Ecoplanet | These alpine people bought an electric car: “We couldn’t live without it”

Mobile phones, appliances, heating … Electricity occupies a central place in our daily lives. And if the car, equipped with a combustion engine, was somehow an exception, maybe this will not be the case for a long time. Because the development of the electric vehicle has been spectacular in recent years. In France, 162,106 electric cars were sold in 2021, compared to just 2,662 in 2011, according to the site. Automotive-Cleaning. If last year this represented “only” 10% of the total number of cars registered nationwide, this market share will increase very sharply in the coming years.

In addition, electric sirens have already seduced the people of the Low Alps, motivated by different reasons: absence of noise and greenhouse gas emissions, lower cost of use, driving comfort, etc. ”.We wanted to innovate and diversify to complete our diesel“says Christian Boniteau, a Bayons resident north of Sisteron.

“Except tires, € 0 maintenance in 4 years and 50,000 km”

The 250 km range of their Nissan Leaf, bought new for 32,000 euros (not counting the state bonus of 6,000 euros) four years ago, allows them to make the weekly return to Sisteron or make a gap. “If we go to Aix-en-Provence, we lose about thirty kilometers on the way back. So we have to load in a semi-fast terminal in Sisteron but it is expensive“. Count on 10 euros for a partial recharge that only allows them to join the Bayons.

An electric Peugeot Partner appeared five years ago at the Mas des Quintrands hotel in Manosque. “We have very special working conditionsexplains Hervé Graff, the owner with Aurore. We needed a cart to clean the rooms but we have no shelter. So we thought about using the thermal car. But we quickly realized that stopping every 5 meters hurts“.

So the choice of electricity seemed obvious. Mainly because the electric charge costs almost nothing and the terminals are now everywhere. “In the beginning there were free express terminals in the car parks of certain supermarkets. In 20 or 25 minutes we reach 80% charge because we have a small battery with a range of 100 km. Today it costs us about 4 euros per 100 kilometers“, against a dozen euros for a Thermal Partner.

The cost of use, which is much lower in terms of fuel, is also significantly lower in terms of maintenance. No more oil changes and other expensive repairs. While a car with a combustion engine has an average of 250 parts, an electric car has less than 50. Thanks to this important factor, the family of Christian Boniteau and Hervé Graff simply had no expenses. “We have changedIt’s a one-time tire in four years and 50,000 milesChristian Boniteau points out.We spent zero euros for four years and 28,000 miles“, confirms Hervé Graff.

Savings are also what guided the choice of Rémi Scillano when he bought a Skoda Enyaq last January. The 34-year-old entrepreneur is, however, a great motorcyclist as he lives in Vachères and travels every day to support his internet agency located … in Aubagne. This means a minimum of 240 kilometers per day for an average range of 400 km. “There is a public terminal just behind my company headquarters. I bought a card for 12 euros which gives me access to a charge of 5 cents per minute. I am very predictable. As soon as I get to a place, I charge. The same thing when I get home, I immediately connect to my terminal, is the cheapest. Thanks to my mobile app, I always make sure I have an 80% battery and turn on the remote heating before boarding the vehicle. It’s another wayyou drive, you wait much longer. These are habits to take“.

In the end, the monthly savings compared to your previous thermal vehicle are hard to believe: “500 euros“Only in fuel. A profit necessarily reduced by the purchase price of the vehicle (45,000 euros excluding a bonus of 6,000 euros from the state), a little more expensive than a thermal car but which would still be very profitable.”I have no regrets at all“It’s very difficult to find a user who regrets his choice of electricity,” says the young father.

With the three families interviewed, this technology is unanimous. And in addition to the economic aspect, driving comfort is an argument that appears constantly. “It is more flexible and enjoyable“, believes Rémi Scillano.”Once you’ve tasted electricity, it’s hard to live without it. We drive in a completely different way, in a less aggressive way“Hervé Graff admits.”It is day and night with the thermal. It is an exceptional, easy and intelligent driving. And when you press the pedal, you get an immediate response“explains Christian Boniteau. It’s hard to be more convincing …

Maxime Fontanier, independent specialist journalist: “Today, the electric vehicle is the most efficient”

The enthusiast and specialist is convinced by electrical technology.Photo @ dan.latif

When we think about buying an electric vehicle, we go almost mechanically through the box Youtube to see driving tests of different models. Then it is impossible to miss the tests performed by Maxime Fontanier. The freelance journalist for twenty years, who collaborates especially for the specialized magazine Auto Moto and the website Clean Automotive knows the technology at hand and explains it to as many people as possible in videos that systematically add up to hundreds of thousands of views. “I try almost every new electric carannounces. People need to have a lot of information“.

Thanks to this passion “for everything that rolls“The father who lives in the Paris region has great knowledge and perspective on the development of this new type of vehicle that came on the market with the Renault Zoé almost ten years ago but is taking a particular scale. years. ”An electric car is closer to a cell phone than a traditional carpoints out. It must be understood in its use and architecture. There are far fewer parts than in a thermal carOther advantages: no more gear levers, oil changes and, of course, going to the gas pump. But you still have to find a terminal to recharge your vehicle. And on this point, the specialist assures you : “.The network is quite large“The cost of use is also much cheaper. Count about 2.50 euros to cover 100 kilometers with a Peugeot e-208, compared to ten euros for its thermal sister.”My job is to say what is good or badremembers Maxime Fontanier. And there are a lot more positive things about electricity compared to thermal, and yet I love thermal. Today, the electric vehicle is more efficient, easier to use, healthier for the planet, offers better comfort and no noise. You may be wondering why we didn’t do it before“.

There is a big black spot that cools the ardor of many French people who want to take the plunge: the price. Despite the bonus currently granted by the state for the acquisition of new vehicles from less than 45,000 euros to 6,000 euros, the investment to be made is often too large. “Even if technology wins me over, I don’t drive electrically, regrets the specialist journalist. The price is totally crazy“The Telsa Model 3, the least expensive of the American brand, is presented at no less than 50,000 euros … For French women, the entry Peugeot e-208 is replaced by about 30,000 euros “It’s mostly the cost of production, which is mainly related to huge batteries. However, the electric car could become affordable for all revenue levels in no time.”Prices will necessarily be bthrough economies of scale in less than five yearssays Nicolas Fontanier. And the arrival of the Chinese vehicle market will also contribute.“.

To lower alpine retailers: “30% of our sales are electric”

In the face of the American giant Telsa, most traditional vehicle manufacturers are trying to position themselves in the electric market. For the Peugeot dealer in Manosque, the change was quick. Because currently, 30% of the cars sold by the brand in the city of Giono are electric or hybrid. “With rising fuel prices, everyone has come to us saying they need an electric car“During the March open days in March, 15 new cars were sold, including 11 with an electric or hybrid engine,” explains Dimitri Jourdain.In Manosque we have a strong increase in demand since January“, adds the manager who offers the e-208 and its range of 360 km from 30,000 euros. A price, from which must be taken 6,000 euros of state aid, among the lowest in the market for an electric vehicle in this range “.And with 137 horsepower, it’s almost a GTI“says Dimitri Jourdain.

Mercedes, the German high-end brand, is perhaps a little behind its French competitor in the electricity market. “It’s not the bulk of our market, but we can feel that there has been demand a short month and rising fuel prices. There are a lot of people who are sensitive to the environment“observes Vincent Guillois, the director of the Mercedes network of Gap, Sisteron and Manosque. The German brand still offers several models including QA around 45 to 50,000 euros.”We are a bit more expensive than our competitors while maintaining our usual high rangeVincent Guillois continues.

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