Renault has a problem. Last year, Renault-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn said the two companies would not meet their collective goal of selling 1.5 million EVs a year by 2016. While sales of the Nissan Leaf have been strong – 115,000 globally so far - Renault sold less than 20,000 its EVs like the Zoe, the Fluence ZE and the Twizy last year.

This year was supposed to see the introduction of the Twingo ZE electric vehicle. The problem is that people aren't clamoring for the Twingo, leaving the order books fairly empty. The company now says it will delay the model's debut to an undetermined future date, Bloomberg News says, citing an interview with Renault executive Jerome Stoll.

And it looks like that delay will be indefinite, says Renault spokeswoman Rie Yamane, who didn't address the lack of demand but cited the automaker's current range of EV models.

"We have no plan to commercialize the Twingo ZE, as well already have a comprehensive range of electric vehicles," Yamane wrote in an e-mail to AutoblogGreen, citing the Twizy, Kangoo ZE and Zoe models.

Renault first displayed the electric Twingo at this year's Geneva Motor Show, when the French automaker planned to make good on its 2011 estimate that the Twingo ZE would start sales during the second half of 2014. The company's 20,000 EV sales are a small part to the 2.63 million vehicles that Renault sold altogether, thus the rethink.

Of course, Renault has company. With the exception of Nissan, Tesla and BMW, a number of automakers haven't done well convincing people to go electric, especially in Europe. For instance, Germany, which has set a goal of having 1 million plug-ins on its roads by 2020, has just 12,000 or so. Norway is an exception here, of course.

In fact, Fiat chief Sergio Marchionne, when speaking at the Brookings Institution this week, reiterated that his company loses money on each Fiat 500e EV that his company sells, and even upped the loss to $14,000 per vehicle from his previous estimate of about $10,000. He hammered his point home by telling the audience that he hoped they wouldn't buy the 500e. Maybe he should talk to Renault about marketing.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 90 Comments
      • 7 Months Ago
      Hmm, this is the first I have ever heard about the car. it is difficult to show interest if you have never heard about it what is the target price / range / market my guess they can sell them just fine in Norway, if they want to
        JakeY
        • 6 Months Ago
        @costeau Good point about brand identity. The iMIEV is a perfect example. It sells well in Japan and other markets, but sales are almost non-existent in the US. I think Mitsubishi's bad reputation as a brand in the US has much to do with it. You really need an exceptional car to overcome this (and the iMIEV isn't, except maybe on price).
        Joeviocoe
        • 7 Months Ago
        Yep, "low demand" is often the spin doctor's term for "marketing failure".
        Ryan
        • 6 Months Ago
        It does look better than the Leaf as well, IMO...
        costeau
        • 6 Months Ago
        Renault could sell them just fine in Norway, if it hadn't been for the brand's poor reliability reputation. Nissan, on the other hand, has as a brand got a very strong reputation in the Norwegian market. So despite Renault-Nissan being one corporation these days, they've so far sold multiples (yes, multiples!) more LEAFs alone than all their Renault-branded Z.E. models (or at least the three models available on the Norwegian market: Twizzy, Kangoo Z.E, and Zoe — They decided to not sell the Fluence Z.E. in Norway for some unknown reason) combined.
      m.opinion1
      • 5 Months Ago
      I really don't see why Renault doesn't have more confidence in this product. It's the first rear wheel drive micro in a very long time. That means it doesn't just appeal to the eco friendly crowd but also people who like to drive. People like me. I'm not buying a Zoe but I do want an electric Twingo. The design, equipment and price seems to hit the target so it has everything needed to become a success. If a Tesla or a BMW i3 is out of your budget (or you just don't get along with the futuristic design of the BMW) this is what you want if you're after a rear wheel drive electric. It could seem that the people doing the math at Renault are forgetting that a lot of people will compare the electric Twingo to THOSE cars because of the real wheel drive and not some dull Zoe, Leaf or e-UP!. And just for the record: I'm not French.
      jebibudala
      • 7 Months Ago
      I bet all EV's would take off much quicker if there were a 5 minute under-the-vehicle battery hot swap standard for those who choose to lease the battery packs. All the big players should create a consortium to develop the standard. Battery swapping stations would spring up everywhere since essentially the same battery type would be cross compatible with every EV / although a larger EV may require more packs to fulfill distance/power requirements similar to how you cram multiple AA or AAA batteries in a remote to meet the voltage and capacity reqs. Batteries need to be how fuel is like today. It doesn't matter which brand of fuel you get, as long as the octane matches the vehicle requirements. This concept would also drive battery prices down as they would be easier to mass produce and refurbish.
