Renault says calls for Zoe EV information have spiked amid strikes.
By: Danny King
Those "If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home" billboards you've seen while sitting in a traffic jam on some forsaken freeway? Renault's sort of doing that in France with a new advertising campaign for its Zoe electric vehicle. And it's not the only one.
Renault is using France's fuel shortage to try and increase Zoe sales, and for good reason, CNN Money says. With new labor laws being put into place, lots of people are striking, which has cut fuel production and left a lot of gas station in France dry.
With that in mind, Renault has taken to Facebook, Twitter, and other sources to tell the world how much better life is driving an electric vehicle during a gas crunch. One Tweet, embedded below, says something like, "In France, we don't have a lot of oil, but we do have the Zoe." Citroen, Kia, and Volvo are all taking a similar approach. Since the strikes have started, Renault says the number of calls it gets for information on the Zoe have spiked 50 percent.
Last year, almost 65,000 electric vehicles and hybrids were sold in France, which is about three percent of total new-vehicle sales.
With the impact of France's fuel shortage potentially boosting EV sales, it remains to be seen whether a similar price spike in gas will have the same impact on EV sales stateside. AAA says gas prices are currently $2.32, up about 11 cents a gallon from a month ago but down about 40 cents a gallon from this time last year, according to AAA. Meanwhile, through April, plug-in vehicle sales up about 11 percent from a year earlier to about 33,000 units (May's green-car sales will be out soon).
As for the French, they're no strangers to wreaking havoc on the transportation system in the name of labor. Earlier this year, about 1,200 taxi drivers in France protested in Paris over the growth of ride-hailing service Uber, and started setting bonfires. Those people could sure use that fuel today.