Consumer reluctance forced Renault to re-think its EV plans

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 26, 2014

The reluctance of consumers to adapt electric vehicles for their daily travelling needs has forced Renault to re-think its EV plans, Chief Performance Officer Jerome Stoll remarked to Bloomberg in an interview. He said the carmaker is not in a situation where the market has followed their forecasts, saying that people has to feel the need to shift to electric models.

He confirmed that Renault would build an electric version of the new Twingo minicar, but said the project has been "put on hold." Renault and Daimler are in partnership to develop the Smart ForFour, which will also be offered in an electric version.

A Renault spokesman told Automotive News Europe that the French carmaker is not planning to develop an electric version of the new Twingo since the company already boasts of a full lineup of EVs like the Zoe subcompact, Fluence sedan, Kangoo delivery van and Twizy quadricycle.

The carmaker unveiled the conventional-powered third-generation Twingo at the 2014 Geneva auto show. Renault and Nissan have set aside a medium-term investment of EUR4 billion ($5.46 billion) for EV projects.

Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of both carmakers, disclosed in 2013 that the alliance will fail to achieve a 2016 target to sell 1.5 million electric cars annually. Renault only delivered 19,093 electric cars in 2013, while selling a total of 2.63 million cars and light commercial vehicles.

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