        Rotation
        • 6 Months Ago
        @jebibudala
        That's a faster horse solution. I can tell you of all the EVs owners I know, none of them are clamoring for battery swapping. Non-EV owners perceive they need such a thing to live with an EV, but once you get one, you realize you never did.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Rotation
          Yep... even Elon Musk (who plans on building a few) says that it is just to show the naysayers who keep touting that Fuel Cells are the future because they have 5 minute refills (if you can find a station, they never tell you). Swap stations aren't really needed, but can be a nice convenience, but rarely worth the cost. The concept exists to quell the minds of people who would never want to leave the status quo of "centralized fueling in minutes". And for companies that need a scheme that keeps a consumer tethered to their subscription.
        Joeviocoe
        • 7 Months Ago
        @jebibudala
        At best, you can only hope for an automaker to support their own car and their own battery design. And to keep swaps as a temporary way to go from A to B, and back to A to get your original pack back. And is ONLY supportable in very small numbers, therefore, Fast Charging must be even MORE available, cheaper, and convenient than Swap Stations... to keep the demand manageable. The battery is like the Engine/Transmission... the Heart/Soul of the vehicle.... no automaker could survive standardizing across all automakers just to satisfy a few drivers who don't want to wait for a Fast Charge of 40-60 minutes. Tesla is going to build a test Swap Station this summer... they demonstrated it last summer. 90 seconds. But Elon is confident that not many people will need or want to spend $65 per swap to use it since the Supercharger Network is so much more convenient if you know how to plan.
        Edge
        • 7 Months Ago
        @jebibudala
        It would take a miracle to pull that off, and not all batteries are the same. Would you want a battery that has 30 degradation after a few years of use, when the one you have you're swapping in has 100 percent. Major logistical issues for stations that have no spare batteries to swap. So now you have to hunt around for a station with a fully charged battery available? Good luck with that. Or, they have lots of batteries in stock, but they are all currently being recharged. Come back in a couple hours? And hope you can snag one.
          Edge
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Edge
          > "Less than 1% of the Leaf batteries have had anywhere near that 30% / 2 years degradation." I was not aware of that. It was a very misleading article then. :(
          Joeviocoe
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Edge
          Less than 1% of the Leaf batteries have had anywhere near that 30% / 2 years degradation. I have been all over the MNL website and crunch those numbers. "BLUF, the cake is a Lie"
        Red Sage
        • 6 Months Ago
        @jebibudala
        Lots of people have suggested the notion of a standard issue battery for swap-out. A quick stop, a quick change, and move on. There are even animations on YouTube that show how it could be done in an automated fashion. The problem is that right now, the only thing that traditional automakers seem to be firmly working together on is making sure that none of them develop a proper electric vehicle that could viably replace gasoline vehicles. There is a certain threshold of fully electric range they all simply refuse to cross at any price. That's why the BMW i8 has one third the battery capacity of the BMW i3, which costs a third as much.
        Jesse Gurr
        • 6 Months Ago
        @jebibudala
        Isn't that what Better Place tried to do? Look what happened to them. They seemed to show us what not to do in that regard I think.
      thecommentator2013
      • 6 Months Ago
      Again, range anxiety is NO PROBLEM. If you take longer trips go for a rental. If we were organised (and don't tell me it's hard to find an appropriate rental) and were basically driving EVs or EREVs our fuel bills would dramatically drop. Because, very few need 100+ miles of range a day.
      vazzedup
      • 6 Months Ago
      Shame, that's a nice looking car, that if priced below the Leaf could be a great seller. Much like the popular but under-produced Fiat 500e
      thecommentator2013
      • 6 Months Ago
      It's not no one wants EVs. No one wants Renaults. Except the French.
