The supply of electric vehicles in France is emerging. Manufacturers are fighting to offer more efficient models, especially in terms of battery life. We have decided to take a short tour of the French market, to give you our analysis of the models on offer.
Two categories compete in so-called “ecological” vehicles.
• Hybrid: these are currently the most widespread vehicles. They combine a heat engine and a smaller electric motor. They work alone or in combination. The main advantage of these models is their autonomy, identical or even superior to thermal vehicles. The electric motor operates when the vehicle starts or drives at low speed. This is also where it consumes and pollutes the most. There is therefore a gain in consumption and in CO2 rejection. Please note, as with internal combustion vehicles, manufacturer data is often undervalued.
• Electric: these vehicles, fewer in number, are only equipped with an electric motor. They are therefore the most ecological vehicles currently available. Goodbye fuel hatch, hello electrical outlet. The advantages are numerous: silence, low cost of use, almost zero maintenance, no CO2 emissions... The only downsides to many current models: autonomy and recharging speed, forcing the majority of its cars to remain luxury cars. supplements. Here are, in our opinion, the most interesting models on the market:
It is not 100% electric, since it is a hybrid model, combining a heat engine and an electric motor, but it is the pioneer vehicle on the clean car market in France. Indeed, the Toyota Prius 3 was marketed in Europe in 2009. Combining a 98 horsepower combustion engine and a 650V electric motor developing 85 horsepower, this 3rd model in the Prius line already offered good performance for the time. With 5 different models, ranging from the most classic to the most Premium, the Toyota Prius is at the top of the best-selling hybrid sedans in France and in a large number of countries around the world. It is the preferred car for ecological taxis. From 28300€
Direct competitor of the Toyota Prius in terms of size, it differs by the fact that it is not part of hybrid vehicles but all-electric. It has been marketed in Europe since 2011. In terms of autonomy, the Nissan Leaf manages with its 24 kWh battery to reach 160 km for a mains recharge of around 9 hours, or 80% in 30 min on Nissan fast chargers (two are currently available in Paris: BP Balard and BP Porte de Vincennes exterior). From 18090€
At last ! In our opinion the most successful electric city car in terms of design. The BMW i3 was launched by the German group to inaugurate its range of electric vehicles. The vehicle developing 125 kW makes it possible to reach 0 to 100 km/H in less than 8 seconds. The range of the BMW i3 is 130 to 160 km depending on driving. ECO PRO and ECO PRO+ modes allow you to add up to 40km to this basic range, to reach a maximum of 200km. The super fast charging socket allows you to reach 80% charge in 30 minutes. A welcome asset for a city car. On the design side, the German brand has set the bar quite high compared to other vehicles in the same segment. Wood and touches of carbon fiber bring a "Premium" touch to the BMW i3. A touchpad-sized control screen offers a relatively large number of functions, although less than models like the Tesla Model S. Nice detail: there is only one "and a half" door rear opens in the opposite direction to leave a large space without a door pillar to enter the vehicle. From 35490€
It is the small French city car of the electric car market. The Renault ZOE has squatted the top of the sales of electric models in France since its release in 2012. It stands out first and foremost by its price: 13,700 € (starting price) to which is added the monthly rental of the battery (from 79€ per month). With a 65kW motor, it can reach 100 to 150km of autonomy. On a classic charging station, it recharges in 6 hours. On a fast charging socket, it is fully charged after 20 minutes. The design is surely not the most successful, but it is quite suitable for everyday use, especially in urban areas. From 13700€
This is the model used by Black Birds private drivers. Produced by the American brand Tesla, the Tesla Model S offers performance and technological advances unmatched on the market. With a range of up to 500km, it surpasses all vehicles on the market thanks to its Lithium-Ion batteries of up to 85kW. Available in France since 2014, the Tesla Model S reaches 0 to 100 km/h in less than 3.4 seconds, and the vehicle can reach 212 km/h. The Model S is today the only true 100% electric sedan on the market. In order to respond to the main problem of electric vehicles, which is autonomy, the brand is developing a network of “superchargers” which allow recharging in record time (50% of the battery recharged in 20 minutes). It is therefore possible today to cross Europe without having to stop at night to refuel and completely free of charge. The Tesla Model S is not only a technical and aesthetic gem, offering Premium finishes putting it on the same level as the best sedans on the market, it also adds unique technological tools to its arsenal. A 17″ touch screen connects via 3G to the internet, providing access to many services. On its latest models, the brand has also added an “Autopilot” mode which allows the speed of the vehicle to be regulated according to the signs crossed on the road. Awesome, isn't it? And it's not over: the Tesla updates every two months or so to bring new options...
Other less differentiating models adorn the electric car market. The offer is gradually expanding. However, there are still too few brands that offer very luxurious finishes, while maintaining autonomy and a fair price. So there are still a lot of challenges to follow for all brands, especially French ones.