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Aussies Pull Plug On Zoe!

August 1, 2020

By Paul Homewood



The car nobody wants!



Indeed, over the same period, Australians bought two-and-a-half times more Rolls-Royces (158), seven times as many Lamborghinis (457), and 12 times as many Ferraris (818) than Renault Zoe electric cars.

In an online briefing with media, Renault Australia executives blamed absent government incentives for the lack of widespread interest in the Zoe, even though it was already one of the cheapest electric cars on sale, priced from $47,490 plus on-road costs.

Critics of electric-car subsidies say the vehicles should sell on their merits rather than receiving taxpayer support – especially as drivers of such vehicles are perceived as getting a free ride on Australian roads by avoiding fuel excise.

  1. Graeme No.3 permalink
    August 1, 2020 10:26 am

    What was the range? It is a long way to travel outside of the inner-city suburbs.

  2. Rowland P permalink
    August 1, 2020 10:43 am

    Exactly. Range condemns the car to be useless even around town, not least with the air-con going full bore!

  3. Joe Public permalink
    August 1, 2020 11:02 am

    That’s really surprising, what with all the sunshine Aussies receive. 😉

    Maybe it’s something to do with the huge distances some have to travel to get to where they’re going.

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      August 1, 2020 12:42 pm

      I was thinking of a friend who used to travel 56km to deposit his small children with grandparents** then 40 km to work. This was in Sydney where car air-conditioning is very, very welcome in summer.
      **cheaper than child care even before the Govt. regulated and subsidised it (HINT it got more expensive).
      As his eldest daughter has graduated from University he no longer makes that trek, but he has moved at least 20 km further away from his place of work.

  4. Howard Paul permalink
    August 1, 2020 11:08 am

    As well as the previous point – for half the year air conditioning on high is essential – it’s that ludicrous price-tag, effectively $50,000 when you can get an equivalent MG for $17,000 and a good=spec Toyota Yaris for $20,000. In Australia, you really would have to have rocks in your head to buy any electric car, but $50K for a French one?????

    • August 3, 2020 3:54 am

      Gets even worse. The service station I go to had ordinary ULP for A$1.10/L when I drove past it just now. That includes a government excise of 42.3c/L for road maintenance etc. My electricity rate on my bill is 34.859 c/kWh.

      A Zoe gets about 15 kWh/100 km, whereas an equivalent petrol car like the Nissan Micra (also made by Renault in France) gets about 4.5L/100 km.

      15 x 0.34859 = $5.22
      4.5 x 1.10 = $4.95

      So the petrol car is actually cheaper to run than the Zoe…arguably anyway.

      And if you add road pricing equivalent to the 42.3c/L, since electric cars wear out roads the same as petrol cars, you would effectively be paying a lot more for energy for the Zoe than a Micra.

      No wonder they don’t sell.

  5. ianprsy permalink
    August 1, 2020 12:40 pm

    Perhaps Renault have to be a bit more patient. Now that Young Mr Murdoch has resigned in protest at Sky Australia’s out-of-order stance on climate alarmism, Aussies may change their minds.

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      August 1, 2020 12:50 pm

      Don’t bet any money on it. I know some people who still fume about Labor’s broken promise not to bring in a carbon tax (10 years ago). They lost the next in a landslide. And the last Federal election when the “wrong” party won.
      Personally I worry about the stupid policy that is wrecking our electricity grid and making blackouts more likely. Not as moronic as the politicians collectively in the UK but ours are trying to match them.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        August 1, 2020 2:05 pm

        I think you Aussies are ahead in the ‘let’s have some blackouts’ stakes but we are doing our best to get closer each year.

      • Mad Mike permalink
        August 1, 2020 4:19 pm

        So not only do these Climate guys want/need subsidised green electricity they also want hugely subsidised EVs as well. When you need all you do to be massively subsidised you should figure out that maybe you are on the wrong track.

      • Up2snuff permalink
        August 3, 2020 5:15 pm

        MM, that’s the problem with social solutions and social security … in time, everyone – especially the young people – expect a free ride. In the UK Government dependency is starting to reach fever pitch thanks to the Wu ‘flu’ with everyone saying “The government must support this and that and also me, me, especially.” We are creating a society in the UK that has become dependent.

        Don’t get me wrong on SS. I wouldn’t want to see the unemployed get no help, for people to face starvation, for old people to die of the cold and hunger, but we’ve reached the stage where many people think we should be paid by the State just to exist. Government’s have no money, they only have taxpayers.

  6. Gamecock permalink
    August 1, 2020 12:44 pm

    ‘In an online briefing with media, Renault Australia executives blamed absent government incentives for the lack of widespread interest in the Zoe’

    Are we to assume that Renault marketing and design got together to make a car to target government subsidies? And when the subsidies didn’t come, and the product fails, it’s the government’s fault? They sound like subsidy farmers.

    ‘even though it was already one of the cheapest electric cars on sale, priced from $47,490 plus on-road costs.’

    ‘Cheapest’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘cheap.’

    I imagine trade in value on a 3 year old Zoe is around $10,000.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      August 1, 2020 2:13 pm

      The Chinese have managed to make a viable battery without Cobalt which is an element that is in short supply. If they have managed to overcome the stability problems during rapid charging without then batteries will become cheaper. BUT thinking about secondhand battery cars what if the battery size and shape changes such that when you need a new one you can’t use a better newer design? Think cordless tools. There is no AA, AAA, D cell, C cell etc and manufacturers have there own designs. Go for a new battery for you normal car and you have a great range of choices that will all fit!

  7. bobn permalink
    August 1, 2020 12:45 pm

    And its ugly! Wouldnt buy it if it had a proper engine.

  8. Mad Mike permalink
    August 1, 2020 4:14 pm

    2019 % of EVs sold in OZ was 0.6% of total car sales. This is double the amount in 2018 so I’ll write the headline for the BBC now.


  9. Frosty Oz permalink
    August 2, 2020 2:20 am

    Australian houses have lots of rooftop solar PV on houses, but if the vehicle is used for commuting what Is needed for clean operation is access to solar PV charging at the workplace, of which there is almost none.

  10. August 2, 2020 10:10 am

    Solar is rubbish that is why it needs to be subsidised
    even though unlike conventional fuels it pays no mining taxes.
    But the internet is full of solar spivs, pushing the dream.

    BTW Nuclear and large scale hydro are credible power sources.

  11. August 2, 2020 12:29 pm

    The very fact that it is Renault should send people screaming in the opposite direction.

    • Gamecock permalink
      August 2, 2020 1:22 pm

      Yeah. Rather presumptuous of us to assume electric was the problem.

      • August 3, 2020 12:15 pm

        My late father had no use for the Renault vehicles. I remember seeing them in the ’60’s. They were semi-mobile rust buckets with cardboard floors. Leave it to the French……

  12. Tym fern permalink
    August 2, 2020 1:15 pm

    Bottom line……………not value for money, twice the price of a proper car!

  13. EternalOptimist permalink
    August 2, 2020 8:08 pm

    O zoe car
    what a show e car
    an australian non-show e car
    a backwards car


  14. JCalvertN permalink
    August 4, 2020 12:49 pm

    I have a petrol-driven Renault. It is 16 years old, safe, and as good as new – zero rust.
    I intend to keep it for a few more years.
    That having been said, surely a Renault Zoe is nothing more than NIssan Leaf made under licence?

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