
In assessing how the UK market feels about this shift to leasing rather than owning, asked its web visitors: ‘If you were buying an electric car, what would you prefer to do?’  Just 21 per cent said they preferred to lease the whole vehicle including its drivetrain, while the split approach was favoured by 33 per cent.
That’s despite a decision by Tesla in the US, to offer its buyers the comfort and reassurance of a guaranteed buy-back for its Model S car and a complete battery warranty which even covers owner negligence, giving customers lease-like levels of reassurance when they buy their electric saloon car. With the seven-seat, fully electric, Model S expected to arrive in the UK by the end of the year, buyers here too, could be won over by this reassurance, over what is still quite new and expensive technology (prices in mainland Europe will start from €77,000, UK prices are expected to be confirmed soon).
“We were surprised to find that motorists in the UK are still very ownership focussed, even when leasing can provide them with greater security and can help purchase prices look a bit more palatable,” says the website’s editor, Faye Sunderland. 
“But it is widely expected that with our urban environments becoming increasingly congested, and running costs continuing to rise, leasing and short-term hire of vehicles- be they electric or otherwise-will become increasingly popular over time.
“Like mobile phones, cars are become increasingly tech-smart, and by having contracts rather than owning, it is easier to upgrade and control costs for consumers,” she adds.