Europe has taken a commanding lead in the electric vehicle market for 2015. With a larger selection of plug-in hybrids like the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and Audi A3 e-tron, consumers have options American consumers can only hope will arrive one day on U.S. shores, and it makes sense. Europeans are showing a much stronger taste for PHEVs than consumers on this side of the Atlantic.
Pure EVs are also selling better in the euro zone this year. Whether it is the lack of available products outside California or the slow-growing infrastructure, sales in the U.S. have plateaued in 2015, even as EV prices have become competitive with gasoline counterparts. Europeans have not have had such issues.
Part of the continent’s advantages involves its choices. Like plug-in hybrids, there are several EVs we won’t see anytime soon. Here are three electric vehicles many would want but can’t have in America.
1. Renault ZOE
The Renault ZOE is one of the best-selling electric vehicles in the world, but American consumers won’t see it (or any other Renault, for that matter) at a local auto mall. Featuring a range of 121 miles on the European cycle (71 to 105 miles in real-world driving), the ZOE right away would have one of the longest ranges of any EV zipping down U.S. roads. The next update will feature even better range, too. With an equivalent starting price around $21,000, we’d venture to guess it would be a hit on this side of the Atlantic.
2. Nissan e-NV200
Need utility in an electric vehicle? Too bad. U.S. consumers have about zero options on this front, whether you want a plug-in hybrid or a zero-emissions EV. The Nissan e-NV200 is the latter, a pure electric passenger van with a cargo van option. Capable of 105 miles driving range on the European cycle, it offers a boatload of usefulness for carpooling, transporting goods, and other everyday needs, commercial or personal. In fact, it’s so useful and rider-friendly that the gasoline model will become “the Taxi of Tomorrow” in New York City. What a shame it wasn’t the electric edition.
3. Bolloré Bluesummer
Chances are the words “Bolloré” and “Bluesummer” mean little (if anything) to you, but you can think of this Italian-made ride from a French billionaire’s company as an electric Suzuki Samurai (another name that may mean nothing to you). It seats four, delivers the open-air jeep effect, and can travel up to 124 miles in city driving on the European cycle. A standard two-door city coupe rents in Paris for about 20 cents a minute through a car-sharing program and runs consumers about $20,000 new, so we’d expect this little guy to be a budget hit in California. Alas, we won’t get the chance anytime soon.