A number of recent strikes in France have done damage (presumably, temporary damage) to the country’s oil industry, and caused a number of gas and diesel shortages. These recent fuel-availability disruptions have apparently driven increased interest in electric vehicles — interesting, if unsurprising.
A number of prominent auto manufacturers have also begun using the disruptions as a sales opportunity for their electric offerings — with new advertising campaigns making direct mention of the availability problems.
This tweet from Citroen pushing its electric vehicles is a good example (which reads: “Fed up with queuing? Here’s a solution”):
Another one posted by Renault stated bluntly: “In France, we don’t have any more petrol but we do have Zoe.”
Green Car Reports provides more:
The campaign led to a 50% increase in calls from consumers for information about the Zoe, Renault said. The Zoe was the best-selling electric car in Europe in 2015, but this year it’s faced stiffer competition from the Nissan Leaf, made by Renault’s Japanese alliance partner.
…Strikes at oil refineries that are affecting fuel production were called last week in response to new labor laws that reportedly make it easier for employers to fire workers, and reduce overtime pay. Workers in the nuclear-power industry and public transportation are also striking to protest the new laws.
The legislation was enacted earlier this month in a move that bypassed the French parliament; officials say the changes will make France a more attractive place for businesses, and boost economic growth. Labor unions are demanding the withdrawal of the new rules, and are threatening further strikes.
Notably, the government of France also currently offers substantial incentives to electric vehicle buyers — another selling point after initial interest is stoked by the fuel-shortage situation.