It got a little lost in the excitement of Tesla 3 configuration news, but there was an interesting announcement by Renault Australia last week on their ZE Ready charging preferences, which was covered by EV magazine Drive Zero:
"Renault recently sent out an email to all Zoe and Kangoo EV owners to tell them that portable chargers “should only be used in rare cases to enable you to continue your journey”and that “Renault strongly advises customers not to use a portable charger as the primary charging option as it may detrimentally affect the battery resulting in costly repairs which are not covered by your vehicle warranty”.
Anecdotally, we know that the vast majority of our customers travel with a range of portable EV chargers and cables safely tucked away in the boot because a) it’s always good to be prepared and b) you may be going further than 300+kms (Zoe) or 200kms (Kangoo ZE) from home-base and a reliable public charger network.
It seems as though Renault Australia is suddenly relegating it’s customers to only travelling within a set radius for reasons they don’t seem to want to explain. And, when you consider the Kangoo is designed to replace the tradie / delivery / small business owner ICE cargo vehicle – ie. people who do long days and distances on the road – it all seems a bit strange.
The question has to be asked…
…will Renault lose customers as a result of this announcement?
Well, the socials certainly indicate most EV owners, followers and enthusiasts will now think twice before buying into the French manufacturer’s zero-emissions range.
With a range of comments like ‘Renault off my shopping list!‘ and ‘…if i cannot plug my Renault into a standard wall socket, i’d be calling that a serious design fault!…there is now 1 less EV on the market until further notice!‘ it’ll be interesting to see if and how sales are affected here in Australia. Particularly as the locally-owned and manufactured ACE EV Yewt and Cargo inch closer to the plentiful and affordable supply of EVs for the delivery-driving market.
And, more importantly, what happens to existing customers who’ve already bought and happily use portable EV charging cables? Is the announcement retrospective? Can they find themselves out of pocket in the unlikely event of an incident that may ‘detrimentally affect the battery’?
We’ll keep you updated if and when we learn more.
Will Renault put Aussie buyers off-side with their portable charging announcement?