Renault Zoe battery

Considering a Renault Zoe but not sure if this electric car works for you? Keep reading for everything you need to know about its batteries

James Wilson
Aug 30, 2021

The Renault Zoe was launched back in 2013. It marked the arrival of the affordable small electric hatchback and could rival the likes of the Ford Fiesta in terms of usability. Granted, the Zoe’s initial range per charge wasn’t great enough to tempt drivers with lengthy commutes, but for those that mainly did shorter trips, it was definitely an interesting option. In fact, it still is - especially so, now that there are many very affordable used models to choose from.

One of the biggest areas to consider when getting a Renault Zoe is whether to go for a model where you pay for the car and lease the battery separately from Renault or a setup where you own or finance both together. Models which include the battery have an ‘i’ in their name - for example, ‘Renault Zoe Dynamique Nav i’, though this isn't always shown in adverts, so if you're considering a Zoe, it's best to check with the seller whether you have to pay for the batteries separately.

There are positives and negatives to leasing or buying the batteries, but regardless of which way you go, it is important to be aware of the warranties on offer, the different battery sizes (there are a few), and how long a battery is expected to last. Below there are sections on all of these key areas plus a few more relevant topics.

Renault carried out a rather thorough overhaul of the Zoe in 2020, which, amongst other things marked a significant increase in the claimed range from a full charge. It also included styling revisions and an improved interior. This wasn’t the only time Renault improved and updated the Zoe, though, as there were subtle tweaks carried out between the original version's arrival and the 2020 model going on sale.

Renault Zoe battery size

Initially, the Renault Zoe was offered with a 22kWh battery pack but during 2016 a larger 41kWh battery arrived. Increasing the kWh rating bumped the claimed range up from 149 miles to 186 miles.

In actual fact, the step-up in range is greater than that in reality, as the 22kWh model was tested under an older, less realistic system for working out the range, referred to as the ‘NEDC’ testing procedure. Meanwhile, the 41kWh versions gained their official range figures from a newer and more accurate procedure called ‘WLTP’. It is important to bear in mind that you may struggle to gain the official figures in everyday driving, due to factors such as cold weather and driving on faster roads reducing the efficiency of the batteries. This is especially likely when looking at cars tested on the less realistic NEDC figures.

That said, if you do a lot of stop-start city driving, you could find that the actual distance you can travel per charge surpasses the official numbers, as braking helps to recuperate energy into the batteries that would otherwise be wasted when slowing down.

If you are scratching your head as to what ‘kWh’ means, our electric car jargon buster is on hand to help.

Renault Zoe battery lease cost

The cost of leasing a Renault Zoe battery is dependent on two factors - which battery a Zoe uses and the number of miles you plan on covering each year. Below is a table that gives example lease costs for 22kWh and 41kWh batteries. You might be wondering about the largest 52kWh battery but these were not offered with the option to lease, so there are no example figures to provide, as these batteries are included in the cost of the cars that came with them.

If you are planning on doing more than 12,000 miles per year, you will need to look at sourcing a Zoe that has batteries included, as there is a contractual mileage cap of 12,000 miles on lease agreements.

Battery packMonthly lease cost for 7,500 miles per yearMonthly lease cost for 12,000 miles per year
22kWh£69£99
41kWh£79£109
52kWhNot availableNot available

Renault Zoe battery price

Trying to establish how much it costs to replace a Renault Zoe battery is no easy task. Why? Partly due to replacements being unheard of. This is for a number of reasons, rather than because the batteries last indefinitely.

Firstly, fully electric cars are still relatively uncommon in the UK. The numbers are increasing for sure, but compared to petrol, diesel, and hybrid cars, they are in the minority. Secondly, battery failure is incredibly rare, so looking for a rare problem with a rare type of car is very much needle in a haystack territory.

Additionally, people who lease the batteries don’t need to think about repair and replacement costs, as major issues should be covered as part of the lease, and the costs are kept under Renault’s hat. Being that all early Zoes came with leased batteries, this means that of the few people that have had issues with batteries approaching 10 years old, the lease warranty is likely to have covered them.

Similarly, anyone who bought or financed a Zoe that comes with the battery included will be covered by Renault's new car warranty. Of these Zoes, only a small number are old enough to be outside the warranty period. In short, this means it isn’t very common to hear of battery replacements for ‘i’ models and those that have happened have likely been covered under warranty. Again, that should mean that there is little or no cost to the owner.

That said, there are a few stories online that make claims about the cost of replacing electric car batteries. The amounts quoted vary from around £2,000 to well over £10,000. As with all car servicing, the most expensive route is likely to be buying a new battery pack from the manufacturer, while an increasing number of garages now specialise in electric cars and can offer reconditioned batteries or second-hand units, which are likely to prove far more affordable.

How much does it cost to buy out a Renault Zoe battery lease?

