Battery rental schemes offered for buyers and lessees of electric vehicles is a new trend that is becoming more popular in Europe as well as in the USA. To increase sales of EVs, some electric car manufacturers such as Tesla and Mia Electric offers the option of choosing between different battery sizes, based on range needs. FIAT, has decided to follow another path and has launched an EV lease scheme in which the ICE version of the 500 and the 500e come at the same price.Battery rental plans
Potential EV buyers in Europe as well as in the USA are often worried that the battery may give up before the car itself and that the costs of replacing it can be proportionally high. To abate these fears, Smart, Nissan and Renault have all started to offer battery rental schemes to their customers:
- Smart ForTwo Electric Drive
- Nissan 2013 Leaf
- Renault Z.E.
Choose a battery that fits your needs
While battery rental is not yet an option for Tesla, it offers buyers of its Model S electric car the option of choosing between battery sizes – 60 kWh or 85kWh. The estimated range at 55 mph (89 km/h) with a 60 kWh battery is 230 miles (370 km), but 300 miles (482 km) with the 85 kWh battery.
French electric car manufacturer MIA Electric also offers two battery size options – 8kWh lithium iron phosphate battery with a range of 80 km and a more powerful 12kWh battery increasing the range to 125 km. While the standard battery can be charged in 3 hours, the 12kWh battery fully charges in 5 hours. Both battery sizes have a three-year or 50.000 km warranty.
Lease plans for Tesla Model S and Feat 500e
Battery rental might still be a new trend, but more and more electric car manufacturers seem ready to provide lease plans for their EVs. Two other electric carmakers have announced new lease plans for customers in the USA. Tesla has started to offer a 66-month lease programme for the Model S sedan. The lease plan includes the option to sell the car after 36 months at a price that is pegged to the residual value of the Mercedes S Class. The possibility to lease the car does not make it necessarily more affordable for the general public. Monthly payment for the Tesla Model S 85kWh edition is $1,199 (€930) per month. Once tax benefits are taken into account, a person leasing the Model S is expected to pay between $732 (€567) and $940 (€728) a month.
Fiat announced in April 2013 that its new model Fiat 500e will be offered for lease, initially only in California. A 36-month lease plan will cost $199 (€154) per month, plus tax and a $999 (€775) down payment. Interestingly that the same price scheme is offered for leasing a regular Fiat 500 with standard gasoline engine, thus removing the initial price difference between conventional and electric vehicle.