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Sales Of Renault Zoe Off To Strong Start In France, Trounces Leaf

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Tesla's Model S might be making all the headlines, but there's a smaller, more accessible electric car with equally high expectations placed upon it.

That electric car is the Renault Zoe, sold only in Europe and tasked with making electric cars a usable proposition for the masses.

And to a small degree, it seems to be working--as it outsold Nissan's Leaf by almost eight to one in April, in its home French market.

The Zoe's 748 units might not seem that high next to U.S. plug-in sales in April--the Volt managed twice that, the Leaf over double at nearly 2,000 units--but in the slow European electric car market it's a sign that things might be changing.

It's also a sign that the Zoe, with its relatively low pricing (battery rental is extra) and chic styling, has resonated with French buyers more than that of other electric vehicles so far.

Domestic loyalty probably plays a part, but the Zoe's charms certainly outweigh those of the market's current offerings.

Renault Zoe Electric Car: First Drive Report

According to French electric car information site AVEM, the Zoe's 748 sales in April compared with 94 for the Leaf, 51 for the Bolloré Bluecar, and 11 for the quirky Mia Electric.

France's other two electric offerings, the Citroën C-Zero and Peugeot iOn (both re-badged versions of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric car) had a terrible April--Peugeot recorded only two units sold, and Citroën didn't shift a single example.

Sales of the Opel Ampera and Chevy Volt twins were no better, at just 2 and 1 units apiece in France. AVEM does point out that these sales are private registrations and don't include commercial sales, but the numbers still look pretty woeful.

Europe's other notable electric vehicle, the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive, was not included in the sales figures. However, the company expects to produce around 6,000 units in 2013, with 2,000 of those going to the U.S.

As the Zoe is rolled out across Europe, it'll be interesting to see the rate at which sales increase--and whether Europe's slow acceptance of electric cars has simply been down to waiting for the right vehicle to come along.

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Bolloré had a  Bluecar
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Comments (14)
  1. Not a bad looking vehicle. Well done Renault.

    Somehow I totally missed out on the MIA electric. Interesting layout.
     
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  2. Since Renault and Nissan have an alliance is this just a rebranded Leaf?
     
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  3. Not quite, Edward. It shares some componentry with the Leaf, and runs on a similar platform (the Zoe is a subcompact, the Leaf a compact), but otherwise it's quite different from the Leaf.
     
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  4. The Renault Zoe is not derivated from Nissan Leaf, but an own Renault development (with Renault Nissan alliance technology of course). The car is smaller than the Nissan Leaf and less expensive (20 700 Euro, but with eco bonus in France for instance, it becomes 13 700 + monthly hiring of the batterie for 75 Euro).
     
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  5. In the case of Spain, I've seen a lot of concerns in specialized forums regarding the impossibility of owning the battery. Others have also expressed concerns about Renault's decision to make it necessary to buy a pricey special adapter in order to be able to charge at normal sockets. Both concerns might hinder adoption.
     
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  6. As an owner of the Fluence ZE I find it weird that none were sold in France. maybe its the fixed battery whiuch is neither here nor there. Neither owned nor swapp-able. In April Better Place sold 125 FZE's in Israel which is equivalent to 2000 cars in France or 7500 in the US. Explaine that way Better Place is a roaring success, having sold more ZE's per capita than all E car makes together
     
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  7. Yuval,

    I'm confused. How can sales in one country equate to a far larger sales in another?
     
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  8. Perhaps Yuval is using a "per-capita" metric. That would make sense to me.
     
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  9. i think norway is still be the leader in full electrics tho, not israel
     
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  10. Kudos to the design team. Magnifique!
     
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  11. Much higher fuel prices and mor compact urban areas - it seems like Europe should be a much better market for BEVs; I'm perplexed.
     
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  12. To be fair, ~700 sales of the Zoe in France is a higher per-capita rate than the ~2000 Leaf sales in the U.S. But purchase prices are also higher, which probably has some effect.
     
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  13. The Zoe's 748 units might not seem that high next to U.S. plug-in sales in April--the Volt managed twice that, the Leaf over double at nearly 2,000 units--but in the slow European electric car market it's a sign that things might be changing.

    That's because the Renault Zoe offers so much more car for the money. It's technologically so much more car for the money than the Nissan Leaf is it's not even funny.
     
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  14. [It's technologically so much more car for the money than the Nissan Leaf is it's not even funny.]
    Having just returned from checking out the Zoe and as an owner of a Leaf I fail to see your point and totally disagree. I like the Zoe but the Leaf has a more luxurious feel, is bigger, rides better and is a match technically so how do you arrive at your conclusion? Leasing the battery is a negative for me personally so wouldn't purchase for this reason alone otherwise might consider one.
     
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