Nissan and General Motors would've been clicking their heels if electric vehicles accounted for one in 500 new cars last year. But in the homeland of big EV builder Renault, not so much.

EV sales in France have accounted for less than 0.2 percent of new car sales this year, Bloomberg News reports, citing Les Echos.

Automakers like alliance partners Renault and Nissan sold 1,594 EVs through April, according to the wire service. Automakers are hoping that EVs account for as much as 10 percent of vehicle sales in France.

Still, 0.2 percent isn't exactly a horror story. Last year, models like the Nissan Leaf battery electric vehicle and Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in moved about 17,000 units, or about 0.13 percent of the nearly 13 million light-duty vehicles sold in the U.S. in 2011. That's about one in 750 new cars.

That said, automakers were hoping the French would take after the fine citizens of Norway. There, the Nissan Leaf moved 1,000 units during its first six months on sale there, and accounted for about two percent of the car market in February. Mon dieu!


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 60 Comments
      paulwesterberg
      • 2 Years Ago
      The french do love their smoking. Air quality is not much of a concern when you smoke.
      Nick
      • 2 Years Ago
      The French are poor. Most make no more than $3500 a month.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nick
        Be careful of the difference between median and average wages, as they are very different things, with ever growing income inequality, especially in the US and the UK compared to many places: 'Average real income per family in the United States grew by 32.2 percent from 1975 to 2006, while they grew only by 27.1 percent in France during the same period, showing that the macroeconomic performance in the United States was better than the French one during this period. Excluding the top percentile, average United States real incomes grew by only 17.9 percent during the period while average French real incomes — excluding the top percentile — still grew at much the same rate (26.4 percent) as for the whole French population. Therefore, the better macroeconomic performance of the United States and France is reversed when excluding the top 1 percent.' http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2011/09/mean-vs-median-income-growth.html the average income even in the US is less than $3,500 pm: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17543356 That is $3,263 in the US, and $2,886 in France. Even after accounting for the difference between average and median incomes though, what those figures represent are very different things in the US and France. Both college tuition and health care are substantially provided for in France, and do not show up in the comparison, but take quite a chunk out of US wages. Finally, the average person in the US and Europe is never going to buy a new car. That is confined to a sub-set, which is considerably more wealthy than the average, even for the cheapest cars. Buying a new supposedly mid-level car such a new Ford Taurus or such is an activity which is engaged in only by the top 10% at most.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          I should have added that the figures do not appear to include the use of company cars, which would further skew figures so that the better off would have more access to newer cars.
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Phew ! Well, I'm glad we got that cleared up ! :)
          Nick
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          MarcoPolo "A consumer only buys a car once every 5 years so 5x8 = 40 that equals 20% of the population. or on in five. " Most new car purchases are financed...which means the buyers really can't afford to buy them and need to rely on payment schemes to take them home (the cars technically become theirs only several years later, even though the scheme is made to seem like they really own it). Americans (and other westerner) are no longer able to buy new cars, but the illusion has been kept alive through these schemes. What we'd need is something like a real affordable ($5000 to $6000) car like the original VW Beetle in its day.
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          @ Dave Mart, I'm afraid you've lost me. I don't think you actually rebutted anything since my "claims" are not claims but just obvious conclusions drawn from the statistic's of new car sales. You stated that " the average person in the US and Europe, is never going to buy a new car". I say untrue, or the mass car industry would cease to exist ! I then cite the reasons back by logistical evidence. You state:, "That is confined to a sub-set, which is considerably more wealthy than the average, even for the cheapest cars". I say this is erroneous, and again cite the evidence. (the rich don't buy the cheapest cars). You say:, "Buying a new supposedly mid-level car such a new Ford Taurus or such is an activity which is engaged in only by the top 10% at most ". I say, once again, you wrong and provide evidence that it is indeed the average person who buys the average new car, not the top 10% or the car industry could exist . Now, I'm not misquoting you, nor am " I bowdlerising and mis-stating you ". I am quoting your own words, verbatim. I feel that the above is an accurate summation of the issue.
