Here in the States, the Toyota Prius is the reigning hybrid sales champ and the Nissan Leaf dominates the plugged-in segment, but the electrified vehicle industry picture is quite different over in France.

Sales of hybrid vehicles in France shot up by 46 percent in September of 2011, grabbing 0.8 percent of the total automotive market. On top, with 455 units sold in September, was the Honda Jazz Hybrid, followed closely by the Toyota Auris at 380 units and the Prius at 139 units.

Meanwhile, electric vehicles captured less than 0.2 percent of the sales pie. September's plug-in sales over in France included: 109 Renault Fluence Z.E., 51 Bolloré Bluecar, 62 Peugeot iOn, 39 Citroen C-Zero, 17 Nissan Leaf, 13 Mia and 10 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive.

Sales of gasoline-fueled vehicles represented 26.6 percent of total automotive sales in France, meaning that diesels – those vehicles thought to be stinky, noisy, smoke-spewing machines that don't sell well here in the U.S. – nabbed a shocking 72 percent of sales.
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HYBRIDES ET ELECTRIQUES REPRESENTENT ENVIRON 1 % DU MARCHE

7 octobre

Les ventes de véhicules à essence ont progressé de 4,8 du marché, principalement grâce aux promotions offertes par Renault sur les Clio à essence. Les ventes de modèles diesel ont baissé de 1,7 de part de marché. Le segment des GPL a quant à lui poursuivi sa chute (166 immatriculations ; 0,4 % de part de marché).

Le segment des véhicules hybrides a progressé de 46 du marché. La Honda Jazz a été le modèle le plus vendu dans cette catégorie (455 immatriculations), devant les Toyota Auris (380 unités) et Prius (139 unités).

Sous l'effet du développement de l'offre de Renault, les ventes de véhicules roulant au superéthanol ont pratiquement doublé en septembre, à 623 immatriculations (près de 0,4 % de part de marché), dont 219 Duster, 139 Mégane, 116 Scénic et 72 Logan.

Enfin, le segment des véhicules électriques ne dépasse pas encore 0,2 % du marché (300 ventes en septembre), mais l'offre s'élargit avec l'arrivée de la Fluence Z.E. (la commercialisation commence la semaine prochaine, mais Renault en a immatriculé 109 le mois dernier). Par ailleurs, 51 Bolloré BlueCar ont été immatriculées dans le cadre du lancement du service Autolib' à Paris. A cela s'ajoutent 62 Peugeot iOn, 39 Citroën C-Zéro, 17 Nissan Leaf, 13 Mia et 10 Smart Fortwo. Depuis le début de l'année, 1 428 véhicules électriques ont été immatriculés en France, dont 920 du groupe PSA. (AUTOACTU.COM 7/10/11)