      Marco Polo
      • 6 Months Ago
      Sadly, this result was always going to occur. Most EV enthusiasts who post on ABG, always had very unrealistic expectations when it came to the marketing potential of small EV's. It appears that the Nissan Leaf has soaked up the majority of the pool of folks who are willing to invest in a short range, small commuter EV. 115,000 sales, sound brilliant to an EV enthusiast, but to a car maker, that class of vehicle needs to sell in the millions to be profitable. Even in places where massive government subsidies are available, small EV sales still disappoint. The idea that "people only need a range of 40-60 miles per day", was always just wishful thinking. In fact that's been a significant part of the problem, the loudest advocates of market acceptance for small, low range EV's, came from people who were caught up in the moral/political aspects of EV's as part of the "green boom", and distorted reality. By concentrating on the politics of California, or small nations like Norway, advocates were able to claim that with just a little more government help, people could be forced into EV acceptance. Mad, and impractical schemes like Better Place, were floated and attracted huge amount of investment, in an attempt to resolve the problems with some basic predictions, that just didn't eventuate. With the failure of "peak oil" to eventuate, and economic problems replacing "global warming/climate change" as the main area of concern for most nations of the world, the willingness by the electorate to continue subsidising uneconomic energy solutions, has also subsided. If that sounds pessimistic or grim, it's at least real. But, not everything is pessimistic. EV technology in the form of Hybrid, PHEV, and EREV configurations is still thriving. In the relatively expensive, long range, luxury EV vehicle market, ( led by Tesla ), new and even more desirable models are appearing designed to appeal to a new, affluent market of customers, with sufficient disposable income to buy on desire, rather than necessity. I always believed much was riding on the sales of the small ZOE. The Renault ZOE is an excellent little EV, that it has failed to find acceptance, is partly due to it's unfortunate battery hire scheme, which far from making the vehicle more attractive to potential buyers, just reinforced the negatives. The only hope for an increase in small EV sales, is the development of vastly improved ESD technology.
        brotherkenny4
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        The leaf is an ugly toad. If it were a better designed car, those holding off on buying an EV would come off the sidelines. Not everyone can afford a Tesla, and the Volt is a cluge. 100 miles is fine, but not if it's butt ugly. See Danfreds comment above. Other EVs might do better i.e. the spark or the Fiat 500, but the car companies don't want to sell those to a broader group. There is no saturation of the segment, the truth is that there has been no honest attempt to produce an acceptable vehicle. People aren't that gullible, they know crap when they see it.
        DarylMc
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Hi Marco Polo Nice to see you around again. I don't disagree with what you are saying but the manufacturers can't really claim there is no market for the vehicles if they fail to bring them to market. I would have really loved the chance to buy VW E-UP. Even at the close to $40 000 it would likely cost. It would be a far superior city vehicle than the gas one I own. But that is looking even less likely since they have dropped the gas version here in Australia due to poor sales.
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Days Ago
          @DarylMc
          @ DarylMc Manufacturesr must sell vehicles in viable volumes. The dismal sales of the i Mev and Leaf (and the locally produced Blade Electron) in Australia, proved that the market doesn't want small short range EV's. There are a few EV enthusiasts like you and me, but just not enough for all the trouble of setting up an import program.
        Joeviocoe
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        The real problem is that Ghosn failed to manage expectations. We all knew he was being way too optimistic ever since Revenge of the Electric Car... so when he failed to met claimed sales targets, that opens the door for doomsayers like yourself to claim that EVs are failing.... So here is some perspective... The Nissan Leaf annual sales has already done better than the Prius's first 5 years. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Prius#Sales https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_Leaf#Global_sales global sales - Prius vs. Leaf Year 1 = 300 vs. 38 (Nissan started later in the year) Year 2 = 17,700 vs 21,733 Year 3 = 15,200 vs 26,178 Year 4 = 19,000 vs 47,109 Year 5 = 29,500 vs ??? ... your idea of success/failure is shortsighted. The Leaf is already doing as well, and even better than many have hoped. Any expectations that a brand new technology, paradigm shifting, disruptive, automobile..... could instantly sell as fast as an ICE model based on several previous ICEVs with similar technology, in the first couple of years.... is out of touch with reality. You DO NOT measure success by looking at the mountain's peak when you first start your climb (seeing those who have climbed years before)... but rather, measure your pace... and see if it is on par or better than those who faced similar challenges.
