La Blue Car – France's Hope for an Electric Car: Nipped in the Bud
You’ll remember in a past post I raved about La Blue Car prototype: Designed by a Frenchmen, built in partnership with the company Bolloré? Its projected date for commercial production was January 2009.
Don’t bother looking for it. If you caught a glimpse of La Blue Car at the Geneva auto show, consider yourself lucky. According to everything that I read about its design, the builders had resolved many of the issues – such as speed, it has good pick up. The battery is one that can be recharged quickly and of course the cost for running this car is peanuts.
So why did the commercial production get canceled? There you’ve got me.
Excuse me if I rant here. But clearly this was a golden opportunity to get the first fully electric car on the road, built and designed in France. It was the ideal moment to show that France could be a LEADER in new energy sources and application rather than a FOOTDRAGGER.
In fact President Sarkozy highlighted in his campaign issues the importance of producing alternative energy in France.
What will happen to the Blue Car? Its design will be acquired by an Italian company and retooled to create a car – that naturally will not be electric – or anything like the Blue Car. How sad, here’s a country that could produce an electric car as early as 1899 (Jamais Contente) and, in the 21st century, the French government has not seen fit to subsidize electric car production on French soil. Why must France wait for Toyota or BMW to be the first electric car on the block when they already have the prototype sitting in the garage?
Call me a pessimist, but I had heard rumors that plans for electric cars have been available since the 1970s (when we suffered through the first oil crisis). I suppose that if I were in the oil business, knowing that electric cars might eventually do away with the need for gasoline for cars – I would strongly discourage anyone from putting an electric car on the road.
Starting a new business is always a gamble and needs money to get started. It would be a lot easier to come up with a great idea for an electric car that really works and hope that you might get paid a hefty some to shelve the plan – forever.
Le Figaro recently reported that BMW is expected to come out with a new hybrid. One thing is certain. You can be sure that the people who really can’t afford to pay the prices at the gas pumps will not be the first ones to drive out of car dealerships in their new BMW. Few new jobs will be created for French people if the Toyota and BMW capture the electric car market first.
Il faut se reveiller! Time to wake up! The days may be getting longer as springtime approaches, but the time grows shorter for France to stride out in front.
If a government sincerely wants to make electric car production a priority for energy conservation, any company that comes up with an electric car patent such as La Blue Car should be obliged (if they fail to come up with the means to put the car into production) to put the production design into public access. Just about every French family has a ‘bricoleur’ or a putterer who could start building their own cars. Why not? Scrap the whole concept of assembly line and make your cars at home. Just an idea.