Car buyers continue to shun full-electric cars, Jaguar Land Rover Boss Ralf Speth has recently alleged. “Customers are not impressed with it currently,” he stated, but went on to say that that could change with the next generation of battery technology. As Tesla have shown though, car manufacturers are certainly not giving up.
One company that is persevering is PSA/Peugeot-Citroen who have announced that they will build the Bollore Bluesummer convertible electric car at a factory in Rennes, Western France. Production will begin, they say, in September with a maximum annual production of 3,500 vehicles although they have not indicated when the vehicle will go on sale or which markets it is aimed at, so beach buggy enthusiasts shouldn’t get their hopes up just yet.
Vincent Bollore, who heads the eponymous industrial group that has developed the Bluesummer, has previously talked about the vehicle as a “beach car” in the vein of the good old Citroen Mehari, (below) a light utility runaround made by the French company for twenty years from 1968. M. Bollore told a French radio station that the Bluesummer would cost less than 20,000 Euros and it will be sold through Citroen dealerships. The EV is said to have a range of around 120 miles.
The deal with PSA complements one signed by Bollore in 2014 with Renault to produce the Bluecar model at a Renault plant in Dieppe, northern France. The Bluecar is becoming a common sight in Paris under the ‘Autolib’ self-service electric car hire programme, and similar systems have been launched in other countries.
Bollore created the Bluecar to prove the efficacy of their solid-state Lithium-Metal-Polymer batteries apparently although much of the car industry is concentrating on the lithium-ion alternative. Either way, the concept of registered self-drive city hire seems to be an emission-free solution to our city pollution woes. Whether or not the Bluesummer fits the bill remains to be seen as does it’s suitability for the surfing fraternity given the shocking proximity of sea water. Still fancy one though.