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          @ Joeviocoe In the real world, Auto-mobile manufacture is not governed by wishful thinking, or passionate discourses on the internet. It's a business. Like any business, it needs sales success. There must be an adequate return on Capital Investment, or the model must be discontinued. Even the most resolute and far sighted CEO can only indulge a loss leader for a certain period. Trying to desperately compare Leaf sales with early Prius sales, is absurd. No matter how much you want something to succeed, there's only a certain degree of support you can give before realising the the basic concept is flawed. Small cars like Leaf, and Zoe, must sell in volume to make a profit. In some markets, governments offer heavy subsidies and incentives, but as the public loses interest, so too will the politicians. (The recent EU elections show how much the electorate is changing). What is evident, is that without these incentives, small, short range EV's, have very little market appeal. There is a very real possibility that the Leaf's very modest success, may represent the entire market for this class of EV, and dramatic expansion is not feasible. i admire your passion and enthusiasm, but what has happened to the Renault Zoe, represent a watershed in small EV development. Small EV's are competing against small economy ICE vehicles. There will be no huge price rise in the cost of gasoline/diesel in the near future, and existing ICE technology is already making huge gains in efficiency. Joe, it's not that Leaf sales are only a little disappointing, the reality is that they are 20-30 times less than that class of vehicle needs to survive. What's even more alarming is that without tax-payer incentives, sales would be non-existent. Leaf sales are virtually non-existent in markets without incentives. i hate to dash, your optimism (I've been involved in EV's a lot longer than your) , but the reality must be faced, without a dramatic improvement in ESD capacity, small, short range EV's are simply not viable.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Red Sage, you are completely ignoring "margins". Margins are what allow a manufacturer to have a successful vehicle at a lower volume compared to what a single point of view might consider 'equivalent'. The margins for EVs will always be a bit higher than the ICEV counterpart. Why, because lifetime savings in fuel, maintenance, and the stability of never having to be dependant on stations. Also quiet, torque, and other temporary incentives. These EV benefits are worth something to consumers, so in general... we have discussed at length how much of a premium a person is willing to pay for all that. I think around $5k-$10k premium is good. Doesn't mean everyone would value the EV benefits the same Which means, with all else being equal, the Leaf should be more expensive than an equivalent. But with higher expense, higher margins can also be attained... and therefore, lower volume. THIS is the reason why Tesla can be successful. They are much lower volume, but higher margins too. -------------------------- Bottom line, most car models do sell millions per year... and nor do they need to, to be considered successful and profitable.
          GreenDriver
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          @ Joevioceo While it's true that there are many great benefits to EVs, market studies show that market demand is being restrained by the lack of EV range and long charge times. Also, EVs cost more to manufacture due to expensive Energy Storage Systems. I hate to say it but your comment that "The margins for EVs will always be a bit higher than the ICEV counterpart" is far from true. Higher Marginal Cost + less demand = smaller potential profit margin. This will likely remain so until we have more energy dense and cheaper ESSs. This is why Elon's push for a battery megafactory is so important. He already has the energy density sorted out. Now it's a matter of bring cost down.
          Aaron
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Marco is far from being an EV doomsayer. Read his post closely -- he's saying the LEAF has eaten up the eTwingo's potential market. This is likely correct. In Europe, there are plenty of EVs that fill the eTwingo's shoes. Renault knows they need to sell a vehicle that isn't in an already-saturated market.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          --"Auto-mobile manufacture is not governed by wishful thinking, or passionate discourses on the internet. It's a business. Like any business, it needs sales success" And unlike internet commentators, they are not as shortsighted either. Large automakers like Nissan and GM, or even a company with a lot of capital.... can take losses for 5+ years on a vehicle, and be happy with it.... IF it means becoming a leader in an emerging market. Potential shifts in Market Share in an emerging market is well worth taking losses for much longer. They do NOT need the same amount of time to be profitable as a simple new ICEV based on nothing new. A new Nissan Versa may need to be cost positive within a year or two. A new EV, if Ghosn is so bold that he wants Nissan to become a "Leader" in the segment,.. can be worth enough to wait past 5 years --"Trying to desperately compare Leaf sales with early Prius sales" Haha... since YOU are the one who brought it up.. are you calling yourself "desperate"? " in a market where Prius sells 3.5 million " --"the reality is that they are 20-30 times less than that class of vehicle needs to survive" So you think that 50,000/year is 20-30 times less than needed to survive? That is ridiculous to expect that every model below 1 million per year is a "loser". @Aaron, right, didn't mean to write "doomsayer"... more like contrarian nay sayer. Since although he claims to be pro-ev, he makes every thread about arguments contrary to that.
          Red Sage
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Marco Polo wrote, "Small EV's are competing against small economy ICE vehicles." So, in other words, it would be more apt to compare sales of the Nissan Leaf to its stablemate, the Nissan Versa. They are not 'the same car', though they were developed from the same platform. So the relatively low sales of the Leaf are effectively subsidized by the higher sales of the Versa. Should that change, so that the Leaf sells equal to, or better than, the Versa -- THEN Nissan would consider it a truly successful endeavor. As they are expanding capacity to manufacture more of the Leaf in the future, it seems that Nissan is at least willing to commit to that possibility. For now.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Profit margins indeed are constrained initially. As it was for the Prius. The point is to fight through that initial loss, into higher volumes. The ESD becomes less of an expense if you are building packs in house at 50k-100k per year. Nissan is already there. The supply of EVs (even 80 mile EVs) is still no where near saturating demand. But it is smart for Nissan to create the Leaf 2.0 as they are... with maybe 100-120 mile range.