Renault recently introduced a scheme to allow drivers who lease a battery to buy it and therefore end their monthly payments. The cost for doing so mostly depends on the battery size and its age. As a guide, a three-year-old 22kW battery would cost around £3,600 to buy outright, whereas a five-year-old version would cost £3,000.

Figures for the 44kW battery pack are £4,500 for a three-year-old pack and £3,250 for a five-year-old pack. These are significant amounts of money but it is important to remember that a Zoe will be worth more if you sell it with the battery pack than without, so you should recoup some of the financial outlay if you sell the car. Plus, there will be no more monthly lease payments, so your running costs are less.

Renault Zoe battery life

If anyone tells you they can accurately predict the battery life of a Renault Zoe - or any other electric car for that matter - they are lying. Batteries are no different to car engines, so how long they will last is dependent on a huge number of variables that can prolong or reduce their life.

Saying that, Renault offers a separate warranty specifically for the batteries in its electric vehicles. So regardless of what happens during that period of time if the battery becomes faulty, it should be repaired or replaced by Renault.

Additionally, there are a few principles that are considered good battery practice and should help increase the service life of a battery:

  • Avoid fully charging or fully discharging the battery. Much like anything else in life, taking something to its extremes will increase the rate at which it degrades. There is no firm rule for this but some recommend keeping the battery between 20% and 80%.
  • Batteries are quite sensitive to temperature so when charging and/or parked, it is a good idea to find a shady spot rather than one in direct sunlight if you can.
  • Avoid charging your battery after a fast drive. The battery will be warm from producing electricity so giving it a while to cool down is a good idea.
  • Limit how regularly you fast charge (if your car is compatible with fast chargers). The higher the charging rate of the devices you plug into, the faster the maximum capacity of your battery is likely to be depleted.

How long do Renault Zoe batteries last?

The battery of a Renault Zoe will last a varying distance depending on a number of factors - including the temperature and your speed. The official ranges per charge for the different batteries are as follows:

BatteryRangeTesting procedure
22kWh (2013 to July 2015)130 milesNEDC
22kWh (from July 2015)149 milesNEDC
41kWh186 milesWLTP
52kWh245 milesWLTP

Renault has always been honest about real-world ranges. When the first Zoe arrived with 130 miles of range, Renault stressed that this could drop to as low as 60 miles in very cold winter weather.

In fact, there is a handy online tool on the Renault UK website that allows you to calculate what the French car manufacturer thinks will be your real-world range. There are sliders to change how fast you will drive and the outside air temperature, plus the option to have the air conditioning on or drive in eco mode.

Renault Zoe battery warranty

Mechanic inspecting car with extended warranty

As the batteries used in the Renault Zoe have changed over time, so too has the warranty they come with. An important thing to note is that the warranty for leased batteries is ever so slightly different. Starting with leased 22kWh batteries, the warranty ensures that Renault will repair or replace the pack if capacity drops below 75% of what it was when leaving the factory. This is not to say you are guaranteed to go back to 100%, it just means that Renault will ensure you have a battery that can store more than 75% of the original level. The warranty lasts the entirety of the lease period.

Meanwhile, 22kWh batteries that were bought with the car (which is the case for models where no monthly battery rental needs to be paid), came with a five-year/60,000-mile warranty. As soon as one of those limits is met, the battery is considered out of warranty. During that period Renault would repair or replace a battery pack if its capacity fell below 70% of the 'as new' capacity. Again, this is not to say it will be put back up to 100%, but you are ensured a battery with at least 70% of the 'as new' capacity.

The 41kWh battery packs, on the other hand, came with the same type of cover when leased - ensuring you have at least 75% of the original capacity. Models that include the battery benefit from a longer warranty, with Renault offering cover for eight years or 100,000 miles, with the warranty ending whenever you reach one of these milestones. The French car manufacturer did change the threshold that the battery capacity had to fall below to 66%, though.

Last but not least is the 52kWh pack, which has never been offered with the option of leasing. Its warranty lasts for eight years or 100,000 miles but it is broken down into two stages. The first stage is from year one to three, which covers repair or replacement should its capacity drop below 80% of what it was when it left the factory. In years four to eight, the capacity threshold drops to 70%.

For comparison, petrol and diesel engines are typically covered by a three-year/60,000-mile warranty. However, there are exceptions; Hyundai offers a five-year/unlimited mileage warranty and Kia offers a seven-year/100,000-mile warranty, but these are notably longer than a typical new car warranty.

One final thing to bear in mind if you're considering an older electric car is that as electric vehicles are becoming more common, there are more independent specialists cropping up that will help maintain them for a lower cost than the manufacturer. Some even offer battery replacement or upgrade services.

It is important to consider that any work carried out by a non-Renault electric vehicle technician on the high-voltage equipment in the Zoe will invalidate the battery warranty. This is worth bearing in mind if you plan to replace the batteries using a non-Renault garage.

 

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