The unanimous choice of carmaker having the largest range of electric vehicles is French automaker Renault. This lead though by the company may be for just a short time, as many other carmakers are increasing capacity to topple Renault from the top of the list.
Renault is just a symptom of the focus of France's on investments in renewable energy sources. The creative programs instituted by both the French public and private sectors include electric car use, increased spending for infrastructure for electric vehicles and electric car sharing schemes for the public. Aside from the current programs, France has committed to an increase in the charging infrastructure of the country.
The money allocation though is still quite minimal at a measly U.S.$65 million, the programs are well dispersed. These include subsidies to charging stations in public areas as well as those on private properties that serve as places of business. The government is also encouraging the private sector in supporting these programs through the installation of charging points. The impetus is encourage and not draconian requirements to comply with existing clean energy programs of the country.
Another major spending area is the increase in the bonus incentive to EV purchasers, which now stands at U.S.$9000. Governmental transport is also set to target twenty five percent to be either hybrids and EVs within the next year alone.
One major reason for such aggressive EV programs is the partnership between Nissan, the Japanese auto giant and Renault. This is showcased in the unveiling of four vehicles that is expected to take off under the current thrust for electric vehicle use in the country. These include the Twizy, a two seater city car, the Zoe subcompact, the Fluence compact sedan and the Kangoo ZE delivery van.
The Twizy is expected to sell especially in crowded roads of Europe’s cities while the Fluence is the flagship of the Better Place battery swap service. The Zoe on the other hand would cost only U.S.$21,000 after benefits, thus making it nearly affordable as conventional vehicles in the market.
Many of the program proponents are convinced that many car owners would opt for electric car vehicles once they are given the opportunity to drive one. This together with France’s subsidies and infrastructure developments can surely make France the biggest electric car center in Europe and the world in no time at all.