Renault offers EV buyers an internal-combustion option with Switch Car service

Europe

MARBELLA, Spain – Renault has been selling electric vehicles for nearly a decade in Europe, but, executives admit, some potential buyers still have concerns about running out of juice on the highway or even just finding a public charging station.

So the automaker is hoping to break down any customer hesitancy by rolling out a suite of “reassurance” services to complement the new Megane E-Tech Electric compact hatchback.

The services are offered through Mobilize, Renault Group’s mobility services business unit, company executives said at a recent test-drive event for the full-electric Megane in Spain.

Chief among them is Switch Car, a program that lets owners reserve any Renault vehicle with unlimited mileage for up to 30 days each year, depending on country. It is geared toward drivers who don’t want to worry about charging on long trips such as family vacations, and instead will choose a model with an internal combustion engine that they can fill up at a fuel station.

Switch Car is available through Renault’s in-house financing programs, at an additional cost of 30 euros (about $33) a month in France.

If owners find themselves completely out of juice — or a “dry breakdown” — Renault promises roadside assistance to help them get to their destination in less than 30 minutes through Renault Care Service, either through towing or on-site charging. 

There are a number of other offerings tied to the launch of the Megane E-Tech Electric.

  • “One-step” installation of a home charging station before delivery, through Mobilize Power Solutions, with financial assistance.
  • The Mobilize Smart Charge app, an automated charging management system. It keeps track for energy production and use in the electric grid, and will stop the charging process when use exceeds production, and resumes charging when there is surplus energy. Owners can also schedule charging for off-peak hours. (It is also available retroactively for Renault Zoe owners.)
  • Mobilize Charge Pass, which allows users to charge at more than 260,000 public stations in Europe without having to sign up for multiple subscriptions (rolling out across Europe now, with full access by this summer). 
  • Access to a preferential rate on Ionity’s network of 1,500 high-power charging stations along European highways (starting this summer).
  • The use of charging points at the more than 4,000 dealerships and Renault Group agencies in Europe.

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