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          @ Dave Mart If you notice I made allowance for 'fleet' sales. Nick is quite correct, most new cars are bought on some form of time payment. This is hardly new, and credit is what created the prosperity and dramatic rise in living standards enjoyed since the 1960's. Where Nick is in error, is that the introduction of consumer credit vastly expanded the wealth of nations, and created most of the material prosperity enjoyed throughout the developed world. Consumer credit also built vast new industries and products. Without credit, mass manufacture would not be possible of the scale currently enjoyed. Credit isn't an evil, unlike mass economic poverty and unemployment , which is what societies without high levels of consumer spending suffer. Nearly 2 million new car are purchased each year in the UK, which has a population of only 62 million, but 36 million licenced drivers and 31 million passenger cars on the road. More interestingly, 25% of households don’t have a car, 45 % have one car, 25% have two cars, and the remaining five percent have three or more cars ! Again, roughly deducting taxi's and fleet vehicles, (company cars) 1.5 new car per year are bought from a potential pool of 6 million car buyers. Or about 25% of the car buying population. The average price of new cars in Britain is under 12,600 pounds. I.I million cars sold under 16,000 pounds which considering the average wage in the UK , is 26,000 pounds (similar to Germany and France) is about right. That means of the car buying population the average person, was able to buy over 50% of the new cars sold ! So, not only does the average person buy new cars, but is in the majority of new car buyers ! This is a similar figure to most first world nations. It, makes sense or the Auto manufacturing industry would have collapsed years ago ! Statistics, (apologies to Benjamin Disraeli ) are fascinating things !
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          @ DaveMart, " the average person in the US and Europe is never going to buy a new car. That is confined to a sub-set, which is considerably more wealthy than the average, even for the cheapest cars. Buying a new supposedly mid-level car such a new Ford Taurus or such is an activity which is engaged in only by the top 10% at most ". What a gloomy analysis ! But how correct ? At a glance, if the US has a population of 311 million, but only 60 % eligible car buyers, (186.6 million) and the average number of new vehicles sold per year is 10 million, minus 1.6 sold to fleet. leaving say 8 million new cars. A consumer only buys a car once every 5 years so 5x8 = 40 that equals 20% of the population. or on in five. This would account for the obvious error in your argument that only the rich can buy a new car, since the rich never buy economy cars, yet so many are sold. These figures are very rough, but they provide insight to why the new car market is not as gloomy as you imagine !
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          @ marco: two points: Perhaps you would confirm that I have never said that only the rich buy cars, as you claimed and is the main point at issue. Secondly, if you wish to make a claim such as that many new car buyers have less than average income, please provide the reference to your source, so that it can be read in context and evaluated, instead of merely being an isolated, at least apparently verbatim quote.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Marco: You are both bowdlerising and mis-stating my argument. I have never claimed that only the rich buy new cars, as a proper re-reading of what I have said would confirm, only said that the average income of a new car buyer is far higher than that of the national average person. The top 10% of people are by no means rich, unlike the top 1%, but they do have far higher incomes than the rest. You then get in a bit of a mess with your calculations, as company cars most certainly count, and they are a perk of the job largely given to the well-heeled, unless you are talking about a delivery van. I am going to rather switch horses here, as I only have enough familiarity to talk in any detail about the UK car market rather than that of the US, although suitable adjusted they would apply. The UK market divides into two main segments, the bigger car market for things like the Ford Modeo and so on, which is the preserve