“Second-hand electric vehicles: France’s booming market”

Published by on 06.27.2019 - 3 min

At the end of 2018, Renault finalised the terms of its long-term leasing agreements of second-hand electric vehicle. This unprecedented approach is buoying a market that is already expanding. Read on for an explanation from Nicolas Lemaignen, Renault’s Director of Used Vehicles.

We are currently witnessing the takeoff of the used electric vehicle market. How would you explain this phenomenon?

The market is indeed accelerating very rapidly. In 2018, 12,700 100% electric used cars were sold, representing a 57% increase compared to 2017. The phenomenon is notably due to electric cars being offered through lease with the option to purchase contracts now being returned to dealerships. With second-hand sales up 87% in one year, ZOE has truly contributed to the launch of the used electric vehicle market.

Since last year, for example, Renault Occasions has been offering ZOEs that were sold new three years earlier, with a relatively homogeneous fleet and offers that take advantage of conversion incentives. In France, we registered more than 7,300 used ZOEs in 2018, and we should sell more than 10,000 in 2019, which confirms the existence of a real customer demand for second-hand electric vehicles.

How did you prepare for it, from the business side?

Nicolas Lemaignen
Nicolas Lemaignen, Renault’s Director of Used Vehicles

We started by questioning our customers to better understand their expectations when it comes to pricing and services. We then developed two purchasing options, cash or credit.
The first allows you to enjoy free battery rental for one year. The second provides a total of five weeks of leasing valid throughout the Renault network, making it possible to meet more specific needs, like a holiday trip or a move.  

Renault Occasions picks up the cost of installing a Green’Up charging station at the buyer’s home, up to 500 euros. All these second-hand electric cars also meet the requirements of the Renault Occasions Garantie Z.E. certification label, passing a 76-point inspection, “satisfaction guaranteed or your money back” and a warranty valid for up to 36 months. It also includes a free inspection after 1,000 kilometres, along with a road test.

Finally, and this is a big first on the second-hand market, the Renault network has posted a suggested retail price. It starts at 8,900 euros for a ZOE Life that is three years old, has a 22 kWh battery and less than 30,000 kilometres on the odometer.

You have also developed a long-term leasing offer. What kind of response to this unprecedented initiative have you seen?

We did indeed launch long-term leasing at the end of 2018, with rates starting at 59 euros per month, to which 29 euros per month for leasing the battery must be added, keeping in mind that the installation of the charging station is still included.

Once again, the offer was based on the feedback we received from our customers. The underlying factors are the same as for the long-term leasing of a new vehicle. They want to manage their budgets, not worry about resale and have peace of mind thanks to the services included in the offer. Leasing a battery, for example, still comes with a lifetime guarantee, a replacement if the load capacity falls below the 75% threshold and repair services in the case of a breakdown.

The offer, the first of its kind in France, was met with immediate success. In the first few months after its launch, leasing accounted for more than one in two used ZOEs put into circulation.

Does the rise of second-hand electric vehicles have an impact on the market for new vehicles?

The success of the used market bodes well for the overall electric vehicle market. Seeing a strong demand for second-hand cars will, for example, encourage dealerships to bundle the new vehicles they sell with trade-in commitments. They know that reselling them won’t be difficult. 

And finally, a used electric vehicle is a particularly accessible gateway to this technology. The more electric vehicles there are on the road, the faster we will transition to this new form of mobility!

Copyrights: Christian FOURNIER, prisedevue.com, Renault communication

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