Renault expects to sell just around 10,000 Zoe subcompact electric cars in 2013, 40,000 below its initial target, market analyst Inovev was cited by Automotive News Europe. Inovev said the 50,000 sales target for Zoe was provided by several high-ranking executives at Renault.
Early this year, the French carmaker said that the Renault-Nissan alliance would fail to meet its target of selling 1.5 million electric vehicles around the world by 2016. A spokeswoman for Renault said the alliance has yet to set any new sales targets yet.
Renault commenced selling the Zoe in Europe earlier this year, and sold only around 6,600 units globally in the first nine months of 2013.
Despite that, the Zoe is the top-selling EV in Renault's electrified vehicle lineup, which also includes the Fluence Z.E. sedan, Kangoo Z.E. small van and Twizy two-seat model.
According to Michel Costes, president and chief executive of Inovev, while Zoe sales will fall short of Renault's projections, consumer interest in the unit and other EVs will grow once more public places for plugging in the car are available.
Costes told Automotive News Europe that they expect the Zoe and EVs in general to continue becoming a popular alternative to combustion engine vehicles as charging stations become more available.
He, however, noted that that growth will happen slower than what Renault forecast. IHS Automotive estimates Renault to sell 23,434 Zoe units in 2014; 25,843 units in 2015; and around 50,000 by 2020.
According to IHS technology specialist Alastair Hayfield, consumer acceptance of EVs is influenced by the presence of public charging infrastructures, legislation, fuel prices, and battery technology.