French automakers Renault, Peugeot and Citroën have already taken government assistance worth $11.8 billion. Renault, which accepted a $3.9 billion loan, is now saying that without more government help - like purchase price subsidies of €5,000 per vehicle and a waiver on the taxes paid on electricity used to power a car - the planned 2012 launch of Renault-branded electric vehicles won't happen. According to Automotive News Europe (subs req'd), Renault's Jerome Perrin, head of the company's research, advanced studies and materials division, said that he understands that by 2020 the situation will "have to change" but that the government help is needed in the early game. Renault expects that sometime in 2015-2020, Europeans will by two million EVs a year, and therefore is still very actively working on its electric car programs - it just wants some more guaranteed help to turn ideas like the Z.E. Concept (above) into real cars.
[Source: Automotive News Europe (subs req'd)]