Driving in France: Readers’ views on switching to electric

Most people are happy with their electric cars but charging is still a problem for some readers

One issue for a number of readers is the difficulty to charge an electric car in public
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One key plank of France’s bid to reduce its carbon emissions is pushing people to switch to electric vehicles.

On Thursday (July 20), as new data showed a surge in electric car sales, we looked at whether now was a good moment to change.

As part of this, we asked for your opinion, both people that had bought electric and those considering it.

The responses we received were almost all positive, with many highlighting the benefits of the vehicles.

One sticking point that remains, however, is with charging the vehicles – reader feedback on this point painted a more varied picture than the general praise the cars were given.

Read more: Navigating electric car challenges in France

‘Delighted with it’

Reader D.H. started leasing an electric car last August and has high praise.

“We are delighted with it,” he said, adding that even with charging the vehicle his family’s electricity bills “are lower than before”.

“Our normal motoring consists of the weekly shop, hypermarkets, Mondeville and the beach, for which a range of 150 kilometres is more than adequate,” he added.

His family still has a motor vehicle “for longer trips” but they “rarely use it” except for holidays.

Other readers such as A.D. agree about the practical use of an electric vehicle for everyday life.

“I do not use my car often which makes it very economical and works out cheaper than my old diesel car,” he said, indicating the vehicles can save money on top of helping with the environment.

Finally, D.W. confirmed his choice was a good one.

“Are we happy with our decision to go electric? Yes,” he said.

Read more: Driving in France: Is it time to switch to an electric car?

Charging remains a problem

Despite the general praise, one sticking point is charging vehicles in public.

Generally, charging at home is not a problem, but when outside on longer journeys things can become difficult.

R.N. confirmed this, saying “I don't find charging a problem having had a home charger installed, what is more problematic is [charging your car in public].”

Although there is currently a drive to increase electric charging infrastructure, the current system can be difficult even for seasoned electric car owners to understand.

“Charging systems do seem complicated in that, you have to be a member of a particular club to use certain chargers,” said D.H.

This sentiment is also shared by D.W., who says ‘several long journeys have been made complicated,” by the lack of charging stations.

His solution, however, is to use apps like PlugShare to hunt down nearby chargers you are eligible to use.

Slowly but surely, things seem to be changing, however.

“Around my area, there are now more public chargers appearing all the time too,” added A.D.

Service stations also have “many high-speed chargers,” for electric vehicles now, meaning even if the car’s range is not very long, the opportunities to top up on the motorways are frequent.

Only one reader, J.B., gave a wholly negative opinion on electric vehicles.

Amongst the cars’ problems, she cited “Rapid loss of value, short range, reducing battery life, fire risk,” as her main concerns.

Your view

Do you agree with the opinions given above? Have they made you consider – or turn away from further – electric cars?

Let us know your view over at news@connexionfrance.com. Thank you!

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