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Renault Electric Vehicles Slow to Start, Needs to Educate Clients

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Renault Twizy, Just a "Toy"?
Renault Twizy, Just a “Toy”?

It is interesting to note that, in the EU, 50% of all electric vehicles are made by Renault.

Allied with Nissan, Renault has sold nearly 30,000 electric vehicles globally, which doesn’t seem like much in the overall picture, but Béatrice Foucher, Renault head of Electric Vehicles, notes that global hybrid leader Toyota Prius took nearly a decade to become a mainstream vehicle and not a driveway oddity. Renault expects future sales to flourish in the same manner, but has some work to do before that’ll happen.

With competition coming in the form of the new BMW i3 and others, Renault is working to decrease costs on its current electric vehicle lineup. Instead of introducing any new models, Renault will focus on refining the four electric vehicles it already has on the market, including the Kangoo, Twizy, Fluence, and ZOE.

Electric vehicle charging infrastructure seems to be on track in many areas, especially urban zones, making electric vehicle ownership easier, but Renault, apparently, needs to work on public perception of electric vehicles. According to their studies, electric vehicles are, indeed, cheaper to own than conventional vehicles, as well as being cleaner for the environment during a typical vehicle lifecycle. The problem is helping prospective clients to see electric vehicles as serious and trustworthy transportation.

For example, in other Renault studies, it was found that the typical Renault electric-vehicle owner owns their own home where they can install a charging station. To reach more prospective clients who can’t install a charging station, Renault is working on a charging setup that can be plugged into a standard electrical socket. Another thing that Renault found was that most of their electric vehicles were second vehicles, the primary vehicle being a high-end marque and the electric vehicle, especially the Twizy, relegated to toy status.

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