here mostly of the company man, and does very high mileage, although less so for the top executives, and where the car is kept only 3-4 years on average, and the market primarily for smaller cars, bought primarily by older people, where the average mileage is far lower, and the car held onto often far longer, which is what brings the average age at trade in up. So your ~20% breaks down, in the UK, to perhaps 10% who are the 'Hyundai market' with mostly reasonably basic cars bought and hung onto, where premium prices are not often paid, and the other 10%, as I said above, who are the Ford Taurus buyer, either personally or corporately. The company car, and bigger, plusher car driver will typically be in the prime of life, and have a higher income than the small private car buyer, who is often older and retired, and whilst well-off is by no means wealthy. This is all very broad brush, of course, but about right. New car buyers, mostly small cars, are in the top 20% or so of income, far above the average, and plush car buyers in the top 10%. If the battery has to be paid for upfront, then the Leaf and the Volt are in the higher category. The Tesla is of course a top 1% or so car.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          @ Nick: I do have hard figures across occupations and countries: http://www.payscale.com/research/FR/Country=France/Salary Taxes are higher in France, but the big difference is that in France and most of Europe you can manage without a car, unless you are unlucky enough to be in the rural poor. In most of the US even the poorest somehow have to contrive to have wheels. Ownership in the US is about 808 per thousand, in France 575, using rather old figures: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_vehicles_per_capita The percentile who can afford a new car will be in a similar ratio, of about 3/4 as many people able to have one in France as opposed to the US. Highly skewed incomes mean that the percentage able to have a more expensive vehicle would be more in the US, perhaps 50% higher. Income skew in Europe now is heavily influenced by those without a job at all, and with no prospects of getting a car, new or old. Anecdotally comparing just a particular occupation, such as nurses, tends to skew the overall picture. Health in France is mainly a state affair, and expenditure on health is way lower per person than in the US, although overall health in society is better. Weirdly, they have got better overall results across society by having more doctors paid a lot less than in the US and UK. Who could have imagined that? Damn socialists!
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Marco: I'll do my best to get the point across again! First and foremost, I have never stated that only the rich will ever buy a new car. That is the 'bowdlerisation' that I refer to, and that mis-statement leads in turn to your misunderstanding the argument. I instead state that it is the better off who overwhelmingly buy the new cars. If you wish to continue to dispute that point, please show where I have ever said that it is only the rich who buy new cars. That is very different though to the idea that the 'average' person will ever buy new. Average in this context means at least those in the top 50% of income earners. That is not what happens in the car market, where only around the top 20% ever buy a new car, although of course there are outliers. The reason that the car market continues to function and there is a big total fleet is of course that most people buy second hand, without ever getting a new car. The figures are going to vary a bit between different countries, and different times, but overall are pretty solid. Even in the US with it's huge car fleet and many families with several cars, a lot of that is accounted for by the same families buying several new cars, and others running several old bangers. Although in theory new cars may seem to be buyable by those on lower incomes, in practise the amount of discretionary income falls even faster than total income at lower income groups. There is nothing remotely contentious in what I am saying. It is perfectly obvious that the better off you are, the more likely to buy a new car, and equally obvious that for very many people it is not at all in prospect. That is true for more than the 50% of people needed to sustain your argument. If it were not so the s/h car market would take a hammering!
