Will Cheap Electric Cars Win You Over?

Renault Fluence

Renault Fluence

It won’t come as a revelation that one of the main factors keeping us from eagerly accepting electric cars is the price. No matter how green you are, when it comes to choosing between a £15,000 family sedan with a super-economy diesel and a £30K electric car, many of us will choose the former without blinking an eye.

The current electric car offering in Britain is rather limited and very expensive. Mitsubishi i-MIEV costs £29,000 while a Nissan Leaf will set you back £31,000.

How would you like an electric car that costs just £22,850 (hey, that’s £17,850 after deducing the generous £5,000 Government’s grant). I’m talking about Renault Fluence ZE – a car that is anticipated to arrive in Britain early 2012. We’ll see how the Renault Fluence EV fares in Denmark and Israel when 100,000 units are delivered to those countries in October, 2011.

Besides, if geekiness is an issue for you, driving a Fluence won’t pin you up the geek wall. Unlike other eco-friendly cars, it looks just like a normal 4-door sedan. Nothing fancy.

It must be noted that the Fluence will come in a package what is called “batteries not included”. In effect you’re carrying the batteries around but you never get to own them. This may sound like a bad idea, but there are upsides too. You don’t have to worry about battery depreciation and the manufacturer will replace battery packs with new generations as they get smaller and smarter.

Battery lease is expected to cost around £1000 per year, which will mean that your Fluence is no longer cheaper to run than an eco-friendly diesel. However, if you care about the source of the energy that powers your car, owning an electric car will become more affordable with Renault’s offer.

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