With the French car industrys’ legendary love of cars, innovation and styling from, shall we say, the quirkier end of the spectrum, is it really any surprise then that Renault would appear to be taking the lead when it comes to pure Electric Vehicles (EVs). In fact, only this morning news arrived up on the top floor of MotorMartin Towers that, quite unbelievably, it’s been five years since the launch of Renault’s first electric vehicle and that Renault has just handed over the keys to its 100,000th electric car customer.
MotorMartin has been informed by Renault that their ZOE, the brand’s all-electric supermini, was sold to 41 year old Norwegian, Mr. Åsmund Gillebo and to truly complement his purchase of a ZOE, he has been presented with five years of Fortim recharging and 100,000 minutes of recharging time from Grønn kontakt, two local energy suppliers.
Renault: the European leader for electric cars
Lets be in no doubt though as to the magnitude of Renault’s achievement with EVs, after all, in the first half of 2016, Renault sold more than 15,000 electric vehicles (excluding the Twizy), an increase of 32% on the previous year. This success confirms Renault’s status as the European market leader, especially for LCV. Indeed, on European roads, one in every four electric vehicles is a Renault. Incredible. In France, half of all electric cars are Renaults. Renault’s main markets for electric cars are France, Norway, the UK and Germany. In the UK, Renault Z.E. sales grew to 1,199 in the first half of 2016, an increase of 26.1 per cent and of this, 1,069 of the vehicles were the all-electric ZOE, a 39.4 per cent increase on the first six months of 2015. Since the launch of its Z.E. vehicles in the UK in 2011, Renault has sold 5,977 electric vehicles to date comprising of Fluence, Kangoo Van Z.E, Twizy and ZOE. Impressive figures indeed.
Eric Feunteun, Director of Renault’s Electric Vehicle Division, shared with MotorMartin that: “Every year there are more customers for electric cars and Renault is making a major contribution to this with its constant innovation and dedication to developing infrastructure. Our customer satisfaction, which stands at 98% for the ZOE, encourages us to keep pushing onwards”.
Renault, we are told, boasts the most comprehensive range of 100% electric cars on the market, enabling it to meet a variety of needs. The range is made up of the compact ZOE city car, the Kangoo Van ZE, the compact urban two-seater Twizy (and its utility version, the Twizy Cargo), and the stately saloon the RSM SM3 ZE (the best-selling electric vehicle in Korea).
The ZOE, which Renault say is the best-selling electric vehicle in Europe, dominates the market for electric private cars with over 23% market share. The Kangoo Van ZE, the leading electric LCV in Europe for the third year running, sets the benchmark for professionals and has won a number of tenders, including the French Post Office, and the French electricity provider ERDF in Norway. Lastly, with 17,000 models sold, the Twizy is the trailblazer for new ways to get around all over the world, and is extremely popular in car-sharing initiatives in both Europe and North America.
Renault, a key player in electric innovation
Renault definitely feel that investment in EVs is the way forward as with cutting edge electrical technology, proven by its performance in Formula E, Renault is naturally winning over an increasing number of users. Since it began its electric adventure Renault has adopted a global strategy for electric mobility, and the development of infrastructure in particular. Renault is involved in a number of projects to install public recharge points, working with public bodies and other players in electric mobility like energy technicians. There are currently over 100,000 public recharge points around the world, 80,000 of which are in Europe, and they are constantly growing in number. As an example, Renault supports European Commission projects for the TEN-T fund (Trans European Transport Network), which has installed over 2,300 quick charge terminals along highways and major roads in over 15 countries. And it’s this charging infrastructure that will ultimately define how quickly EVs are adopted. Y the mainstream.
Renault are rightly proud of the fact that in the UK, the ZOE has won numerous awards including What Car?’s ‘Best Electric Car Under £20,000’ for three consecutive years and was most recently voted second in the 2016 Auto Express Driver Power vehicle ownership survey out of 183 cars – Renault’s best ever ranking in the survey for one of its vehicles.
So there you have it. Well done Renault, you might just be on to something with this electric car business.
Where will you go?