        JB
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Peak oil has already happened as predicted in the US in the 70's. Global peak oil is harder to predict, but it won't "fail to eventuate."
          Spec
          • 2 Days Ago
          @JB
          Global peak CONVENTIONAL oil apparently happened back in 2005. But between ultradeepwater oil, tar sands, and fracked tight oil from shale; we have been able to (very modestly) increase production. But I don't think anyone can rationally deny that an approach to peak oil is starting . . . the major oil companies have thrown hundreds of billions of dollars at exploration & production since the mid-2000s with only a meager increase in total production. We are supposedly have a great "oil boom" here in the USA but oil prices remain stubbornly above $100/barrel. It is convincing evidence that we've moved from a paradigm of relatively cheap conventional liquid oil to more expensive fracked tight oil from shale and processed tar sands oil. We'll probably remain on this plateau for a while (and indeed have some dips) but an inevitable return to rising prices will eventually happen.
        Red Sage
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Thanks a lot for your point of view on this issue. In certain ways, I absolutely disagree, but I love the way you put forth your argument in such an intelligent manner. The main point on which we both agree: going with low end cars that are obviously less capable than others in the same market will not help adoption of electric vehicles one bit. Some of them are so bad as to make me think they were built that way on purpose...
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Red Sage
          --"I been the major shareholder of a company that builds, sells, rents, specialist EV's" Do you, in anyway, stand to lose financially if major automakers become more active in the development of EVs.... and thus become serious competitors? --"The apologists for these projects, never accept responsibility because it's not their money which was wasted." Yet, as someone who is NOT an American citizen... you hypocritically advocate for the taxpayer funded Hydrogen economy.
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Red Sage
          @ Red Sage Thank you for your reply. For the last 17 years I been the major shareholder of a company that builds, sells, rents, specialist EV's. I am just as passionate about the future of EV's as any other enthusiast. However, I'm also a realist. The period between 2004 and 2012, saw a boom in new "green" businesses, most of which failed, because they were created for an ideological belief that a mass market existed for the products. In fact, no such demand existed ! With massive government (taxpayer) money and incentives, (even compulsory legislation) the boom seemed for a short time to be real. Eventually, reality dawned and most of these projects, are revealed as failures. The apologists for these projects, never accept responsibility because it's not their money which was wasted. The market for small commuter EV's was never going to be viable, until there's a dramatic improvement in ESD performance. Arguing against that proposition, in the face of existing sales resistance, is pointless.
        Spec
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        "The idea that "people only need a range of 40-60 miles per day", " Where do you come up with this strawman garbage? Who says that? The lowest range EV is the iMiEV with an EPA rated range of 62 miles and it is constantly criticized as not having enough battery.
          JakeY
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Spec
          @Marco Polo Are you sure you didn't mix things up with the Volt fans? 40 miles of electric range is what they have been pushing since Volt was a prototype. I'm pretty sure the "enough" point back then for EVs was 100 miles. Automakers advertised to match that (including the Leaf), but the EPA rating was much lower, and I'm pretty sure EV fans gave plenty of complaints about this. Now the bar has somewhat shifted towards 200 miles (because of Tesla), but I'm pretty sure most people still have 100 miles EPA as their "enough" point (obviously 200 miles is even better).
          JakeY
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Spec
          @Marco Polo You can look up market surveys about what people want (although keep in mind they are not always reliable, but it serves as a reference). Here's how things broke down: 32% want between 101 and 150 miles of range 27% desire 151 to 200 miles 30% want more than 200 miles 10% are fine with 100 miles or less http://www.plugincars.com/survey-be-satisfied-electric-car-drivers-want-150-miles-range-127255.html So according to the survey, breaking into the 100-150 mile barrier will open up 4x as many sales (42% vs 10%). Breaking into 150-200 will get 69% and the past 200 is the last 30%. So I can say with pretty high confidence that an EV with 100-120 miles of EPA range and similar pricing (it can be slightly higher than current prices though) will likely sell drastically better than the ~80 miles EPA range EVs selling thus far.