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      lne937s
      • 6 Hours Ago
      One important piece of information from the press release (translated): "...the offer expanded with the arrival of the Fluence ZE (marketing begins next week, but Renault has 109 registered last month). " The Fluence was not yet on sale to the general public in September, which is why its sales numbers are low. The Kangoo ZE, Twizy, and Zoe were not available in France in September. Since the most significant models for the French market are not available yet, drawing any conclusions from these early sales numbers is very premature. Once they go on sale, it is likely production constraints will be the limiting factor for some time. In addition, the LEAF has very limited availability and was only on sale for a month. Other electric cars are also very supply constrained. The fact that .2% (US sales equivalent to about 18,000) have been made in the first 9 months with so little supply available is actually pretty encouraging.
      EVnerdGene
      • 6 Hours Ago
      whatsa behinda me doesn't a matter the europeans would rather save a euro than be concerned with pollution and its health affects
        super390
        • 6 Hours Ago
        @EVnerdGene
        It's not clear to me that Europeans are saving all that much by driving diesels rather than electrics. Both are awfully expensive for the size of car you get there. Diesel still costs a lot more there than in the US, but electricity doesn't. Given that there are European countries where one can't even drive very far without hitting a border, I'd think an electric makes a lot more sense than in the US. However, there seems to be a demand that's been building up for a long time in the US for a clean break with oil that we don't see in Europe (where the big issue has been coal and nuclear). It could be due to the role of America as a superpower, which ensured that once the US was replaced by Saudi Arabia as the top producer, it would get stuck with ensuring oil supplies would keep coming from there. That's not really Europe's problem, in their view, though in fact that's only true if the US can keep handling it. Americans find it impossible to follow Middle Eastern politics, and the frustrations of our involvement have been growing. Also, the traditional Seven Sisters were mostly US firms, and they have long been hated and feared by Americans for any number of past practices, while no one in Europe seems to really despise their oil conglomerates, even BP. Now, what's odd about politics making Americans more electric-friendly than Europeans is that the USA is vastly far to the right of every country in Western Europe. That is mainly visible in domestic affairs, and as I noted Europeans don't think as much about the politics of imported oil. Maybe the difference is that Europeans mainly express their personal ideological preferences through multiparty systems, unions, and mass media, while Americans were never very comfortable with mass mobilization and class-based organizations. They want to somehow make individual statements that make a difference, and rightly or wrongly electric cars have brought many of us to this site as a vote that we can cast to demonstrate against many different things.
          Marco Polo
          • 6 Hours Ago
          @super390
          super390 Thank you for a very well written and interesting analysis.
        throwback
        • 6 Hours Ago
        @EVnerdGene
        An electric car may be a superior car, however if you can't afford one what does it matter how much better it is?
          Marco Polo
          • 6 Hours Ago
          @throwback
          @Throwback Eventually, EV's will come onto the used market at affordable prices. In time EV technology will be so advanced that even economy EV's can be built in profitable numbers. It just takes time.
      throwback
      • 6 Hours Ago
      Not sure why it's shocking that diesels own 72% of the French market. Diesel's have dominated the market for years and will continue to do so. Hybrids making up less than 1% of the market is also in keeping with world wide trends.
        SNP
        • 6 Hours Ago
        @throwback
        +1 to throwback, europe doesnt have its own huge supplies of oil. They have to go diesel. We dont go clean diesel because diesel is already expensive here. We cant supply a lot of the fuel without prices soaring a lot higher and having an extra 3000+ on technology per vehicle.
          Marco Polo
          • 6 Hours Ago
          @SNP
          Er, clean diesel? I think you mean, marginally less dirty diesel!
      Peter
      • 6 Hours Ago
      £15,995 for the Fit (Jaz) and its arguably one of the best Hondas Economy: 62.8mpg (UK); £20,095 for the Auris (think Corolla hatch) at 74.3mpg £21,055 for the Prius at 72.4mpg When there is competition that drives better (the Fit) or has higher mpg (the Auris) at less cost...
      dreadcthulhu01
      • 6 Hours Ago
      Of course diesels are popular in France; their government policy strongly encourages people to buy them. Right now now, according to http://www.drive-alive.co.uk/fuel_prices_europe.html, the average price of gasoline in France is €1.48 per liter; diesel fuel is only € 1.30 per liter. At current exchange rates, that works out to $7.62 a gallon for gasoline, and $6.69 a gallon for diesel. This is because the French government taxes diesel quite a bit less than gasoline. Current European emissions laws are generally more lax for diesel vehicles as well. For example, diesel cars are allowed to emit 3 times as much nitrogen oxides as gasoline cars.
