Electric cars are only for ‘green addicts’ says Peugeot boss
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Electric cars are only bought by “green addicts” and aren’t attractive enough to regular buyers, according to the chairman of France’s largest carmaker.
Carlos Tavares, head of the PSA Group responsible for Peugeot, Citroen and DS, says electric vehicles still lack mainstream appeal.
Speaking to reporters from a number of outlets including Reuters following the cancelled Geneva motor show, Tavares said manufacturers must work on making electric cars affordable.
The former Renault leader said “demand collapses” when governments end subsidies for electric cars, which aren’t attractive enough to pragmatists.
Sales of electric vehicles in major markets such as China and the UK fell when governments turned the tap off generous subsidies. While growing steadily, electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles represent less than 1 per cent of car sales in Australia, where there are minimal incentives to choose battery-powered vehicles.
Tavares’ views clash with the heads of major manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen, which are investing heavily in electric technology.
Ola Källenius, Daimler chair and boss of Mercedes-Benz cars, says his company will double production of plug-in hybrid vehicles in 2020 and push to expand its “EQ” family of electric cars.
But Tavares isn’t alone. BMW board member Klaus Frölich told reporters in June 2019 that the shift to electrification is overhyped, and that a government push for electric cars outstripped consumer demand.
“There are no customer requests for BEVs. None,” he told Forbes.com.