Renault Fluence EV prices revealed

* Electric saloon starts at 17,850 * Uses same technology as pricier Nissan Leaf * Buyers have to lease battery...

Renault Fluence EV prices revealed

The all-electric Renault Fluence will cost 22,850 reduced to 17,850 with the Government's maximum 5000 electric car grant the car maker has confirmed.

That will make the four-door saloon cheaper than its key rival and a car with which it shares much of its technology the Nissan Leaf.

However, unlike Nissan Leaf customers who buy the car outright, Fluence owners will buy the car but lease the batteries. Renault says this will ensure stronger resale values, because there'll be no worries over the state of the battery.

The exact price of that lease will vary depending on the length of the contract and the owner's annual mileage. For instance; a 12-month, 6000-mile contract will cost 86 a month, but if the buyer signs up for 60 months, the monthly cost drops to 70; if the annual mileage is increased to 9000 on that 60-month contact, the cost goes up to 81.

It is possible to terminate the contract if owners sell the car, but Renault will then calculate the amount they should have paid over the shorter term. Similarly, excess mileage will be charged at 4p per mile, but the contract does include the security of having a full recovery service in the event of breakdown, which includes running out of battery power.

Renault's other electric vehicles
The Fluence is expected to reach British showrooms in May or June next year, and will be the third all-electric Renault to arrive here.

The first is the Kangoo van, which goes on sale next month, but is not eligible for the 5000 grant, because it is not a car, while the Twizy (effectively a four-wheeled scooter) will go on sale in March. Then, in October, a fourth all-electric Renault, the Zoe supermini, will go on sale; the production car will be at the Geneva motor show next year.

Although you will be able to go into any Renault showroom and buy an electric vehicle (EV), the company is setting up a network of EV specialists. This currently stands at 20 dealers, but will be extended to 27 by the time the Fluence goes on sale.

The centres are predominantly located within major urban areas (London, Milton Keynes and the North East, for example). These dealers will be the only ones to have demonstrator cars and be the only ones who can carry out a full service on the company's EVs.

Come back to tomorrow at midday for a full review of the Renault Fluence