          JakeY
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Spec
          @Red Sage 40-60 miles IS enough for a commute, but not enough for weekend trips. However, the "enough" standard covers all the typical personal car usages (with the exception of longer annual road trips, where renting or air travel is a practical alternative), so simply satisfying commuting use is not enough. And I'm pretty sure with the exception of the reference to PHEVs like the Volt (where longer trips are covered by the ICE), the enough point was always 100 miles. This was what most of the EVs promised back then, but the EPA turned out to be ~80 miles. That's below expectations, but acceptable for consumers (given there was no other choice at a similar price range). That doesn't mean however that people didn't really want 100 miles (or slightly more) instead. For a trip down memory lane, let's look back at an article from October 2011 (1 year after Leaf was on sale, Model S wasn't out yet) where Nissan claimed 70 miles was more than enough range for an EV. If you scroll down you will see pretty much all the "EV advocates" disagreed, using a similar argument (that the weekend trip isn't covered). http://green.autoblog.com/2011/10/28/nissan-claims-average-leaf-is-driven-37-miles-per-day-more-rang/
          Aaron
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Spec
          I don't criticize my i-MiEV for not having enough battery. My daily drive is 18 miles.
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Spec
          @ Spec How short is your memory ! Only a few years ago, these pages were full of impassioned advocates claiming short range EV's, would be successful because "people only need a range of 40-60 miles per day".
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Spec
          @ Spec and JakeY , What evidence do you have that supports the concept that people will flock to buy 1-120 mile EV's ? Tesla is not a good indicator. Tesla dropped it's plans for a low range model S (120-140 miles) due to lack of response. There will always be a niche market for any technology, (yes, Tesla is a niche manufacturer) . Small economy cars need volume sales to be viable. 115,000 sales in 4 years may be promising in a crowded market place, but when it's the market leader with 80% of all sales, it's just not viable to offset the enormous investment.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Spec
          Red Sage... you are a dying breed. Car ownership is falling, and the youth are growing up in a "connected world" where they do NOT have the same "joy of driving" as their parents. Your driving habits are the past... automakers should be looking toward the future. Besides, Japanese automakers like Nissan and Toyota make most of their money on cars that are not the most "fun to drive" but rather utilitarian appliances. And guess what, they've been kicking our asses in the market.
          Red Sage
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Spec
          I'm pretty sure he was just noting this, the same way that Bill Gates is quoted as having said, "No one will EVER need more than 640 kb." ;-) There are people who have stated for years that "For most people 60 miles of range is MORE than enough for daily commute to work and back to home, with some room for errands." That is both true, and false. That's the fun thing about averages and stuff. Very few people will be in the average range of these limited EVs for the full period of car ownership. Insurance companies and Leasing agencies presume 12,000 to 15,000 miles per year of regular driving. That works out to about 1,250 miles of driving per month, or 313 miles per week. So at forty miles per day, five days a week... 200 miles. Leaving just over 100 more miles of weekend driving. And falls right in line with what hardcore EV Advocates claim is 'More Than Enough'. Sure, it looks OK at first... But then there are people such as myself, who drive 3,000 miles on a slow month. They forget there are people who actually enjoy the act of driving. People who like to see new places, meet new people, do interesting things beyond the comfort of their front lawn. People who don't live next door to their job -- I've had two different jobs that each had a 35 mile one-way commute. People who don't see a car as merely a utilitarian 'Point A-to-Point B' transport device... If these cute, little, so-called 'city' car EVs were ridiculously INexpensive... Say, $9,999-$12,500 or so? Cool! But at more than twice that amount -- after incentives -- they really aren't worth it.
          Spec
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Spec
          People may have noted that "people only DRIVE 40 to 60 miles per day" but the range needs to be longer to accommodate longer trips and provide a sense of security. I believe I've stated several times that the 80 mile range vehicles will suffice for the early adopters and advocates but we need 100 to 120 mile range (or more) EVs for broader adoption. Tesla has shown that a 265 mile range EV is just fine when supplemented with a supercharger network. For now, the 80 mile range EVs are fine for a 2 (or more car family) which has access to another car that can do longer ranges. PHEVs like the Volt work well as a single do everything vehicle.
      Spec
      • 7 Months Ago
      Who's gonna buy the Twingo when you can buy an E-Up, Leaf, i3, eGolf, Mercedes B-Class, etc? We have enough not-very-good-looking small-batteried econoboxes. C'mon automakers . . . a few ideas: 1) OFFER AN OPTION FOR A LARGER BATTERY! Many people want more than the standard 80 miles or so. 2) OFFER DIFFERENT BODY STYLES. An SUV (look how well the troubled Mitz Outlander is doing), a pick-up, a mini-van (we are FINALLY getting the eNV-200), a sports car (MINI BUILD that MINI Superleggera Vision!), a wagon, etc.
