Elec­tric cars fail to spark big sales

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE -

ELEC­TRIC car sales are still idling. Fig­ures from the SMMT show that sales fell seven per cent this year, with 950 pure elec­tric cars reg­is­tered in the first 10 months.

Elec­tric cars cost a lot more, have a lim­ited range be­tween recharg­ing and need ap­proved recharg­ing points or can blow cir­cuits. Even with a UK government grant of £5,000 (from the tax­payer) the best-sell­ing Nis­san LEAF costs £25,990 and boasts a range of less than 100 miles – and maybe much less de­pend­ing on con­di­tions and loads.

It sold 548 in the first 10 months. Pro­duc­tion be­gins at Sun­der­land in Fe­bru­ary for sale in April.

Its Re­nault sta­ble­mate is the Flu­ence ZE. You rent the bat­tery which brings the price down to £17,495. It has sold just 64 since go­ing on sale ear­lier this year.

The other elec­tric con­tenders are nar­row, shorter five-door cars built in Ja­pan by Mit­subishi as the MiEV, the Citroën C Zero and the Peu­geot iON. VOLVO has started pro­duc­ing the first diesel hy­brid car with mains recharg­ing to give a longer range on bat­tery power. It is quot­ing 32 miles for its V60 “plug-in” which will be on sale next year, ramp­ing up to 4,000 to 6,000 in 2014. The 2013 al­lo­ca­tion of 1,000 has al­ready been sold. “This is a unique car, a his­toric step, not only for Volvo but for the en­tire car in­dus­try,” says Volvo’s re­search chief, Peter Mertens.

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