Pricing for a new Renault Zoe electric hatch – which has been pulled from the Australian market – has dropped dramatically, with listing on Car Sales showing drive-away prices at a top of $39,990, which is $10,000 less than its previous list price, before on-road costs.
With a real world driving range of around 300km and a 41kWh battery, the substantial price drop – up to $14,000 in some instances – now makes this limited offering of the Renault Zoe the most affordable electric vehicle in Australia, at least until stock runs out.
According to Car Sales, there are only 19 new and demo vehicles left. If the car maker can sell these, its 2020 sales for the Zoe will fall just shy of 100 vehicles all told.
Asked about the price drop, Andrew Ellis, Renault’s corporate communications manager in Australia, told The Driven that the Zoe EVs offered for sale were part of a small batch of 2019 build versions that made up the last units the company had for sale in Australia.
“After the decision was made to not bring in the next generation (into Australia) we sold that stock to some of our dealers who are now advertising them.”
Although electric vehicle sales in Australia are on the rise against a backdrop of general decline in local auto sales, the Renault Zoe has faired poorly despite being most popular electric vehicle in Europe, where it is beating the Tesla Model 3 and the Volkswagen e-Golf.
Renault said in July its decision to pull the Zoe laid squarely with a lack of federal policy to encourage EV uptake which led to poor sales.
But there is hope on the horizon, with the Renault eWays “easy electric life” online conference now well underway.
As noted by The Driven on Wednesday, this event will showcase new electric and plug-in hybrid models planned by Renault, one of which is expected to be an electric SUV based on the Morphoz concept.
Ellis says he is confident that this vehicle will be made available in Australia, although as with so many other EV models it may take a few years to get here.
“Going forward, we saw a strong glimpse at the eWays announcement of what Renault is confident of delivering not only in Europe but here in Australia,” said Ellis.
“We’re a couple of years away from seeing that product here in Australia, but we will be working closely with head office to see what is suitable for the local market.”
In the meantime, it appears that Renault has not seen fit to confirm plug-in hybrid models of the Captur and Arakana, which it has planned for the European market. Again, the reasoning behind this lies behind the stark difference between European and Australian vehicle emissions standards.
But Ellis has hope: “Next year we will be focussing on Captur and Arkana, which will launch initially with petrol engines. Both have PHEV versions and we will definitely be looking at those to see if we can make it work in Australia.”
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.