Only one Billion of our Euro for the electric vehicles of Renault

Takin' it to the BANK$Y

Takin’ it to the BANK$Y © guano


After the post regarding the aid to PSA by Hollande, started with fortuitous coincidence the inspection proceeding by the European Community for a possible rules infringement.  As it was predictable politics prevailed and France demonstrated its concept of Europeanism.

Do not think, however, that it is an isolated case. Indeed there is, in my view, a real coordination between the individual French players to overcome the crisis with the minor possible damage … compared to other countries.

Remaining in the automotive industry, let’s see what has happened inside Renault!

A few days ago a joint statement from Renault-Nissan was issued on the occasion of the 100,000 electric car sold in the world. The Carlos Ghosn’s statement: “The era of the mass electric car has started” made ​​me … smile!

Despite the obvious unfoundedness of the statement, no one media, in a sort of collective psychosis of a general copy & paste, both in Europe and in the USA, missed on its pages the acclaiming new: is it the power of the advertising budgets!?

No one that went in depth, going beyond the “propaganda”!
So what? I enjoyed doing it personally!

Let’s start from the figure: 100.000 electric cars! Ok, but in how many years?
Three years since December 2010!

What is the ratio with the global sales?
Considering ONLY USA and EU, we are talking about a total of 72 MLN of cars registered; that is to say, in the most optimistic situation, and without considering the volumes of Asia, the 0.14% of the market!

Geneva 2012 – Renault Twizy

Geneva 2012 – Renault Twizy ©


For my personal belief I consider Ghosn one of the brightest managers in the world and I really admire his “EV drift” and the ability to make the most of having a strong and cohesive nation behind.

I remain, however, profoundly surprised and speechless when I hear ethical-ecological statements that clash with the entire production of cars that are not so “green”; even because his considerable salary is not paid for that!

Especially certain laudable “moral” statements of some Italian members of Renault clash with the contemporary reality of choices that, however, do not have so much of moral. In the closure of the Florence branch, with more than 50 employees, there is not a great ethics, especially when is done in the way it was done.
Ethics in the business cannot be forced: or it is existing and permeates all his actions, or doesn’t exist and it’s just hypocrisy.

I am aware that, inside Renault, there aren’t the conditions to say that electricity is always and only produced from renewable sources and that we must help France to convert the 40 nuclear power plants that give to the country an energetic leadership that binds Italy.

They even cannot clearly say that the ultimate goal is to reorganize the whole productive capacity of their automotive industry … saving both ways and not caring about Europe!

Power Plant

Power Plant © Franco Folini,

They cannot even make it known that in some countries, like Italy, the recharge of the electric cars is expensive and the break-even point is reached only after many years, and sometimes it could be never reached!

However, please, allow me to express all my disappointment when a personality of that level has the courage to officially declare: “We expect a steady increase in demand, in parallel with the development of recharging infrastructures, and we reaffirm our long-term commitment in favor of the zero-emission technology.”

It would have been more correct, and credible, if he had added that he just received 400 Mln of euro from the EIB (European Investment Bank, the European Union’s financing institution created in 1957, with the Treaty of Rome, to finance the investments aimed at supporting the political objectives of the Union. The members are the countries of the European Union; Italy has a share of the 16%.) to develop, with Smart, the new Twingo and that the loan, at interest rates close to 1%, was given in anticipation of an electric version.

Amount of money that is in addition to the 600 Mln of euro received since 2009, that granted to the Group a leadership in a European market share which represents the 0.17% of the whole sales (2012 data). European sales which, if considered only for private customers, would drop to a 0.04 / 0.05%!

But what we are talking about???

Think of a 1 Mld of euro for few hundred of cars, and for many … consultancy contracts, conferences, advertising, events, lobbying, restructuring, production plants reconversion, relocation and workforce training …

And what about Italy?
Well besides having at Marchionne for the missing investments in electric vehicles (Clini – former Italian Minister for the Environment), identifying in that the reason of the automotive crisis in Italy, the good honourable Tajani, Vice President of the EC, at the same time of the ok for the state subsidy to PSA, focused its efforts to facilitate and support SMEs to get loans from the EIB.

But is there anybody who told him that the Italian SMEs are one of the ruins of this nation? And that rather than financing it should be reinvented basing on models of legality and manageriality?

While countries such as France help the more labor intensive industry that they have, we try to sustain that SMEs which are statistically proven, along with the independent professionals, saving some rare exceptions, such as one of the greatest evils of this nation …

… and yet … we continue to hurt us, but until when?

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  1. Ian Hodgkiss says:

    In my opinion the benefit to manufacturers is the driving force behind the EV movement.
    They can see a market shift toward echo transport and have jumped on the band wagon receiving many Euros to fund research initiatives.
    These initiatives are obviously very lucrative for manufacturers, not only monetarily as involvement will guarantee they get a “green” label accreditation for their efforts.
    However, not so lucrative for purchasers as the initial outlay costs of an EV are not equivalent to fossil fuel vehicles, on top of which there are additional hidden costs of battery maintenance and or rental and of course as the article points out varying costs to recharge all add up to a package that is not very inviting to a customer who has a limited economy.

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