Renault Says Electric Zoe Has Lower Total Ownership Costs Than Diesel Ford Fiesta

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 3

Renault Zoe

Renault Zoe

How much does it cost to own and operate a Renault Zoe?  Less than you might think, says Renault.

Diesel Ford Fiesta

Diesel Ford Fiesta

With the launch of the Zoe in the UK, Renault is attacking how to market it in a rather unexpected way.
Instead of pitching Zoe’s greenness, Renault wants potential UK buyers to focus on ownership costs.
The Zoe checks in at £13,995 in the UK after taking into account the government’s Plug-In Car Grant. With Zoe, battery rental is always extra and that starts at £70 a month.

But still, Renault says Zoe is cheaper to own than almost all of its nearest competitors.  Renault uses the £14,000 diesel Ford Fiesta as an example.  According to Renault, it’s cheaper to own and operate Zoe than it is the fuel-frugal Fiesta, even if the diesel Fiesta only burns through on complete tank a fuel per month.

Renault doesn’t reveal the calculations used in this Zoe vs. Fiesta example, but we do know fuel prices are painfully high in the UK, so we’ll side with Renault on this one.

The French automaker further says that Zoe can save some UK buyers even more cash.  For example, Zoe is exempt from road tax, exempt from London’s revised Congestion Charge (£10 per weekday) and offers all sorts of benefits to commercial users.

Lastly, Renault claims this:

“A Zoe is 75% cheaper per mile to fuel than a diesel car and 25% cheaper per mile to service and maintain.”

Oh, there’s this from Renault, too:

“There are already 1,700 public charging points, and these are scattered around the country and not all in London, and in many cases parking and charging in them is free.”

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3 responses to "Renault Says Electric Zoe Has Lower Total Ownership Costs Than Diesel Ford Fiesta"

  1. bloggin says:

    That’s an old diesel Fiesta…ha ha. Here is a link to the new 2014 Fiesta.

    http://www.ford.co.uk/cs/BlobServer?blobtable=MungoBlobs&blobcol=urldata&blobwhere=1214437743091&blobkey=id

    But it does look like Renault is doing some funny math to get their outcome.

    The 1.6L TDIc ECOnetic Fiesta offers 85.6 mpg. ‘Out The Door’ Price including VAT/taxes, delivery charge, registration feels is 13,495.

    Renault Zoe starts at 13,995, without delivery charge or registration fees. Not sure what they total to be, could not find it easily on the Renault website.

    Which brings us to a base vehicle expense saving of 500EU for the 2014 Fiesta diesel.

    But it’s the battery lease charges that creates the bigger problem:

    The average lease for an EV is 3 years or 36 months, and the battery lease for up to 12,000 miles is 93EU monthly, or 1,116EU annually.

    However, the Fiesta diesel at 85.6 mpg will use 140 gallons of fuel over the same 12,000 miles annually, at average price of 6.33EU per gallon, will cost 73EU monthly, or 886EU annually. A fuel saving of 230EU annually for the Fiesta diesel. Or 690EU savings over the 3 year period.

    Basic 5k mile oil changes for the 2014 will only cost about 35EU or 70EU for 12,000 miles.

    It is the 70 EU monthly battery lease below 7,500 miles annually that Renault was calculating from.

    But even the lower 7,500 mile limit, the 2014 Fiesta diesel will use only 87.61 gallons at a cost of 554 EU. Where the battery lease will be 840EU.

    Thats a 286EU savings for the 2014 Fiesta diesel. Add 3 oil changes at 105EU, we still got over 180EU to work with.

    But what Renault was trying to capitalize on is that London changed the Congestion Charge CO2 limit in June from 100g/km to below 75g/kg or pay a 10EU fee to travel through London. Very much like a 10EU toll for London.

    This new rule will be very good for plug-in hybrid and EVs.

    Here is a short list of current vehicles below 75g/kg that avoid the new tax:
    Ampera plug-in
    Volt plug-in
    V60 plug-in
    Prius plug-in
    Panamera plug-in
    Smart fortwo EV
    Renault Fluence
    Peugeot iOn
    Renault Twizy
    C-MAX Energi
    Fusion Energi
    Focus Electric EV
    Leaf EV
    Tesla Model S
    Spark EV
    Honda Fit EV

    What’s great about plug-in hybrids is that you can save your EV power, switch to EV mode when in CO2 restricted cities like London, and still have up to 600+ mile hybrid-electric range outside the city.

  2. David Stone says:

    It gets even better when you subtract the much of the oil change costs.
    Why?
    Because oil changes are not necessary.
    The oil filter filters out particles and needs to be changed.
    The system loses oil, which needs to be replenished.

    A complete oil change is a money-spinning environmental disaster.

    Don’t take my word for it:
    German state tv did an investigation report on the subject. Private citizens and fleet managers displayed their non-oil changed vehicles, backed with hard data.
    National car and mechanics organisations refused to comment…

    1. Andy Campbell says:

      This story about ‘oil changes are not necessary’ is very misleading. Even the most expensive (fully synthetic) engine oils lose their protective performance with time. Modern engines use the engine oil not just to lubricate all the load bearing surfaces but to cool, clean away sludge and act as hydraulic fluid (e.g. in variable valve timing mechanisms) to maintain the behaviour, efficiency and fuel economy of the whole engine system. Whilst it is not uncommon to see modern cars with extended intervals between oil changes of ‘up to 20,000 miles’, it would be unwise for a private car owner to use the same oil for any longer than ‘recommended’ since, unlike the fleet managers and hire companies who are only interested in the first 3 years (or say 60,000 miles) of the car’s life, the private owner will benefit from periodic oil changes if he/she intends to keep the car for more than 3 years. Such ‘sensible’ behaviour (with oil ‘top ups’ as and when necessary) should reward the private owner and any subsequent owners with an engine that stays in almost prime condition for well in excess of 120,000 miles. (Look in your service booklet for proof of this intention).