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Electric Vehicles Not Welcome in Europe

It may seem odd that the continent of high gas taxes and strong environmental ethos would not take to electric vehicles. Focusing on the news that Renault will delay the release of a new EV, AutoblogGreen explores the poor sales of EVs in Europe.
May 27, 2014, 6am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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With the notable exception of Norway and perhaps premium models (see below), Europe has not particularly welcomed the new electric vehicles (EVs), much to the chagrin of Renault-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn who cites lack of demand for delaying the introduction of a new Renault EV, the Twingo ZE.

"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...," writes Autoblog's Danny King.

What's odd is how EVs from the two companies in the "alliance" can fare so differently. Nissan Leaf is far way the best selling EV in the U.S. and globally, having sold 50,000 and 115,000 respectively. For a comparison with sales of other plug-in models, including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), see chart of 2014 EV sales in U.S. from Inside EVs.

On the other hand, Renault sold less than 20,000 its EVs, which includes three models, adds King. However, Renault is not marketed in the U.S.

In Norway, due to its generous incentives, the Tesla Model S is the best-selling car; Nissan Leaf number three.

Mathieu Rosemain at Bloomberg News offered this perspective from "Sascha Gommel, a Frankfurt-based analyst at Commerzbank AG who has a hold recommendation on Renault stock":

“Most people who buy electric vehicles tend to be premium buyers, as zero-emission cars are more expensive,” he said by phone. “They’d rather go to premium brands like Tesla or BMW, as opposed to a maker of conventional mass-market cars like Renault, which needs to justify the premium on its electric vehicles.”

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Published on Monday, May 26, 2014 in AutoBlogGreen
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