Price an electric vehicle right, and they'll beat a path to your door.

That statement was proved in spades by Citroen last week when the French automaker made 200 C-Zero battery-electric vehicles available for 23-month, 20,000 kilometers (about 12,500 miles) leases for the low, low price of 90 euros a month ($112 U.S. at today's exchange rates). The 200 EVs in the program were all gone in 24 hours, reports Technologic Vehicles.

There's a catch, of course. Citroen, along with partner Zilok Auto, runs the car-sharing service Multicity. As best as our French language skills and reading of the unclear English on Technologic Vehicles can make out, in order to lease the vehicle for just 90 euros a month, you have to register your EV with Multicity. Then, each time someone rents your car, you get 40 percent of the amount they pay, and Citroen and Zilok Auto split the rest. Technologic doesn't cite any sources, but says that "Citroen recommend a price of 30 € / day." That seems out of whack with the monthly cost of 90 euros, doesn't it?

In any case, last year, Citroën added the C-Zero to the vehicle rental service and Multicity itself was started in 2011. The C-Zero is the sister vehicle to the Mitsubishi i, which was rated by the EPA to go about 62 miles on a single charge. That model, which debuted as the i-MiEV in Japan in 2009, started sales in the U.S. in late 2011 with a base price of $29,125. Through the first five months of the year, Mitsubishi has sold 300 i vehicles in the U.S., including a monthly-record 85 last month.
Show full PR text
CITROËN DEVELOPS A NEW PEER-TO-PEER CAR HIRE SERVICE ON THE CITROËN MULTICITY WEBSITE
  • CITROËN is the first car brand to launch a peer-to-peer car hire service (carsharing) in Europe, from 21 June.
  • CITROËN is partnering Zilok, the no.1 peer- to-peer car hire site.
  • CITROËN is taking things further by making electric cars affordable for all at €90 a month.
In a changing world, CITROËN is confirming its ambition to be a leading player in sustainable and shared mobility. Responding to new travel needs, the brand today launches a carpooling solution and a peer-to-peer car hire service on the CITROËN MULTICITY mobility website (www.multicity.citroen.fr). This is a first for a car brand in Europe.

Commenting, Xavier Duchemin, director of marketing and mobility projects at CITROËN, said: "Cars are and will continue to be a major means of transport, but automotive access and uses are changing. By enabling customers to hire their car out to other individuals, CITROËN is helping them to recoup on the running costs of their vehicle and bringing the public a new mobility service". To develop the new service, CITROËN is working together with Zilok, a pioneer in collaborative consumption, with the support of Marc Simoncini, a specialist in innovative economic models on the web.

To speed up the development of peer-to-peer car hire, the brand is taking things further by making its electric C-ZERO available for just €90 a month with no money down through a long-term rental contract of 20,000 km and 23 months (CITROËN takes the car back at the end of the contact). This original, simple and powerful offer gives those customers who want to the chance to rent their car out to other individuals via CITROËN MULTICITY and become ambassadors of electric vehicle sharing. The brand's is a revolutionary approach that makes electric cars available to the greatest number!

A few figures
  • Cars remain the number-one means of transport for local trips. A full 68% of local trips are made in cars, with an average in-car time of 50 minutes a day.
  • 47% of French people say carsharing has a promising future.
  • 28% of French people say they would be willing to buy an electric car.

(Sources: CREDOC, TNS Sofres, Frost&Sullivan; scope: France)


