France: red carpet for second-hand electric car deals
With an important number of electric cars coming back from long-term loans, used car lots of French dealers are growing bigger. Yet, the offer still exceeds the demand. Therefore, car makers are doing all they can to reduce purchase hindrances. Would a used electric car be a great deal?
The electric car offer has never been so important for the French motorist. On one hand, known car makers and new ones are bringing new vehicles on the market and, on the other, first generation electric cars are coming back on the used market. According to experts, they should represent around 10.000 registrations this year.
For the smallest budget, nothing can beat the Bleucar. In November last year, fifty Bolloré electric cars from the dismantled Autolib’ shared car service were sold in less than two hours for 3.700 euro. There are still 3.300 vehicles to be sold. For the rest, a bunch of 2014-2015 cars coming back from long-term leases are available on the approved used car lots.
Renault has a permanent stock of 1.500 to 2.000 22 kWh first generation Zoe models with less than 40.000 km on the clock. They are for sale at around 8.900 euro. At Nissan, 24 kWh Leafs are asking between 10.000 and 13.000 euro, while those with 30 kWh batteries are four to five thousand more. A first-generation BMW i3 (22,2 kWh) will cost around 20.000 euro. Cheaper options with less than 100 km of range, such as the Peugeot Ion, Citroën C-Zero or Smart Fortwo electric start around 6.000 euro.
Offer and demand
Even if prices can still be high for some, the electric car presents a bigger depression than other petrol cars. “For now, we see that the offer is largely superior to the demand”, notes VO Solutions consultant, Berislav Kovacevic. For dealers, that represents a black spot. “A used electric car sells better without margin”, adds the consultant.
To initiate the sales and sell off the stock, dealers are putting the red carpet on for buyers. Renault will reduce the monthly loan of batteries from 59 to 1 euro for one year and offer 500 euro for the installation of a home wall box charger. The French car maker has also put up a renting solution for used electric cars at 59 euro per month for three years and 37.500 km. Let’s not forget that in France, motorists choosing a used electric car benefit from a 1.000 euro grant (2.500 euro for low-income households).
Could the used electric car be the best deal of 2019? “The Leaf is the perfect second-hand car for daily trips. We quickly realize that driving 100 km only costs 2 euro”, adds electric car manager at Nissan France, Thomas Chrétien. The electric car is also more durable with less moving parts and the reliability of the lithium-ion batteries is relatively good.
Yet, according to Berislav Kovacevic, there are still some residual hindrances. “Even as a second-hand, the price is still high. At 5.000 euro, those cars would sell a lot quicker”, points out the consultant who also adds that with an EV, motorists have to change their habits and revise their budget equation.