Auto industry

Published on August 7th, 2012 | by Jo Borrás

Need a Gas Guzzler? Get a Tiny EV!

August 7th, 2012 by  

You hear it again and again whenever you hear someone try to justify the massive new gas-guzzler they’ve just parked in their driveway. “I’d love to get something more green, but I need a big car/truck/SUV for my kids/dogs/towing.” Throw in a little petulant whine on the “need” and I’m sure it’ll seem immediately familiar. Oh, if only one of those little plug-in electric cars – you know, the ones that have enough range and trunk space to be able to handle a huge majority of our driving needs – would come free with that big gas-guzzler!

Now, one does!

Renault (the other half of Nissan-Renault, for you American readers) is offering a free Renault Twizy electric car to customers who pick an Espace MPV. The Espace is Europe’s most popular people/cargo-hauler, and fills the role that many SUVs do in the US, serving as family haulers and giving their owners an “active-lifestyle” image. Renault management hopes a move like this will not only help move Espaces, but also show traditional large-car buyers just how practical and money-saving an EV for running errands can be.

Keep in mind, Europe has much higher gas prices than the US (where oil and gasoline are heavily-subsidized) so the fun little Twizy should have no trouble convincing Espace owners to give it a shot, at least!

No word yet on whether something similar will be planned at the company’s US Nissan dealers, but here’s hoping someone has enough sense to give it a try Stateside!

Source: Green Car Reports.

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About the Author

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.

  • Tracy

    It’s a misconception that oil and gas subsidies are the reason gas prices are lower in the U.S. European gas taxes are the real reason: “the price of the raw gas is about the same as the U.S., but Europe taxes gasoline at a higher rate” -

    Of course you could say that low U.S. gas taxes are in effect a subsidy for automobiles and oil, which we end up paying for elsewhere, in polluted air, sprawl, traffic and general highway and transportation spending funded through other means than gas taxes, etc.

    Cool idea from Renault in any case! – though I’d be more excited by a more capable, Aptera style vehicle paired with an SUV type people, dog, kid, boat hauler myself.

    • You’re 100% wrong. I’ve got links for my math in the article and scattered throughout this site. Show yours. As for US gas taxes being a subsidy for automobiles and oil, that makes no sense. How does making something more expensive (by taxing it) encourage more spending on the items that use whatever you’re taxing? Come on – you’re a teabagger bot, right? Just admit it. 😉

  • Tracy

    Wow, a little hostile there, huh? Even though we’re coming from pretty much the same place. I promise I’m really not your enemy. We’ll never get anywhere if we attack each other like this instead of trying to understand each other and come to agreement on a good way forward.
    No argument with you that oil and gas are subsidized in the U.S – that’s obviously true. As for gas taxes being a subsidy, they are effectively a subsidy when compared to the much higher level of gas taxes in Europe, and because U.S. gas taxes do not begin to pay for what it costs to build and maintain transportation infrastructure, or make up for the environmental and health effects of burning gas. And, by the way, I would support a much higher level of gas taxes here, to better reflect the these true costs, and to discourage gasoline use.
    And, I’m also a gearhead that loves gas engines. And electric ones 🙂
    I’m certainly not tea party, but even if I were, how does attacking people help anything?
    Sincerely, “100% wrong”

    • Your statement “As for gas taxes being a subsidy, they are effectively a subsidy when compared to the much higher level of gas taxes in Europe, and because U.S. gas taxes do not begin to pay for what it costs to build and maintain transportation infrastructure, or make up for the environmental and health effects of burning gas.” doesn’t make any sense. You’re effectively saying that a tax = a subsidy, so so either you don’t understand subsidies or you don’t understand taxes. Like, at all.

      As for attacking people, telling you that 2+2 doesn’t equal 5 is hardly an attack. You shouldn’t take facts, even those that are contrary to your preferred definitions of whatever you think are “taxes” and “subsidies” as personal attacks. You can be my friend and still be dead-nuts wrong.

      Finally, we need to be 100% on-point if we’re going to beat the teatards. No lies. No misconceptions. No baloney “this tax is effectively a subsidy” nonsense that you don’t understand. It makes us all look bad, which is how attacking your incorrect statements (not you) helps the cause.

      If you honestly can’t tell the difference between your self and your ideas/comments, you may have some growing up to do. Thus endeth the lesson.

  • Tracy

    Good luck on changing people’s minds with that attitude, Jo. But sincerely, all the best to you.

    • Per your advice: I’ll remember to never tell people they’re wrong while trying to change their minds. Solid plan, champ!

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  • David

    This is all crap we are all getting fucked over from our governments
    Which ever country we are from.
    they tax the oil and fuel so we are paying out of our asses for it
    At the end of the day ,if we want to do some thing about it
    then we all need to stop using are car for a least 4 weeks, take the bus tube
    Cycling to work walking getting your grocearys delivered .
    Then you will see the back up of fuel coming in to the country
    As demand crumbles then the capitalist will have no choice but to drop
    The prices same with the governments with there fucking duty .
    Together we stand divided we fall unfortunately we are all divided.
    So lets all shut the fuck up bend over and take it from behind and say thank you, because that’s what the general public deserve, and the governments know this and they creep it up little by little lol

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