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          @Marco: You are not addressing my basic point, or the rebuttal to your claims: It is not the 'rich' aka the top 1% by income who drive auto sales, but it is the top decile for premium autos, and the top two deciles for all new autos. And that group, which I loosely class as the top one or two deciles, is shrinking.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          'Australia, a country whose egalitarian culture, and low unemployment, was built by the mass adoption of easy to obtain credit, removed from my thinking the concept of finance as being a bad thing' Apparently not in the case of battery leasing! However, there is really no substantial disagreement. Rich I would think of as the 1%, not the top 10%. It's perfectly clear that buying a new car, especially a plush one, goes up in frequency with income. It would be remarkable if it did not. I did not seek to imply that buying a new car is always out of the reach of nurses, policemen, etc. However that does not mean that more than 50% of people are ever likely to buy a new car, although that does not mean that if that were a person on lower income's priority they could not do so. It is also clear that over the last 20-30 years the affordability of new cars has increased, so I simply do not follow your idea that saying most people will never buy a new car is highly negative, as in my view alternatives to actually owning a car are likely to increase. It's also plain though that the recent, post 2008, financial crisis has hit hard, both in knocking many people's incomes, and just as importantly for new car sales, hitting the provision of credit. To a considerable extent wider new car buying has been driven by easy credit and increased indebtedness, and a reduction in both of these factors don't seem like a negative to me, although they make times tough for car makers. Your disagreement seems to be largely with the implication you draw from what I said, rather than what I actually said. I don't draw the same inferences, so the discussion is moot. The bottom line for this blog in any case is that it will be tough to persuade many in this financial climate to fork out another £12,000 for a battery, and it would certainly strain the finances of many to do so, even if running costs were cheaper than for petrol, which they aren't at the moment. If cost is the main concern, in Europe a cheap diesel and cutting down on the casual running around is far more cost effective. If you are low mileage maintenance costs are of less concern in any case.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          @Marco: I decided to split my post, to consider separately the problems in introducing electric cars in this tough economic climate. I base my remarks on the analysis here, and in particular figure 2b: http://revel.unice.fr/eriep/index.html?id=3354 This talks about France, and to a lesser extent Europe, but it is hitting the US too. The figure shows the drastic contraction since 2001 in the market for above average and premium vehicles, and what is more this is as a percentage of sales, when total sales are also way down. Eyeballing the graph, high mid range and premium vehicles only account for 15% of the market, and even including low mid range only account for perhaps 43% of the market, with the other 57% low range cars. Ignoring the mysterious and now vanished 'other's' category this compares to about 55% or so which was the upper end of the market, with low end vehicles going up 10-15%. That's a tough environment to try to sell cars which are more expensive because they include a battery pack, especially when you include the actual drop in total sales.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Here is the most definitive information I have been able to dig up: 'Poorer households own fewer new cars and more elderly vehicles than their wealthier counterparts (figure 39). The lowest quintile has only 15% of cars less than three years old compared with an average of 24% and 33% for the wealthiest. The figure for the second quintile is 19%.' http://www.racfoundation.org/assets/rac_foundation/content/downloadables/low_income_motoring-bayliss-280909.pdf Notes: These are 2009 figures. Since then car ownership has decreased, and more for the lower income groups. The rate of ownership is also lower than in higher income groups, so the 15% is of a smaller total. This is for cars less than 3 years old, so not all will have been bought absolutely new. For the purposes of this blog though, the real take home is that for many a new car at all is a struggle, and they aren't going to be finding another ~£10k for a BEV anytime soon.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          @NIck: Personal debt in France is far lower than in the US, about 48% of GDP compared to 86% in the US. You can't run up credit card bills and so on in the same way as in the US and UK: http://www.bidus.eu/personal-debt-and-deleveraging-did-the-u-s-get-over-the-financial-debt-crisis-mild-at-the-finish-of-the-tunnel-everywhere-5-pronged-solution their non-financial institutions are even deeper in the hole than in the US, and overall indebtedness is higher, but there is far less of the culture of buying a car and putting it on the never-never.
          marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          @ Dave Mart, Dave, I thought the difference of opinion originated from your contention that [quote] "the average person in the US and Europe is never going to buy a new car" [/quote]. A statement I contested, and provided evidence that 'average people' do in fact buy new cars in the tens of thousands. Your statement, [quote] " That is confined to a sub-set, which is considerably more wealthy than the average" [/quote] may imply a subtle difference between " considerably more wealthy" and 'rich', but it's a subtly that really needs some explaining ! But I accept you think that there's a distinction. My figures are based on 2011, and represents the 4% downturn in the car market. I also have access to the data for car finance figures and insurance. These figures reveal the type of borrower, income, age, gender, occupation, type of finance, institution, size of lending, guarantor and marital status. These statistic's also reveal the type of car purchased, trade in, deposit, driving record, home ownership, and other financial data. Sub groupings include 'company vehicles' which are really privately owned, and privately owned vehicles used for employment purposes, by the self-employed. I'm not sure if such material is available as a matter of public record in the UK. This information is usually restricted and sold to the finance and insurance industry on subscription. The information is expensive to collate but has a ready market among various industries. Your material does not lend it's self to very accurate analysis. "Poorer households", etc may not reflect those young people who buy new economy cars. Example : While a young female office worker, may have a slightly below average income, when it comes to buying her Ford Fiesta, she may only borrow £ 8000 . Repaying a mere £ 47 per week over 4 years. The balance being her trade-in (purchased by parents) or deposit. Since for a single girl with a take home pay of 10% below average, she is still able to easily live on £360 per week. The average UK wage statistic are available on the internet. 73% of new car purchases are financed, according to this website: http://www.newcars.com/how-to-buy-a-new-car/auto-financing.html. This doesn't include those cars which are bought on bank loans which don't take a charge over the vehicle. Both my son's bought the second car they owned on finance. Most of the middle class (average) buy cars on terms. A car loan for a boy leaving University, (or trainee-ship) is almost a rite of passage ! (daughters are different, and tend to be given new and more expensive, cars by parents, anxious about safety, and relieved to not having to keep horses :). Dave, I'm only two year older than you, but my years in Australia, a country whose egalitarian culture, and low unemployment, was built by the mass adoption of easy to obtain credit, removed from my thinking the concept of finance as being a bad thing
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          @ Dave Mart. Dave, if you you say that "the average person in the US and Europe, is never going to buy a new car". is " is very different though to the idea that the average person will ever buy new" ! . Ah...well, I'm sure you know what you mean but, perhaps you will forgive me for thinking otherwise ! Ok, as for your new conclusion, that [quote]Average in this context means at least those in the top 50% of income earners.That is not what happens in the car market, where only around the top 20% ever buy a new car, although of course there are outliers.[/quote] Again, this assertion is not supported by the facts. As Nick pointed out the majority of new cars sales are more economical, mass produced models. These cars are bought by middle income buyers on finance. As an example: Of the 96,864 Ford Fiesta (Price from 13995) sold in the UK in 2011, 68% were sold to private buyers on finance contracts. The average income of borrowers was £20,800 , which is 10% less than the average take home (after tax) income of £23,140 . The average amount financed was £14,600. So it appears that the average worker, nurses, policemen, clerks. secretaries, teachers, office workers, retail sales people, and hospitality workers bought a large proportion of new economy cars ! But, while I was looking up these figures, I came across some disturbing statistics. A net worth of only £688,228 put a UK citizen in the top 1% UK wealth representing 21% of total wealth. This is barely the price of a decent home. The average Londoner, (South East England ) earned on average 46% more than those in the North or West.
          Nick
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          DaveMart I don't have Excel charts and hard numbers, but I know for a fact that the French (the vast majority of them) earn very low salaries (ex: Nurses in France earn EUR 1500 / month) which are only okay because most receive subsidies in their daily expenses (rent, medical, schools, etc..). A $35.000 car is out of reach of most French people, even if you include financing.
        Dave D
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nick
        @DaveMart, Great info and links, thanks. Unfortunately it demonstrates what has really become of the "American Dream", only the top 2-3% really have a shot at it anymore...but we don't like to stare those ugly facts in the face.
          Nick
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dave D
          Dave D Yep, the rug has been pulled from under our feet a while ago already. Our lifestyle looks similar to what it was, except it is now financed with credit cards. It's hard to go smaller: smaller homes, smaller cars, less luxury, less comfort. Humans want to keep what they have and go higher. I'd never buy a car I couldn't buy outright, and I just don't get why anyone would spend say $30,000 on a ride through financing (because he can't pony up this much) instead of buying a slightly used one for $15,000 and pay it in full right away.