        Aaron
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Spec
        You forgot the i-MiEV triplets available in France and Europe. About the same size as the eTwingo and rear-wheel drive/rear-motor too.
          Spec
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Aaron
          And I forgot the ZOE. Aren't the ZOE and the Twingo too close to each other in specs?
        Red Sage
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Spec
        They want to perpetuate a notion that an EV has to ~*ALWAYS*~ be plugged in. They want to make it seem as inconvenient as possible. A larger battery, that had enough charge to last through not one, but five days of regular driving, would only have to be fully charged once a week, and topped off a little overnight otherwise. That's been proven by the Tesla Model S. Once people realize they will never have to go to a gas station ever again... the light goes on.
      FREEPAT75014
      • 6 Months Ago
      I think they already saturated their "non-ambitious" micro-niche market that so far, based on the products they have announced was : 2nd car pure-EV with insufficient range to cover all sub-segments (Like commercial and technical fleets), and no Range extender, sold at 3X to 4X the price of the lowest costs ICE micro-cars that lead that market today, essentially made of people with very limited milleage, hence who can't recover the extra costs from petrol savings. The state subsidies only recovering for a small fraction of the extra costs. A dead end for me. Doubling the full EV range without adding a Range Extender should allow to attract more Commercial and Technical Fleets that currently don't buy pure EVs that can't perform on one charge per day all their (higher than average) daily Local Commutes millage, that for Commercial and Technical Fleets may be closer to # 180M # 270KM.... Still till they add a Range Extender on top of that, this will be done with "Range Anxiety" (Commercial and Technician users will continue to push back because of that) and with no possibility to beat into the sole-car replacement main market, that require larger cars with huge Range Extender capacity, so you can also go on vacations with same car. So my bet is this will only take them from very little to a little more very little market. Lack of ambition will be paid cash here. Being a French Tax-Payer man, and a mid-range German cars customer for ages, I really don't understand why the French car vendors don't use PHEVs as a compelling reason to change the "main car" Mid-Range and High End segments to displace the Germans playing a more clever gaime that me-too forever failure, instead if pushing vainly to sell pure EV before their time, in lower segments before they can get the economies of scales to make that affordable... I think they are just running after states subsidies that are not put on the right things. Full stop. I'd dream to see Renault be the 1st French car maker to come out with a radical PHEV, buit on a TESLA-like Full Electric Drive train plus a smaller ICE Range Extender, say 3 to 4 x cylinders, used as pure electric power generator only. In that case a Battery of 30KWH would be enough as a starting point to ensure that the average daily local commutes could be completed with no more than one charge per day or even every 2 x days (Means a good 3000 x cycles battery could last for 10 years or 20 years instead of 5Y when 2 x charges per day are required). Build a European Tesla with a Range extender in Mid-Rang and High end segments to change the game on them, then you could come back on lower end segments with a cheaper and better offer benefitting the economies of scale won on higher segments sucess.
      LEONARD
      • 6 Months Ago
      Ev Elio=Winner
      Edge
      • 7 Months Ago
      EV's are no where the near selling the numbers, that many, including Carlos Ghosn predicted. Range, battery cost, and charge times have to be vastly improved for EV sales to take off. That article also showing a 30 percent decline in the Leaf's batteries is also a major concern to the success of EV's. Hate to say it, but EV's are always going to be a niche car, until they solve these issues.
        Joeviocoe
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Edge
        Edge!... where have you been? Anyway... at the time, we all knew that Ghosn's predictions were way optimistic. But the Tesla is selling "higher" than predictions. The Leaf is still quite popular, despite the few localized incidents of major battery degradation in Arizona. There are a few outside that area, but the 30% degradation thing was way overblown too. Only a few abused leafs have this issue (mostly climate abused in some areas). The main barrier has always been cost. Which essentially means that EVs CANNOT remain a niche vehicle as long as brave early adopters are willing to show up and pay a serious premium for a slightly risky venture. And right now, we are seeing exactly that. Even regardless of Ghosn's exaggerated prediction of 2009,2010... there are currently enough EV sales to breakthrough the barriers and ensure that every automaker has at least one affordable EV in serious (non-compliance) development.
