New electrified cars make up more than 20% of the French car market

New electrified cars make up more than 20% of the French car market

A first! New electrified cars surpassed 20% of the French car market in the first eight months of the year. Pure electric vehicles accounted for 12.2% of total registrations, with chargeable hybrids accounting for 7.9%. The electrified doubled the diesel (16.7%). Logically given the threats of a driving ban weighing on them. The champion of these electrified cars in France is Peugeot. In terms of electrics, the e 208 from the lion brand takes first place (11,970 units over eight months), just ahead of the Fiat 500 e (11,185), the Dacia Spring (10,852), the Renault Zoé (9,500), the Tesla 3 (8,060) , according to the manufacturer and the PFA (Automotive Platform). In France, 21% of the 208 sold are electric versions, much more than the original target (15%).

Among the plug-in hybrids, first place also goes to a Peugeot, in this case the SUV 3008 Hybrid (7,081 registrations), which is similar to the 308 (4,206 copies) and another compact SUV, the Citroën C5 Aircross Hybrid ( 3.531), precedes. The Renault Captur E-Tech rechargeable has not exceeded 2,100 units. The 3008 is chosen in France by almost 30% of buyers in the plug-in hybrid version, compared to 70% for petrol and diesel.

Manufacturers biased on these models

The jump in electrified cars is clear, as they accounted for just 16% of the tricolor market over the same period last year. It is true that the manufacturers, constrained by decisions from Brussels and to avoid heavy European fines, are pushing these vehicles. Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis, made this clear when presenting the half-year results at the end of July. Car advertising essentially focuses on these models. The shortage of semiconductors has also forced manufacturers to make production decisions. And “with the new 308, we clearly favored the plug-in hybrid version,” says Peugeot. It is therefore not certain that these high percentages will be found when the shortage of electronic components eases and the customer has the choice again.

Do electrified vehicles really meet the needs of convincing customers? The electric ones are mainly aimed at an audience that can charge at home and make short trips. If the Peugeot e 208 immediately sets the benchmark in terms of driving pleasure, its consumption is disappointing. Better to avoid the freeway. The little Peugeot indeed shows a truly stunning appetite of 29 kWh/100km, worthy of a much heavier and more imposing Tesla Model X, according to measurements by challenges ! So you can safely drive the e 208 on the 130 Autobahn for only 140 km, a very mediocre figure. At Peugeot we also recognize that this vehicle is mainly bought by households… multi-engined. When the household has only one vehicle, success is less obvious. The proof: For the small SUV Peugeot 2008, which is usually the only car in a household, the electric version collects only 13% of orders from French customers.

High prices…

Rechargeable hybrids only make sense if you charge almost systematically, for a pure electric autonomy of less than 40 km. If you drive on petrol, excess weight leads to high additional consumption, which makes the machine unattractive. A plug-in Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4 is 300 kg heavier than the diesel version. Result: As soon as the battery is empty, the “good student” consumes 3 liters more per 100 km according to findings challenges, and 1.5 liters more than the equivalent petrol vehicle. This releases more CO2, where consumption and greenhouse gas emissions are correlated. But the customers usually play along: According to an internal Renault study on users of the small battery SUV Captur E-Tech, “40% of them charge one to five times a week and consume just 2.8 liters of petrol on average “.

However, the biggest handicap of these electrified remains the price. The base price of a Peugeot e 208 is roughly twice that of a petrol-powered 208. With the same performance and equipment, the difference is around €10,000, partly offset by the €6,000 government premium…. Until the end of the year. For a plug-in hybrid model like the 3008, the difference in the petrol version is 13,000 euros, while the bonus is only 1,000 euros.

… also rents

Manufacturers respond that electrified enthusiasts rent them, not buy them. “90% of our electric models are rented long-term or with an option to buy,” assures Peugeot. An electric e 208 (Active version) is available for rent in 48 monthly installments at EUR 331.10 over 48 months with an initial rental of EUR 6,361 and a purchase option for EUR 15,900. Provided that 10,000 km per year is not exceeded. A 208 petrol engine requires 272.21 euros in rent, no first rent increase and a purchase option of only 10,190 euros.

For a Renault Captur E Tech rechargeable, long-term rental without an option to buy is 289.63 euros per month over 49 months plus an initial rental of 6,500. With a maximum of 40,000 km over the term. An equivalent petrol version only requires 228.83 euros over 49 months, and 3,500 euros in the first month. The rents are still not exactly comparable. And the price will not fall. A study by Alix Partners estimates that the cost of an electric vehicle “will still be 4 to 5,000 euros higher than that of a thermal model by 2030”.


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