Renault to rethink electric plans image

Just as its alliance partner has the world’s best selling electric car – the Nissan Leaf – French automaker Renault also invested heavily in its electric vehicle program, although it seems the weak demand calls for a strategy rethink.

According to a top executive with the company, Chief Performance Officer Jerome Stoll, the ambitious goals set at the start of the program – which led to the development of the Twizy two-seater, Fluence EV, Kangoo EV and all new Zoe EV – need to be reconsidered.

“We’re not in a situation where the market has followed our forecasts,” said Stoll. “People haven’t yet reached the point where they feel the need to have an electric vehicle for full daily use. People need to feel that need to shift to electric models.”

Both Renault and Nissan have a medium term budget for the electric vehicles programs of 4 billion euros ($5.46 billion), but chief executive Carlos Ghosn already announced publicly the alliance would not accomplish its internal goal of selling 1.5 million electric cars each year by 2016.

In the near future, Renault, through its partnership with Daimler is developing the next-generation four-seater of the Smart brand, which should eventually include an electric version as well.

Via Automotive News Europe