6. Renault-Nissan : Leaf (Zoe*)


In February 2009, Carlos Ghosn ensures that the electric car of his group « already exists ». He ensures that the alliance Renault and Nissan is an “extraordinary advantage” because “Nissan masters the ion-lithium battery”. “We believe that the conditions are now reunited for the electric car to finally be a success”. But, to succeed, it is necessary to not sell the car for more than the equivalent diesel car. However, the predicted volumes will not allow this and the battery is a sizeable increase.


Renault shall rent the batteries, however renting the battery and charger must cost less than a full tank of petrol. Ridden of their battery, the car may be sold at its usual price.

In this case the battery rental is not the sale of usage. It is probable that certain client shall contest the fixed price that does not guarantee the value of the charge.


The years 2010 – 2012 shall tell us if it is an success or failure.

*Initially conceived fot the Nissan Leaf, the model was applied to the Zoe. 2013 was the first experimental year of the model.

The wrong choice of the connection system to the power grid, and the failure of the Israeli partner in charge of the battery changing system have significantly delayed feedback.

Key points

This case only concerns the battery so far, which is presented as a complementary car product and not the entire vehicle, together necessary for the usage of the mobility.

What is remarkable, is that a big constructor, sitting on an economic model that they wish to sustain to ensure maximum profitability (“business as usual”), tiptoes into functional service economics under the pressure of the market requirements: clean cars because city dwellers can no longer stand pollution, rupturing the automobile link – oil for “major geological risks” (cf. the Ministry of ecology’s website), economical cars because of the income crisis…

Here again, it is the search of cost control that leads to functional service economics!

Note : In the book “ The Key to renewal thanks to the crisis; Functional service economics: instructions for business leaders” pages 84-86 demonstrate, to what extent functional service economics can lower costs. Under the condition that the offer is globally conceived for that purpose.

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