      Anne
      • 2 Years Ago
      I keep repeating: exponential growth. The start always looks disappointingly slow. Look at the story of PV. How many times have people played down the sales of PV, and concluded that such a trickle will never make any impact? But exponential growth continued and continued. Year after year the market grew by double or even triple digits. Now the global PV market runs in the 10's of GW's, and there is no escaping the fact that PV will be an important player in the energy game. And the best news: it is still growing. Where will it stop? Probably somewhere in the 100's of GW's of annual sales.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Anne
        There is not cause to panic yet. However sales have been disappointing, and Renualt/Nissan and Mitsubishi have based their costs and built factories based on the idea that sales would be a lot faster, and have costed for volume. We will have to see how the Zoe does, but although of course ICE cars can't continue forever we could have a rather large set back, I'm afraid.
        goodoldgorr
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Anne
        Actually bev sales are on decline not exponential growth. Leaf sales are lower then some month ago boosted by early adopter probably paid by political movements of any sort. Tesla roadster sales are halted after only 1500 units that costed 300 000$ each to build. Coda and imiev and fisker karma sales can be counted on simple digit amount so even with exponential growth it will be negligible even in year 2050 with hundreds of billions lost forever without even .0001% less pollution overall.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @goodoldgorr
          You need to look at the whole picture. Leaf sales are down but Volt sales are up. And Mitz-i is getting some sales. As is the Ford Focus Electric. The Model S is supposed to roll off the assembly line next month. The plug-in Prius is selling better than all of those vehicles (although it really isn't much of an EV.)
      Rick
      • 2 Years Ago
      French two wheeled zero emission new cycle sales 3.200,000 last year 750 EV's Mmmmm the trend is the same as the UK The austerity must be biting bad in France, maybe with the new commie in charge of France, they will go for growth at the same time as they have to pump trillions into propping up Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Ireland to keep the EU afloat. 2013 should be fun here in Europe, go for growth whist pumping trillions into propping up the useless banks keep the bankers in big bonuses and kick the debt can down the road for the Grandkids to payoff.
        krona2k
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rick
        Everyone knows the economic situation in Europe, and the world for that matter, is bad. EVs are part if the solution not the problem.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @krona2k
          Europe may be stuck in the energy trap. They barely have enough money to keep things going as is . . . but they certainly lack the money to do investments like buy EVs and build charging stations. That is why I think they need to focus on those situations that provide the best bang for the buck. And in France, I think that Kangoo would be excellent . . . a small delivery for urban deliveries that can be powered up on cheap over-night nuclear electricity. And the commercial enterprises are able to raise the money to pay for such upgrades. Especially since they'll be able to show a quick return since instead of buying imported $8/gallon gasoline they'll be filling up on cheap France-generated electricity. Of course, the loss of taxes from the reduced gasoline sales will hurt the government.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rick
        Why do you post here since you are not at all interested in alternative or electric vehicles/ You simply fill up the posts with repetitive spam in a classic troll. You might get a life if you posted somewhere where the subject was of interest to you.
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          @DaveMart Rick is the sort of UK citizen, I left the UK to avoid. A perpetual complainer, whose life ambition is to become a 'grumpy old man' ! He has no distinct philosophy, just what ever it is, ' he's against it ' !
        Marco Polo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rick
        @ Rick "French two wheeled zero emission new cycle sales 3.200,000 last year" With about 3.1 million bicycles sold per year, France is in the forefront in terms of per capita consumption of bicycles. Paradoxically, each bike will travel less than 90 kilometres per year, which is just ridiculous compared to our neighbours in Northern Europe who ride more than 300 kilometres per year. The Dutch, adult or child cycle as much as 1,000 kilometres per year. So if a Frenchmen buys a bike, it is ridden only slightly. And when he chooses his bike, only one out of four is bought at the IBD. As a result the French city bike is typically a cheap, low-end bike whose life will be short . -exerpt from Bike Europe
      • 2 Years Ago
      Another idiotic EV sales report. Show me the car lots full of unsold EVs - they don't exist because all of the current production is sold. If EV sales numbers indicate anything, they show only that production is constrained. It' s still too early to judge these cars by sales numbers alone - please provide more complete information.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        I don't think this kind of denialism is helpful. You are not going to find lots full of unsold EVs because we have modern supply-chain tools . . . if the product isn't selling, feed-back will stop companies from continuing to build more. Sales are slow because EVs are expensive, gas is still relatively cheap, EVs have known range & refuel time limits, and people don't know how much cheaper driving on electricity is. The only way this is going to change is via an EV technology break-through or oil prices going up. Denying these things will not help. It is better to try to understand the situation as much as possible and see where things can be adjusted to improve the situation for EVs.
