• Sep 21st 2010 at 10:58AM
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Citroen C-Zero – Click above for high-res image gallery

PSA Peugeot Citroen has devised a novel plan aimed at capturing a potentially large number of buyers who would otherwise scoff at the idea of buying or even leasing an electric vehicle (EV). First, Citroen plans to lease, and not sell, its upcoming C-Zero electric city car, and the company's plan doesn't end there. According to a report from Bloomberg, the C Zero's lease plan will likely include a stipulation that grants lessees access to a gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicle for trips that exceed the C-Zero's 93-mile range limitation. Bloomberg prodded for more details, but Citroen spokeswoman Valerie Gillot would not comment.

Peugeot Citroen product director, Vincent Besson, did offer up some words to justify company's decision to lease, rather than outright sell, the C-Zero. He explained it like this:
Leasing makes the most sense because electric cars are going to force consumers to think in terms of running costs rather than sticker price, the way company fleet managers already do.
Leasing can be a logical option and offering a loaner gasoline-powered vehicle might help boost buyer interest, but if someone is seriously considering this deal, then wouldn't a Chevrolet Volt or perhaps even a plug-in Prius make more sense?

[Source: Bloomberg]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      It appears that "range anxiety" is a tough sell for short range BEV's without a range extender. Perhaps the "loaner" can be equiped with a towing hitch to bring your short range BEV home on those cold winter days.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Maybe the "loaner" should be equipped with a smarter driver that is capable of reading a simple console panel.

        If you know where you are going, and you can do simple arithmetic, then you should never be stranded, even in cold weather. Enough with the FUD.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That might work in a Compactland, but if you have ever seen the several lanes leaving Los Angeles with the nearest destination about a 100 miles away and the more popular destinations 200 and 400 miles away, thousands of cars passing the same point every few minutes you would know that it would be impossible feat that a car company would provide all those cars as a long distance option included with an electric. Oh, and there are the same number of lanes carrying the same amount of traffic in the other direction.

      And how much would the long distance option add to the cost of the already very expensive EV? There is no free lunch. It would be cheaper I think to provide a free train/plane pass and an EV at the destination.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Every market will have it's own optimal solution. It makes perfect sense in Europe, where a big car is not worth the hassle to park in the cities.
        The US would be well advised to make greater use of natural gas for car fleets in my view.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think trains are the solution for long distances in the long run anyway. I do think battery electric cars ought to be really popular among rental companies which rent cars at airports (& train stations, when the rental car companies figure out that they ought to be renting cars there...) in big cities. People who rent a car when travelling to a big city rarely go long distances...
      • 5 Years Ago
      sounds nice. I'll bet someone used to driving the EV version will feel dirty when driving the gas loaner : )
      then they'll want an even better EV next time
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, i don't think people are gonna settle for a gas burner.

        I feel like god kills a kitten every time i fire up my 4 cylinder car. I can't imagine how an EV owner would feel.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Great Idea.
      Quote:but if someone is seriously considering this deal, then wouldn't a Chevrolet Volt or perhaps even a plug-in Prius make more sense?

      No, they both burn gasoline.
        • 5 Years Ago
        15 miles, 40 miles..... or 93 miles.

        The difference is HUGE!

        The difference could be needing gasoline once a week or once every 3 months.

        For someone who does an average of 50 miles per day... it is all the difference in the world.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed that they would not necessarily make more sense depending on costs, but for a different reason.
        The iMiEV is a very small city car, and ideal for that purpose. It is not what you want to use when going away for a week. Some leasing built in means that you have a car suited for it's use, all the time.
        • 5 Years Ago

        It allows the user to do exactly what they want to do...burn gas *only* when they need to. Both the Volt and the plug-in Prius will burn it when the *car* needs to, not when you do.

        Compromising FTL!
        • 5 Years Ago
        And the gasoline loaner doesn't?
      • 5 Years Ago
      That's an extremely interesting business model.
      One wonders how hard it will be to support if you had widespread sales of the EVs though.

      On the other hand - one also wonders how well a major manufacturer could do running its own rental company through its own dealers.
      I'm surprised it has never been done to be honest.
      It's kind of like a world where no dairy farm ever thought of going into the cheese-making business.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That might make sense... to have dealerships front the cost of gas loaners.

        Luxury dealerships already provide 48 hour loaners for customers that get their Oil changed and routine maintenance at the dealership. They figured that these high end clients that can afford the Lincoln or Cadillac and afford to pay dealership service shop prices deserve an extra perk.

        Hell, the loaners are luxury cars and SUVs of equal class too.

        It would seem easy to allow EV owner to get a free "loan day" once every 2 months from the dealership. Which would be plenty for many people when they take out of town trips.

        That is about a $300 value per year. Many people spend more on Oil changes every year.
      • 5 Years Ago
      God really,,, range anxiety is the most overworked concept.

      "I'll see you at the side of the road when you have a dead battery." ---or "What are you going to do when your battery runs dead out in the middle of nowhere"

      answer: The same thing you will do if you are too dumb to look at your gas gauge.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Exactly.... the only reason people are currently getting stranded because they run out of gasoline is:

        1) Their gas gauge or "near empty inticator" is broken
        2) They become way too complacent because of the safety net that "gas stations on every corner" provide. So they push the envelope.

        An EV will have a MUCH more accurate gauge than the simple dial with "F 3/4 1/2 1/4 E". So no need to "estimate" which can exacerbate the complacency.

        And a EV driver will know before hand EXACTLY whether or not a trip is within range AND where all the charge points are. Hell, the Leaf will even tell you.

      • 5 Years Ago
      And he will have to know how to correct for battery temp. Not sure the Leaf will do that in it's range calcualtion.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Citroen C-MiEV, sorry, Mitsubishi i-Zero, erm, whatever, is not made for distance. It is a city car, like most current EV:s. You need to aim higher range than just 100 miles to make EV viable as only car. Two hundred is better and 400-500 would make gas-cars pretty much obsolete for 90+% of people.

      If you need your car only for short-range commuting then that deal makes a lot of sense. If you need a longer range, then you are better off buying Prius (or practically any ICE car currently).
      • 4 Years Ago
      Uh-oh. Leasing is how GM and Toyota killed their electric cars last time 'round; if you only lease it's easier to force people to stop using them. I think Citroen's not serious about electric cars.
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