It has been a while since I had the idea of comparing the (in my opinion) best two approaches up-to-now to the electrical car market: Renault vs. BMW.
With the most of the big cities in the world with aims of promoting green cars, car-charging stations, and different ways of mobility, (refer to my post yesterday on Smart Cities ), electric cars can take a stand. The future is challenging even that most people consider electrical cars would not be competitive until 2020 (estimation) with massive investment required for developping batteries and reducing car weight in design.
Let us consider first the Renault-ze approach, which is much more pragmatical and more market oriented than BMW. The group is challenging, right now when we speak, the development of four different cars (some already in the market like the funky Twizzy and the forthcoming Zoe, which I consider unless any change the next big thing in electric car: a totally price competitive small car). The four models are in most top selling segments. See below Renault Zoe.
Renault has done a lot effort in design and construction of these cars, increase alluminium on chassis, implement the possibility of leasing batteries, to say an effort on a down-to-earth market arrival. Though Renault has some initiatives in ecology on corporate company vision ( see Renault ECO2 initiatives), we miss the dreaming and visionary concept of changing the world that has impressed me from BMW.
BMW on the totally contrary is presenting a visionary concept of eco-motion, with the new electric series i3 and i8, a medium car i3 and sports car i8. With a whole integral chassis of carbon fiber, combined with an alluminium axle. They use recycled materials in the interiors. Even the manufacturing processes will be done with renewable electric energy, minimizing water consumption in manufacturing (they guarantee with these cars -30% of CO2 emissions overall life vehicle process). BMW want to make us dream on green even that these two cars will come probably to the market in 2014 and we still need to see how many. (BMW i3 below)
The idea is complemented by mobility services, proposals of car sharing, etc… redefining the concept of mobility in the cities based on sustainibility (environmental, social and economical). Basically all we love to listen. BMW is full marketing. For example, they are cooperating with Schneider Electric and The mobility House for providing charging points at customer houses. (For more details please check Bmw-i )
In reality the race will be won by the car manufacturer that alligns manufacturing electric cars, but supporting all initiatives and creating an environment that makes sustainibility with electrical cars possible.
At the moment my personal opinion is that maybe Renault will make more profit on this but BMW has won the dream- for- a- better- world public opinion. Renault is a “let’s kick it” compared to BMW “yes we can (someday)”.