Second generation electric cars solve two problems

Second generation electric cars solve two problems
Nissan IDS concept

Today, Nissan held a conference about Intelligent Mobility at Lisbon, Portugal. In this conference, Gareth Dunsmore, the Director of Electric Vehicles at Nissan Europe, quoted a recent survey made by Nissan. This survey concluded that 76 % of millennials (aged 18 to 34) consider “driving an eco-friendly car as the best choice to make their lives more environmentally friendly”. But while millennials have the will, they haven’t the money to make the change, yet.


Nissan millennials survey
Nissan millennials survey


Dunsmore said that the biggest obstacle pointed by millennials to buy an electric car is price. But this will change with the arrival of second generation electric cars, since then more first generation electric cars will enter the used car market. Most millennials are driving used cars anyway, so they better be electric.

Next year many electric car models will get a battery upgrade, a facelift or a completely new generation. Some electric pioneers might consider their current electric cars obsolete, but millennials will gladly buy them.

If you live in France you can already buy an used Citroen C-Zero or a Peugeot iOn for less than 7.000 €. While in Portugal it’s a bit more expensive since some of these used electric cars are imported from France and Spain and sold for 11.000 € or more.


Peugeot iOn and Citroen C-Zero
Peugeot iOn and Citroen C-Zero


These electric twins are a great and cheap way to enter into the electric mobility. At least until the price of new electric cars gets closer to what we have now in ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) cars. We might get there in 2020…


To sum up, I agree with Dunsmore’s conclusion. While second generation electric cars will solve the range problem and many pioneers will buy them, those who are waiting for more affordable electric cars will haply buy used first generation electric cars that will be much cheaper.


What do you think? Will the upcoming second generation help electric cars go mainstream? Are you interested in used electric cars? Or do you prefer to pay more for the latest technology?



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Eduardo Francisco
3 years ago

I think your assumption of buying used electric cars is wrong! Honestly, most millennials can only afford one car, even when in couple situations, and I think the priorities with that one vehicle are:
1 – Cheap to buy and run
2 – Ability to go anywhere
3 – Having some storage capability

The first gen electric cars struggle to meet those requirements, even if they become cheaper to buy.

Also, the public perception related to BEVs batteries are that they age considerable with usage, which I think will result in a very limited demand for used electric cars.

On the other hand, I think that a lot of millennials will choose and electric vehicle when the time comes to buy a second car, or to change the one that they have. So, still a bright future ahead for EVs.

3 years ago

Let’s see the example of Peugeot iOn and Citroen C-Zero.

1 – they already are and will be even more
2 – they will, now that the public charging network is improving
3 – the back seats fold flat and there’s plenty of space when needed

Eduardo Francisco
3 years ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

1 – They are not cheap to buy when compared to ICE cars (used Peugeot 107 is half the price with same age and kms).

2 – There aren’t public chargers everywhere. Every trip further than 100 km needs a lot of planning (compared to ICE), and takes much more time.

3 – I’m sorry but the Peugeot iOn (C-Zero or iMiev) are not practical! Specially for millennials who need do-it-all cars, as I refered.

And I’m not saying that eletric cars aren’t interesting, just that your premise was that millennials will buy used electric cars. I’m just saying that first gen EVs are too much of a compromise for millennials.

3 years ago

I do agree they aren’t now. But they’ll be when second generation electric cars arrive.

When second generation electric cars arrive the charging network will be a lot better and used first generation electric cars will be a lot cheaper. If iOn and C-Zero cost 7.000 € now in France, imagine when the 400 km NEDC Zoe starts deliveries in just a couple of months from now.

Range will be less of a worry when we have a fast charger in almost every city.

You might be thinking of Portugal’s case where used cars are overpriced and the charging network still sucks, but Europe is much bigger than that.

Another great reason for millennials adopt electric cars is free charging at commercial areas, such as Auchan, Lidl, Ikea or McDonald’s for example. This is already a reality in some European countries.

If you’re not convinced by now, I give up ehehe.