PHOTO CAPTION: Renault Zoe sales show early success.

Electric Cars Face Crucial Test In Depressed European Auto Market

Early sales of Renault ZOE would seem to vindicate Carlos Ghosn’s €4 billion investment to research, develop and produce a broad range of electric vehicles.

Published: 05-Mar-2013

PARIS - The Renault-Nissan alliance’s multibillion-euro electric-vehicle program, marred by delays and disappointing sales, faces crucial tests this month amid the slump in European auto demand and the Japanese yen’s volatility against foreign currencies.

Renault SA’s first compact electric car hits showrooms in France this month, benefiting from a €7,000 ($9,114) a car government subsidy putting it on par with conventionally powered cars.

The battery is rented separately. Nissan starts production of the Leaf, its flagship electric car, in the U.K. this month too. Production began outside Japan for first time in the new year at the Japanese auto maker’s Smyrna, Tenn., assembly plant.


President Obama announces on March 7, 2012 the EV Everywhere Challenge Daimler Truck factory in Mt. Holly, N.C.

Goal of program is make electric vehicles more affordable and convenient to own and drive than today’s gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 10 years.

EPA rates the Coda electric car at 88 miles per charge, currently the highest range available.

Dave Herron analyses the comparative costs of the current crop of plug-in cars.

Bruce Sargent charges Nissan LEAF in Central Point, Oregon. Photo credit: AP

The stations go from the California border north to the Oregon city of Cottage Grove.


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