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 30 Comments
      Joeviocoe
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Selling out" DOES NOT EQUAL "Leased out"
      Vlad
      • 2 Years Ago
      That's a rare, bold, and innovative move from an old company. While most prefer to wait until upstarts make their business model obsolete, Citroen partners with sharing economy startups.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would have completely jumped on that myself. Plenty of visitors around here would like to rent a smaller city car while they're in town.
        Marcopolo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        @LTW, Is it true that there's a law in South Carolina preventing discussion of coastline erosion?
          American Refugee
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marcopolo
          The legislature in North Carolina is considering a bill that would ban projections of rising sea levels from government reports, because that global warming stuff is just a conspiracy by Al Gore to destroy capitalism. http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jun/24/nation/la-na-sea-level-20120624
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marcopolo
          @LTW, Sorry, wrong Carolina ! ( Red face )
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marcopolo
          Thanks for the article - I hadn't heard about what they were doing up there in NC. "The result is House Bill 819, a measure that would require sea level forecasts to be based on past patterns and would all but outlaw projections based on climate change data." Sounds like they've got Joeviocoe up there - unwilling to accept projections by researches, only willing to accept past performance as indicator of what may happen.
          floorman56
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marcopolo
          global warming stuff is just a conspiracy by Al Gore to destroy capitalism. You are aware that Al bought a 8 million dollar home on the beach in Montecito? If the Sea was rising why would buy a home that cost that much so close to the water? http://www.frumforum.com/al-gores-new-beach-house/
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marcopolo
          That's a silly question... why would you think that? We talk about coastal erosion all the time - there was an alert on the news last night because of the current weather situation. Living on and near barrier islands - it's impossible not to discuss erosion.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marcopolo
          You are thinking of some rumbling that they were to ban global warming being taught, or some such nonsense, so that you can discuss coastal erosion, but not the causes of it's possible acceleration.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        I just checked, and the local going rate for renting an electric LSV (4 passengers, no weather protection) is $100 a day.
      PR
      • 2 Years Ago
      Of course having only 200 of anything certainly makes it much easier to sell out quickly....
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PR
        I don't think that it should even be called, "Sold Out". Since the property is leased. It gives no true indication of value... Citroen keeps the car. So they could have hand-built each one for $1mil each... but they don't care if they let someone borrow it for $2500 for the first year. They still retain it's true value.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PR
        That should be enough to give them an option in many of the major cities in France to go electric if you want to hire one for a couple of days. The price is just a promotion of course. Here in the UK the prices to buy the Peugeot or Citroen versions are thousands of pounds cheaper than the Mitsubishi.
      Michael Walsh
      • 2 Years Ago
      I love the French. But I don't want any of them using my car, what with their smelly cigarettes and questionable personal hygiene.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Michael Walsh
        Think how much worse it is for the French, when they might get their suspension broken by Americans! These cars are rated to carry 4 French people, or two Americans.
        Nick
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Michael Walsh
        Michael Walsh I'm with you with disgusting cigarrette smells. However, the 'questionable personal hygiene' is nonsense. They are quite clean in reality.................if you want dirty people that smell like sweat, try Italy.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Nick
          OTOH many Americans may leave your car littered by malodorous and unpleasant stereotypes.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 2 Years Ago
      who knew.. oh that's right I did not sure about that available for random theft clause though. how does that work? you can never count on the car being there??
      sandos
      • 2 Years Ago
      The model in itself would work really well for our primary car at the moment, fiancee is at home on maternity leave and I dont use the car on weekdays, so we can go a couple of days without touching the car. Renting it those days and making some money would be awesome!
      Nick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Brilliant marketing.
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      I've had a look at the site, and you have to register the vehicle, but you don't have to accept the rental reservation. They rely on people fancying the money! That will never work! ;-)
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        'La seule contrepartie (si l’on peut appeler ça comme ça) : s’inscrire sur Multicity et proposer à d’autres particuliers la location de sa voiture (sans être obligé d’accepter les demandes de location qui pourront vous être adressées…). « Vous êtes libres ! » insiste Xavier Duchemin. En revanche, si vous acceptez une demande, l’heureuse (x) « propriétaire » de la C-zéro devrait simplement reverser une légère commission à Citroën qui, du coup, rentabilise un peu son modèle économique. Mais comme vous touchez également de l’argent, c’est du gagnant-gagnant !' http://www.lesenjoliveuses.fr/tous/multicity-citroen-c-zero-90-eurosmois-zilok-mobilite/
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          @marco, It sounds as though gorr has already done the translating for you! Peter did the job properly, which I was far too lazy to do. I just gave the juicy bit, that no-one had to hire out their car. It seems to me that the French are moving away from the traditional ownership patterns of cars, with Autolib, metros in most of the major cities now, high speed rail and so on. The trouble with the train is that it is still a bit pricey to take a family away that way, so many French people will likely stick with a car 'pour les grandes vacances'. Anywhere south of Paris though if you live in the city a Twizy should provide most of what you need! A Zoe may be overkill!
          Nick
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          It's a good deal. Rent it 2 days a month and cut your monthly payment in half.
          Peter
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          French translation The only caveat (if you can call it that) is that you have to register your car with Multicity (without obligation to accept offers to rent that you may get) "You are free" insists Xavier Duchemin. If you accept the rental the happy "owner" of the C-zero only needs to give a small commission to Citreon. Because you get paid its a win-win.
          Marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          @ DaveMart, Heh, heh, my old French Master would cry " quelle horreur ! ". But now with so many French people living in London (and bringing investment capital with them) I suppose my great grandfather's policy upon meeting a person from across the channel, and "Giving the immoral little 'froggy' a good thrashing, (for his own good) then barking at him loudly,!" may be a little unwise. N'est pas ? Like most Englishmen of his generation, my GG was convinced that the inability to speak English, also rendered the foreigner deaf ! (mind you, it took some ability to interpret my gg's 'English'! ). The entire European way of life is undergoing some really fundamental changes. Perhaps the UK should remember it's ancient good fortune of being an island ? !
          Marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          @ DaveMart Excuse Moi, la plume de la ma tante dans l'arbre, avec Le Corbeau et le Renard et l' Fromage!....Hmmm...maybe I should get Gorr to translate.....or maybe not!
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