      goodoldgorr
      • 6 Hours Ago
      There is a mistery somewhere, why there isn't more diesel choice in usa and also canada. It's real that it stink but it's real that it offer more mpg also. Maybe part of the problem is the transmission, in europe most of the transmissions are manual and in usa and english canada the majority of transmissions are automatics, so most european diesels are also manual transmissions.
      Aaron Schwarz
      • 6 Hours Ago
      If people in the US had to pay what europeans pay for fuel, then small (costly up front for their size) turbo diesel vehicles would be popular here too!
        Aaron Schwarz
        • 6 Hours Ago
        @Aaron Schwarz
        but our financially broken government (-$14 trillion and counting) likes to give their lobby bribe buddies from Big Oil lots of special tax breaks to keep the prices down. Note the federal gas tax is tiny in the US too, I wonder why our highways are falling appart.... why there is no funding to fix them.... In essence, we have as a country, kept the cost of vehicle fuels artificially low by deferring the cost of maintaining the infrastructure into future debt. Thank you intelligent generations that came before me for the pile of debt you are handing us to deal with from here forward: enjoy your retirement with your heavily depleted 401K's and rapidly eroding pension plans... it looks like you might get what you deserve for your short sighted ignorant mismanagement of our infrastructure!
          Marco Polo
          • 6 Hours Ago
          @Aaron Schwarz
          Aaron, Oil companies don't really care about the pump price of gasoline, for the following reasons. a) Gasoline is the least profitable Oil product. (refining,transport, storage, retail infrastructure, etc). b) Diesel is more profitable c) The US is alone with such cheap prices. Oil companies are still very profitable in countries with a high pump price. Even with very large price hikes, gasoline sales decline only slightly, then return to normal. d) High pump prices have not led to a massive EV boom, but aided LPG sales (an even more profitable oil company product) e) Oil companies are relying on a 203-50 population of 30 +million EV's to provide a hedge against Oil depletion shortages. So the Oil companies are not the culprits for US low pump price. Instead look to the US governments and both Federal and State. Legislators fear the backlash of economic problems increasing the price of something as basic as oil. US voters have always regarded low gasoline prices as a birthright, not a luxury! In the rest of the world, where gasoline has aways been treated as luxury, much like alcohol, tobacco etc.. taxes are much higher. In other countries the public attitude toward gasoline tax is very different, people grumble, but gasoline usage is seen as a luxury and high levels of taxation are acceptable, especially given a recently added environmental justification.
        Arun Murali
        • 6 Hours Ago
        @Aaron Schwarz
        You are right and Diesel is subsidized in France, just like petrol is in US. Despite the higher price for diesel in real world. It costs about 1.46 Euro/ltr of diesel compared to 1.58 Euro/ltr of petrol. That's about 15-20% subsidy on Diesel. US is just subsidizing all fuels. In my view its simply no different.
      harlanx6
      • 6 Hours Ago
      It's easy to make a case for clean diesels. It's superior performance and economy. For some reason only the Germans are smart enough to market them in the US. The US automotive industry is conceding this whole segment of the market that could be huge if properly exploited.
        Aaron Schwarz
        • 6 Hours Ago
        @harlanx6
        diesels dont reach cost parity: gas powered vehicles cost much less upfront. And these VW's that claim to get 40MPG' on the highway, end up getting around 33MPG real world for most people who drive in mixed urban/ suburban, rural routes: and you can get Gas powered vehicles for the same size, performance and very similar fuel economy for $5000 or more less. VW's TDI drivetrain is expensive to manufacture, and diesel fuels costs more than Premium gas in many US states. A 87octane Honda Insight or Toyota Prius or Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla, or Chevy Cruise, or Hyundai Elantra/ Sonata, Ford Focus, ect ect... these vehicles make much better rational financial sense than diesels. Also note that there is a cultural stigma against diesels in the US because of the smell they emit!
          Aaron Schwarz
          • 6 Hours Ago
          @Aaron Schwarz
          In terms of efficiency too, its worth noting that diesel fuel contains %30 more energy per gallon than gasoline. So diesel fuel vehicles should be getting much better than %30 better fuel economy if they are actually more efficient! Again the problem comes down to fuel price. In order for the small turbo diesel to make sense in the US, Americans are going to need to be paying more than $5/gal for fuel in order for the ROI to pencil out. Time will tell, maybe VW will do well with their TDI's: I am only hoping the go with a hybrid diesel setup to really kick the MPG number through the roof!
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