Renault gives residents of French village free cars to help bust myths about electric vehicles

A new experiment by the French manufacturer aims to show non-fossil-fuel mobility really is an OK option

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Renault has set out to prove battery power is the way forward when it comes to vehicular propulsion by loaning every household in a French village an electric vehicle.

Residents in the remote town of Appy, in the Ariege region of France, will be given the manufacturer's Zoe model to zip around in for three years in a new scheme that is geared towards proving non-fossil fuel mobility is suitable for all.

The key to the experiment is the town's remoteness – Renault points out that the place in question is one of the most isolated towns in the country. However, the manufacturer says this will not be a problem as the Zoe has a claimed range of 394 kilometres.

“Appy residents will run the Zoes for three years, sharing their impressions and experiences with Renault, in a first-time scheme that will likely inform and help understand the way customers interact with and use electric vehicles day to day,” Renault said.

“If the inhabitants of one of the country’s most isolated towns can adopt an electric way of life, it’ll prove that everyone can. That also means the myths around buying and running an electric car can be dispelled once and for all.”

The Zoe was recently given an upgrade which resulted in a new look as well as increased power and range.

It's nippy by small-car standards, too, with its 100kW electric motor getting the vehicle to 100 kilometres per hour from a standing start in under 10 seconds.

The town gets a public charger, but residents will be supplied with a wallbox to do the job in their own homes, too.