- The Renault Zoe is the most popular French EV (Promocar).

7 French attempts to conquer the EV world

22w ago


The automotive world changes under the pressure of the governmental policies as you know certainly. One of us are EVs enthusiasts by prefering the silent engine rather than the old and nostalgic V8's sound. Since Tesla's arrival as a lifestyle without mentioning the Dieselgate, the carmakers are achieving their second electrical revolution.

In Europe, Germany and France have always fought to increase the level of technology and confort to offer the best and affordable vehicles. Even if the German way of life sounds as having a motoring jewel, the French car makers have always focused on the way how a car could be useful and ordinary. The EV's revolution invites itself with the last electric and hybrid models. Nevertheless, the French car makers seems to be more and more conscious of the increasing of electric vehicle's popularity. What are the attempts who failed or manage to be more familiar which comes from France?

7- The Bolloré Bluecar/Bluesummer (2008-)

The Bolloré Bluecar, one of the popular French EVs (Autoplus).

If you live in Paris, you have heard or seen a Bolloré Buecar in the French capital. The Bolloré Bluecar is invading the world. Some cities are developing leasing programs with the help of the car maker. The Bluecar and the Bluesummer were presented at the Paris Motor Show in 2008 as a revolutionnary EV in cities.

The Bluesummer is inspired to the Mehari (Automobile Propre).

Equiped with lithuim-metal polymere batteries, the bluecar can be driven during 150- 250 km without being charged. Like the unfortunate EV1, its top speed is more powerful than the legal speed which is 107 km/h. In some French cities, you can rent or buy your own bluecar. The last auction illustrates the French enthusiast for these cars. Sold at 13,000 euros, some former Parisian bluecars were bought at 3,000/4,000 euros after being saved from a potential destruction.

6- Renault Z.E models (2011-)

The Renault Kangoo Z.E at the Paris Motor Show 2018 (A.Saboureau).

Renault understood the electric vehicles is changing our way. Developing its "zero emission" (know as Z.E), some classic models were adapted into electric cars. The Kangoo, the Twizy or the ZOE are more popular than the Renault Fluence or the Renault Master. The models are different according your personal use. Unlike the Twizy, you couldn't drive in the narrow streets with the Master, a lorry. Contrary to the car concepts from the new EZ style too, the Z.E models are used as public transports such as the French postal services or the administrations.

5-Mia Electric/Heuliez Friendly (2011-2014)

The MiAmore, one of the three models produced by Mia Electrics (Automobile-entreprise.com).

The tiny EV's attempt could be a success. Known as the former Heuliez Friendly, an electric prototype designed and built by the former motoring manufactory, Heuliez, the brand had divided his commercial businesses. Produced in 2011, the same year as the Renault Z.E models, the Heuliez Friendly was rebaptised Mia. The three seats' car was conceived with a low autonomy (80-90 km). It could be explain the barnkruptcy of the car maker in an tense EV market.

This is not a Fiat Multipla despite its three seats (Caradisiac.com).

The micro-car was equipped with a lithium iron phosphate battery (LiFePO4) to replace the ordinary lithium batteries which are criticised for the lack of autonomy. The Mia was one of the smallest EVs on the European market. Three others models were been launched in the 2010's. The Mia Paris (2011) represented the Parisian luxury style. The miAmore (2012) was inspired by the Italian style without forgetting the Mia U "Blue Star", a special bicolored edition.

4- Lumeneo (2006-2013)

The Lumeneo Smera and its agilty (Automobile propre).

The underrated French car maker could be amazing with its two models called Smera and Neoma. Like the first car makers which built the first electric cars in the 19th century, the competitive atmosphere can be unfair for the young and fragile brands. Lumeneo was one of the forgotten attempts to propose an alternative to the classic French brands. The Smera should be more simple without using charging points outside your houses. It is one of the first to point out that idea by using the ordinary plugs.

The Lumeneo Neoma, the last model produced by the brand (Automobile Propre).

Like her late rival, the Mia, the Smera had a small autonomy. You couldn't drive it outside the cities without stopping you to find a charging point every 100 km. Unlike the Renault Zoe, the electric car has never known a success. Lumeneo disappeared in 2013 after failing to find new investments.

3- Magnum Courb (2007-2017)

The C-Zen in 2012 (Technologicvehicles.com).

The French motoring market can be compared to the hell. The historical car makers understood how to impose their rules by creating some car concepts to present the subtainable ways to move on from A to B. Despite a successful beginning, Magnum, a car maker tried to propose its only model, the C-Zen. Inspired by Renault, Peugeot or Citroën, Magnum Courb didn't manage to become the French Tesla. The company closed its doors in 2017 after a bankruptcy without the help of new investments.

The C-Zen was considered as the French Tesla before closing its doors (Cyclurba).

After some important investments (between 15 millions and 27 millions), only some C-Zen were sold between 2014 and 2016. Despite good atemps after the company sold 1,000 vehicles in 2016, another model should be planned with an improved autonomy. The C-Zen accelerated at 115 km/h with a short autonomy (120 km). The company was one of the longest attempt to create a dynamic alternative by proposing the first French modern electric vehicles with Bolloré, Mia Electric, Lumeneo or Venturi Automobiles.

2- Venturi Automobiles (1984-2000-)

The Venturi Fetish, a rare electric sport car built by Venturi (Caradisiac.com)

Venturi was created and developped by some former Heuliez designers in 1984. Their first models were ordinary cars until the launches of some popular rare models produced in 25 units. The Venturi Fetish (2004-2007) was one of the sport cars we cannot find easily in the world as the Venturi America (2012-2015). The French brand had tried to produce one of the commercial solar cars baptised the Venturi Eclectric between 2006 and 2010. In the motorcycle universe, a concept bike, the Voxan Wattam, should be improved but was abandonned in 2015.

The Venturi Eclectic, a concept solar car without real destiny (Wikipedia).

1-Mitsubishi i MiEV/Peugeot iOn/Citroën C-Zero (2010-)

The Peugeot iOn, a French car popular in the UK (Peugeot).

How not to mention the French/Japanese partnership between PSA and Mitsubishi. The Renault's serious rival has succedded to impose three models in the world. the Peugeot iOn and the Citroën C-Zero could considered as the most affaordable cars on EV's market. You can buy one at 29,000 euros or a second hand one at 12,000 euros only.

A Mitsubishi MiEV at a charging point (Pinterest).

The Mitsubishi has the same popularity like its two French sisters. If you visit Paris, you can rent one of these models at Paris-Orly airport or at some Parisian train stations. Unlike the Tesla or the Audi E-Tron, the autonomy of these models can't reach 150 km. You should wait 6 hours before drive them again at the charging points.

Which one of these electric car is your favorite? Leave your comments below.

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