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          @ Spec, Basically, I agree with your analysis. Although it not good news for EV's (except in the more expensive category), GM's EREV concept is beginning to take hold in the public imagination. The Volt is a compromise, but a good one ! Marketing EV's requires the Automakers to listen to the majority of consumers. Oil depletion will occur eventually, but there has been far too much hype and fanaticism in recent years, and unrealistic predictions. Joe Public no longer cares about the cries of Wolf ! But the Voltec EV technology makes sense, and once people try it they love it. If GM expand it throughout the GM model range, (especially the ELR) it's one step closer to mass acceptance of EV's. Keep the faith !
      Rick
      • 2 Years Ago
      1,300,000 give up the car & motoring for good, in the UK last year because its to expensive. 1,300,000 take to two wheels in the UK last year to join 13,000,000 other Brits on zero emission transport 338 poor sales of very very expensive EV Leafs in the last 6 months. Spot the trend, how hard can that be for Godsake.
        Nick
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rick
        Rick You have a good point. Many people, especially the younger generations, do not consider cars the way to freedom like we used to. Cities are highly congested, looking for the ever elusive free parking spot is a monstrous waste of time, costs are horrendous etc etc.. As far as I'm concerned, all I need is a Yamaha Aerox, a bicycle, and public transportation (preferably underground). I can borrow or rent a car when I need it.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Nick
          What has any of that got to do with ceaseless and entirely irrelevant comparisons to travelling by bike? Most people buy what you classify as boring cars, petrol or electric, so it is absurd to keep banging on about what they are not, when there are only 3 or 4 models out there. Since you assure us you are so wealthy, just buy Tesla S next month, as they are not boring.
          Rick
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Nick
          Most young people l am very sad to say don't have a job its as high as 50% in some places in Europe, this is an utter disgrace and l really feel the pain they are going though, l really feel for them when low paid McDonalds or Walmart/Tesco jobs is about as good as it gets, which won't pay for expensive electric cars, l get very angry as l watch a whole generation of bright very well educated get youngster get confined to a lifetime on the dole unemployed its a disgrace. Whilst the EU Governments hold Greece & bank bailout jollies every few months. So where is all the money coming from to buy these expensive electric cars Nick, money does not grow on trees.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rick
        Again, why are you on a Green car blog to blather on ceaselessly about bicycles? Why don't you go to a bike forum?
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          @ Rick Why would you buy a Silverado SUV, EV RHD, when you can already buy a 200 mile Range Rover, built in the UK by Liberty Electric Vehicles ? But since you are not 'ranching' in the North American hinterland, why would you buy a Silverado ? Get on your bike, and peddle off !
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          @dave Mart Hear, Hear !
          Rick
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Gotta say l would buy a 100 MPG E-REV RHD Chevy Silverado instantly if it was sold in the UK Dave. Got the cash sitting on the sidelines doing absolutely nothing. Both boring dull Leafs & Volt are not my cup off tea, when we start to see the more popular models like GM's No1 best seller useful swiss army knife Via Motors Silverado pick-up & Chevy SUV's offered as a 100 MPG with 40 mile on electric range, l will be very interested you can put that on the record rather than a bike forum like you say. Just pointing out folk are not one bit interested in these boring electric cars one bit, most children hate their parent choice of dull boring car. Parents don't get any other choice boring and dull G-Wizz Leafs & Volts they are the only boring dishes being served up at the restaurant at the moment Dave.
        krona2k
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rick
        Biggest doomer eveeeeer....
