France EV sales: 2012 mid-year analysis

A Mia and a Bluecar

Here are the sales figures electric vehicles in France for the month of June, along with mid-year analysis based on new registrations. We would love your comments.

June: an uninspiring month

Sales of private electric vehicles haven’t been at these low levels since … August 2011. What a disappointment!

Bolloré, which had been driving the market with the Bluecar, used for the Autolib sharing service, registered only 2 new cars this month. Sales for other manufacturer’s have been slow as well. The result: only 112 100% electric cars sold this month.

EV French Market in June 2012

The overall trend is also downward. Sales of the ‘stars’ of the category have also nose-dived. Only Citroën has positive figures overall, but these seem to be for the month only. In absolute terms, this means that only 28 C-Zeros were sold.

YTD till end June 2012

The Bluecar has 61% market share in terms of YTD sales. If we remove the sales of these cars from the numbers, based on the fact that these cars are not bought by individuals but belong to the Paris-based Autolib’ car-sharing service, the total car sales volume falls to 888 units, or -7% versus mid-year sales in 2011.

The EV french market for the S1 2012

Comparing the 2011 and 2011 numbers shows that last year’s key players are all in difficulty this year: Citroën, Peugeot, (feu) Think, Mitsubishi and Smart.

On the other hand, new entrants to the market are doing relatively well: Bolloré, of course, Nissan and Mia, which have also seen significant increases in volume. The performance of Renault, while it is moving ahead, remains deceptive given the notoriety and extremely well-developped network of Renault distributors in France.


It is difficult to extract and analyze the numbers from the standard layout of vehicle sales in France. The electric car breaks categories, so here are the limitations of the numbers that we have provided:

  • Utility vehicles are not included (especially the Kangoo ZE, which has high sales volumes)
  • “Quadricycles” are not present (Twizy, for example)
  • Hybrid vehicles are not considered as 100% electric vehicles (like the Opel Ampera or Chevrolet Volt, for example)
  • The type of user is not specified: while it is common knowledge that 100% of the Bolloré Bluecar volume is dedicated to the car-share market, the split is not clear for other brands. We cannot know how many new car registrations are for vehicles used as demonstration cars.
  • Is it a good idea to exclude the Autolib’ cars? Isn’t this exactly the new model of urban mobility ?

These figures make it difficult to make a call for the second half of the year. I will share my 2 scenarios for projections for the rest of 2012 in another blog post.

MoreFrance Electric cars Sales (new registrations)

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