          Joeviocoe
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          I am shaking my head at your sense of time/history. You bring up the Leaf numbers vs. the Prius. But fail to see that the Prius also started out with meager sales figures the first 2 years. In fact, the Nissan Leaf annual sales has already done better than the Prius's first 5 years. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Prius#Sales https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_Leaf#Global_sales global sales - Prius vs. Leaf Year 1 = 300 vs. 38 (Nissan started later in the year) Year 2 = 17,700 vs 21,733 Year 3 = 15,200 vs 26,178 Year 4 = 19,000 vs 47,109 Year 5 = 29,500 vs ??? So it seems my sense of reality is much better than yours at least.
          Marco Polo
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          @ Joeviocoe Each time I read one of your posts, I find myself cheering for your sentiments, admiring your passion and enthusiasm, but shaking my head at your sense of reality. Global sales of 115,000 for a small sub-compact vehicle, doesn't make Leaf popular ! Sales of only 115,000 in a market where Prius sells 3.5 million, and Yaris sells 3.2 million (in the same time frame as Leaf) , would normally be considered a model failure for most auto-makers. Despite massive subsidies and assistance from both the Japanese and French governments to Nissan-Renault ( the Government of France is a Renault share holder), the Leaf remains financially unsuccessful. The Leaf owes it's continued existence to the courage, determination and skill of Carlos Ghosn. "Which essentially means that EVs CANNOT remain a niche vehicle as long as are willing to show up and pay a serious premium for a slightly risky venture. And right now, we are seeing exactly that " Well, I'm one of those "brave early adopters", but I'm also sensible enough to realise that until the problems of EV ESD are resolved, I will still be very much in a minority among car buyers !
        Marco Polo
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Edge
        @ Edge The reaction to your rational, and realistic post, displays part of the problem with some EV advocates, the unwillingness to recognise reality. Your analysis, "Range, battery cost, and charge times have to be vastly improved for EV sales to take off", is completely accurate.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Edge... --"Most car manufacturers would cancel a car, that sells less than 100,000 year. " Um.... only 47 models sell more than 100k per year. http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2014/01/usa-vehicle-sales-rankings-by-model-december-2013-year-end.html There are hundreds that are well below that, which do NOT get cancelled anytime soon, and many have been made for decades. This is a very shortsighted narrow view of EVs... that they must be the top 10 selling in their class to be considered successful. Basically, EVs ARE succeeding today. Even if an automaker like Renault fails with a particular model... that is "just another way NOT to make a lightbulb". The expectations about how fast EVs will "take over" the industry, needs to be reigned in. This is a marathon, not a sprint. *PS... did you tell you friend where the H2 stations are? Where they will be build? And how he will not likely see one in person for the next 5 - 10 years (unless he lives in California). All the problems of "range anxiety" an EV will have in the coming years as they slowly build the fast charging networks... is severely amplified with Hydrogen. It is just that people like to imagine a mythical world where H2 stations are available like gasoline stations. *
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Marco Polo
          *Edge was not given a bad reaction... just some disagreement followed by any explanation* Every EV advocate, including me, has always admitted that EVs need improvement in "Range, battery cost, and charge times". But we differ in our definition of "take off". I see EVs as already "taking off" as fast as ANY new or revolutionary product in the automotive industry could hope. You might have to understand a bit of math to understand how an exponential increase works... it is very slow to start off, but you see greater and greater gains. Yes, I agree that without the improvements mentioned, the growth will plateau.. but there need not be anything drastically improved in a leap and bound.... but rather the current steady improvements and cost reductions are enough.
          Edge
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Unfortunately some people are in denial here. I'm a huge EV fan, and think the Leaf is an awesome car, but in the end, there are some main issues keeping it a niche product. Most car manufacturers would cancel a car, that sells less than 100,000 year. With the huge investment in EV's battery plants, and electric engine plants, that number has to be much higher. The Leaf here in Canada is $50,000. I talked a friend out of getting one. The price here is crazy, and the range is not enough for my friends needs. I recommended the plug-in Prius, if he wanted to go "green". I hope the issues holding EV's back can succeed, but I'm now starting to think hydrogen is the way to go.
        Edge
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Edge
        > That article also showing a 30 percent decline in the Leaf's batteries is also a major concern to the success of EV's. Should clarify, previous article, that showed a 30 percent drop, after only a few years.
      danfred311
      • 6 Months Ago
      Just lower the price of the Zoe to what battery prices mandate and it will sell a lot. Ghosn is foolishly engineering his own failure by keeping the prices ridiculously high. Not to mention making boring cars instead of the greatness EVs could easily be at little or no cost.
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