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      Eventually even ABG catches up with the news. As I said elsewhere, the totals do not add up: 'We have the figures for French sales of electric vehicles for the first 3 months of 2012, and they are pretty bad, although commercial vehicles - the Kangoo ZE - are a bit better. I can't reconcile the gross sales figure they give of 1,594 with the breakdown they give, but any way you look at it they are bad. http://www.lesechos.fr/entreprises-secteurs/auto-transport/actu/0202071813133-le-marche-francais-du-vehicule-electrique-cale-au-demarrage-325635.php Breakdown: http://www.lesechos.fr/medias/2012/05/22/325635_0202073384308_web.jpg The breakdown figures are: Ion (Peugeot version of Mitsubishi) 96 Bluecar ( the one used for the Paris autolib, so that would be almost all sales) 982 Mia 189 Kangoo 649 Twizy (surprise hit!) 935 Since most of these were corporate sales, probably including the Kangoo, the little Twizy aside it basically means that French private customers are not buying electric, although of course the one which is expected to be the best seller, the Zoe, is not out yet. As is pointed out here, the French Government was expecting electric sales of 100,000 this year. It ain't gonna happen. http://blogs.lesechos.fr/dominique-seux/le-flop-de-la-voiture-electrique-a10665.html The Twizy is selling well, and the light commercial, the Kangoo ZE not too badly.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        That Kangoo ZE should sell great. It is perfect for making deliveries around Paris. Just charge it up with cheap nuclear power at night and drive it around doing deliveries all day long.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        The economics of the Kangoo ZE work just fine too, with petrol at European prices. I guess people are simply being conservative, as I would have thought that even with range limitations the sales of the Kangoo ZE should be perhaps 10-20% of total light can sales. The battery leasing system means that the initial outlay is not even any greater than a diesel.
        Rick
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        Nobody other than the French government are buying these electric cars with taxpayer footing the bill. Not much being sold on merit at the moment. Private buyers who bear the brunt of these French Government austerity cutbacks with 0% pay rise or pay cuts with 30% rise in utility & food bills seem to be buying 3,200,000 cycles as heir earnings disposable income disappears.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Is it because there is no wine dispenser in an EV?
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 2 Years Ago
      nice sales rate in Norway, especially considering the extremely high price. if some of these clueless companies actually did a cost optimized light and aerodynamic car which needs far fewer batteries and can naturally charge much quicker then sales everywhere would no doubt skyrocket. we can not make the transition with these retarded vehicles.
      Rick
      • 2 Years Ago
      French two wheeled zero emission new cycle sales 3.200,000 last year 750 EV's Mmmmm the trend is the same as the UK 1,300,000 million give up the car because it was to expensive to run in the UK last year, 1.3 take to two wheels last year joining 13,000,0000 British cyclists we buy 338 Nissan Leafs, the trend of all this greeniness is clear folk are moving out of the car on to two wheeled/public transport. How can electric cars be the solution when nobody can afford them because they are two expensive, Leaf 338 sales?
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      The French electricity business needs to give more incentives. They should kick in $500 or so because they'll make that money back selling excess electricity available at night.
      Dave
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't know about the rest of France, but from personal experience, greater Paris has an excellent public transportation system. If you live there, you don't have to drive at all, unless you are going somewhere that is beyond the range of any reasonably priced EV. Electric delivery vehicles, OTOH, could work very well for many businesses.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dave
        Plenty of people in Paris in fact do drive cars, so there is obviously a market available to the right electric car at the right price.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          But since they have such a good public transportation system, they don't need to drive their cars to get t o work. And that is where EVs shine . . . commuting. Since they can commute on public transport, when they buy a car, they want it for driving to the beach. And reasonably-priced EVs are not very good at that. But as Dave points out, the Ampera would work well for that.
          Dave D
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          The French being Nationalistic? Say it isn't so! LOL Seriously, might be part of the issue.
          Dave
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          I would think that a Volt / Ampera would sell well. Perhaps there is some nationalism at work?
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