This is not yet the rush, but electric cars begin to take their place in the French automotive landscape, particularly thanks to generous public support.
While Paris is hosting for the first time this weekend a round of the world championship of Formula E (electric declination of F1), France stands out as one of the most dynamic markets in the world for rechargeable cars on sector.
In 2015, 17,266 new electric cars have been on French roads, an increase of 64% which allowed this niche to be closer to 1% of the annual market.
This was largely symbolic crossed the first quarter of 2016 with 6,022 registrations, an increase of 107% compared to the same period of 2015 and 1.3% market share, according to the National Association for the development of electric mobility (Avere-France).
"It is significant, and it is still growing, it's very good news," says AFP Joseph Beretta, president of the association, who notes that the purchase premiums can go up to 10,000 euros if scrapping an old diesel gave a boost to sales.
assets side, electric cars have a smooth operation and a nervousness greeted by their users, and a low cost of recharge.
But they are still limited autonomy and more expensive than their equivalents in the engine. Suddenly, their development varies greatly the efforts of the authorities of each country.
The extreme example is Norway, where over 17% of passenger cars sold in 2015 were "zero emission", a policy supported by revenues that Oslo has ... its oil production. In France, where electricity is very "low carbon" through nuclear power and renewables, replacing a thermal car by an electrical permits prior further reduce net CO2 emissions in other countries where electricity is often produced coal-based.
Sales of electric cars in France, Europe's second market in volume, are highly dependent on aid, warns Flavien Neuvy, head of the Observatoire Cetelem automobile. "If tomorrow the state stops premiums, it no longer sells electric cars," he summarizes, "who will buy a car with 150 km range for 20,000 euros?"
- Renault peak -
"Thumb strokes need is still the government and municipalities," concedes Mr. Beretta, estimating a 5% market share threshold that will enable the electric stand alone.
Local authorities are indeed an important role in the development of electricity by installing some of the charging network: some 12,000 points already exist, and the goal is 25,000 to 30,000 by early 2018.
Domestic manufacturers are also playing a leading role in offering electric vehicles in their ranges. In March, Renault held some 50% of the French market with its little Zoe, who has also reached the milestone of 50,000 units produced in Flins (Yvelines). The Leaf of its Japanese ally Nissan and Tesla Model S luxury American completed the podium.
PSA is discreet in this market with micro-cars Peugeot i0n and Citroën C-Zero produced in collaboration with Japan's Mitsubishi, but promised to develop more electric range provided.
The strategic plan includes four PSA electric cars and seven hybrid (gasoline-electric) batteries in 2019-2021, had said in early April its chief executive Carlos Tavares. From 2017, Citroën electric sedan will be on sale, but in China.
Like Renault, PSA is committed to Formula E, under its brand oriented "luxury" DS (Virgin Racing). The owner of the brand, Yves Bonnefont, assured that these sports cars "are an amazing source to accelerate the development of new power technologies that will equip the DS models of tomorrow."
Builders are even more motivated to electrify their ranges that are on the 2021 European standards for CO2 emissions of 95g / km, notes Mr. Beretta, who is considering a share of rechargeable market 10% 10 years, including hybrids.
20 minutes - 21/04/16