Between attractive prices and very advantageous incentive aids, electric city cars clearly enjoyed popularity during the year 2020. In France, this segment was also the most popular, and could be again during the twelve months. next months.
Each year, the electric vehicle sector takes a new step in terms of investments, innovations and technical or technological innovations. While the 2020 vintage has not escaped this trend, much progress still needs to be made on key points: the charging network and vehicle range, to name a few.
In France, the 2020 vintage has, it seems, smiled on a specific category of trendy cars: city cars, a segment propelled by the arrival of the Peugeot e-208 and Renault Zoé (restyled version) in the second part of the year 2019. And it is clear that this tricolor duo has masterfully dominated the country’s electric registrations throughout the last twelve months.
Zoé and e-208, more than 50% of electric registrations
The monthly reports and always very well detailed from Avere-France (National Association for the Development of Electric Mobility) allow us today to take stock of the situation: each month, the Renault Zoé and Peugeot e-208 city cars have always integrated the top 2 of electric registrations (exception in March, where the Tesla Model 3 dethroned the e-208 from its second place).
Referring to reports from Avere-France, 90,198 new registrations of “passenger electric vehicles” (utilities are excluded) were recorded between January and November 2020 – the December report has not yet been published. Of these 90,198 registrations, 31,241 belong to the Zoé, against 15,392 to the Peugeot e-208. Or 46,823 between them, representing 51.9% of French electric registrations.
Clearly, at least one in two electric vehicles registered in France in 2020 was a city car. And again, these figures do not take into account the sales of other city cars, from the Nissan Leaf to the Volkswagen ID.3 and its very good launch, including the Twingo Electric and the Volkswagen e-UP, which have all rubbed shoulders. one or more top 5 monthly registrations.
City cars are also snapping up in Europe
By comparison, the Tesla Model 3 – which manufacturer Tesla enjoys strong media coverage – has around 5,480 registrations between January and November 2020, not counting October when the compact sedan does not appear in the top 10. This is 6% of registrations in France. The Model 3 does not box in the same category of vehicle, of course, but this has the merit of putting the success of city cars into perspective.
This trend seems to go beyond the borders of France by affecting Europe more widely: the Seat Mii, Škoda Citigo-e iV and Volkswagen e-UP have sold like hot cakes, to the point of being withdrawn from the sales catalog. of certain countries to moderate a meteoric demand and very long delivery times.
In France, several reasons come to explain this craze. If the first two months of the year were convincing with good results from the aforementioned duo, the coronavirus (Covid-19) calmed the enthusiasm of the industry in March then April (a catastrophic month). Before the machine gradually resumes in May, before exploding in June.
The reasons for this craze
Why ? Because the government has put in place very advantageous incentives, drastically reducing the price of city cars which were already selling at a more affordable price than the average. Between the ecological bonus of 7,000 euros and the famous exceptional conversion bonus of 5,000 euros, the Zoé and e-208 have soared: 6,012 and 2,127 registrations, respectively, in June, against 1,165 and 679 in May.
From month to month, the numbers have exploded. Since then, the curves have stabilized, but remain quite high. Are we actually surfing a wave, or will this phenomenon linked to city dwellers continue during the 2021 vintage? It is as it is impossible to answer this question, even if several elements would however let it think.
First, the ecological bonus of 7,000 euros will last until June 30, 2021, before dropping to 6,000 euros on July 1. This amount will remain, whatever happens, an interesting aid to support consumers when buying an electric city car. A conversion bonus is also always in order to accumulate aid, while a bonus of 1000 euros on used connected vehicles has recently been introduced.
What prospects for 2021?
Thanks to this combination of financial boost, electric city cars are likely to continue their good momentum. Especially since the slew of new models on the way will belong more to the segments of sedans, SUVs and other premium models, at costs generally inaccessible to the majority of consumers.
Between the BMW iX, the Nissan Ariya, the Tesla Model Y (for Europe), the Mercedes EQS, the Skoda Enyaq iV RS or the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron, to name but a few, it will be necessary to minimum spend 40,000 euros, if not more, to ride with. Certainly, the Citroën ë-C4 sold for 35,600 euros could meet with some success, just like the Dacia Spring and its “most accessible price in Europe”, as the brand likes to hammer it.
But one question remains: is it worth buying a top-of-the-range vehicle whose still limited range does not allow it to cross France without any fear of breaking down? This is the whole issue of the charging network. Tesla understood this and continues to densify its fleet with Superchargers worthy of the name. Ionity tries to catch up, but still has work to do to cover the whole of France.
In France, the target of 100,000 points expected at the end of 2021 will probably not be reached: the number of terminals even stagnated between May and October 2020, the fault, in part, of the Covid-19. This is why electric city cars should still enjoy some success next year: their urban use makes it possible to reach point A to point B separated by a few tens of kilometers at most. Quite simply.
Large cities are increasing their network
Regions like Île-de-France are also accelerating the densification of their network: the Greater Paris Metropolis, for example, has started to deploy its network of Metropolis terminals, which will have no less than 5,000 – including 250 rapid ones – in 130 municipalities by 2022.
The Total group was selected to operate the 2,300 stations of the Bélib network (which brings together Autolib locations) in Paris, in order to modernize them for the general public: new recharging points, fast terminals and recharging for electric two-wheelers are on the program. So many favorable factors, once again, for electric city cars.