At the entrance of Paris Motor Show (PMS), all pedestrians are welcomed by Volkswagen hybrid & electric ads. Are they still trying to redeem themselves after last year VW diesel gate ? Maybe. But the reality is also that alternative fuel market keeps increasing strongly & competition is getting fiercer. Look, for the first time at the fair, there was a test drive center for electric & hybrid cars !
Then, should we turn to an alternative fuel car now?
But range should not be a blocking point anymore when you consider buying an electric car.
While Tesla already provides more than 600km autonomy with its top range Model X, mid-range cars have made a big step forward. And Nissan LEAF, world best-selling electric car in the world, has reached 250km in January 2016.
At the fair, Renault Zoé presented its new battery with 400km autonomy, which will be available just after the show. On their stand, they educate & reassure visitors with digital maps showing how far vehicles can go with a 400km autonomy. An other example is Opel that announced the Ampera E, European version of the Chevrolet Bolt, for summer 2017 with 500km autonomy.
Range is not a problem anymore. Good news. What about charging points ?
Basically, you have 3 ways to charge your electric cars:
-You can plug your car with your regular domestic supply, but it’s very long (12H charge).
-You can install a home charging unit (4h)
-You can use rapid chargers: In 30mins you can have an 80% charge.
Electric automakers at Paris Motor Show reassured customers by showing the current charging point network, as you can see on the picture below for Renault Zoé. Charging networks are still growing but today’s infrastructure is already mature. Besides, automakers often take care of home charging. So, technically, charging point should not be a barrier at this stage.
As a conclusion, we can say that, in term of technology, market is mature enough to offer attractive products to make the transition to electric cars. But let’s be honest, the electric car market remains very small for now: 0.9% of sales in France. At PMS, focus was mainly on the technology and not totally on the EV benefits price-wise. Rational price & legislation will definitely remain bigger game-changers in customers’ mind vs. eco-friendly tech savvy ideologies. So, there is still much work for automakers and government to make this transition real.