Citroen, which is offering the i-MiEV-based C-Zero and the Berlingo van, is expecting solid if not amazing electric vehicle (EV) sales in 2011. The company's target is a modest 4,000 EV sales this year, a goal that brand spokesman Xavier Duchemin is "very confident" in since Citroen already has 1,500 orders in for the C-Zero and another 500 for the van. In 2012, the sales target will more than double to 10,000. Major corporate sales from companies such as the German railway network, General Electric and even the French postal service are helping the company achieve this volume.
The only stumbling block to these sales figures may be when the incentives, worth up to 5,000 euros ($6,919 U.S. at current exchange rates) in many countries such as France and the UK, run out. However, Citroen believes sales will remain strong even after the rebates are done because an electric vehicle has other benefits that reduce the cost of ownership. For instance, anyone commuting into London has to pay a 10-pound ($16) congestion charge; anyone driving an EV, though, gets the fee waived. With oil prices on the rise worldwide, we expect demand to rise even without these sorts of incentives.