Price an electric vehicle right, and they'll beat a path to your door.

That statement was proved in spades by Citroen last week when the French automaker made 200 C-Zero battery-electric vehicles available for 23-month, 20,000 kilometers (about 12,500 miles) leases for the low, low price of 90 euros a month ($112 U.S. at today's exchange rates). The 200 EVs in the program were all gone in 24 hours, reports Technologic Vehicles.

There's a catch, of course. Citroen, along with partner Zilok Auto, runs the car-sharing service Multicity. As best as our French language skills and reading of the unclear English on Technologic Vehicles can make out, in order to lease the vehicle for just 90 euros a month, you have to register your EV with Multicity. Then, each time someone rents your car, you get 40 percent of the amount they pay, and Citroen and Zilok Auto split the rest. Technologic doesn't cite any sources, but says that "Citroen recommend a price of 30 € / day." That seems out of whack with the monthly cost of 90 euros, doesn't it?

In any case, last year, Citroën added the C-Zero to the vehicle rental service and Multicity itself was started in 2011. The C-Zero is the sister vehicle to the Mitsubishi i, which was rated by the EPA to go about 62 miles on a single charge. That model, which debuted as the i-MiEV in Japan in 2009, started sales in the U.S. in late 2011 with a base price of $29,125. Through the first five months of the year, Mitsubishi has sold 300 i vehicles in the U.S., including a monthly-record 85 last month.
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CITROËN DEVELOPS A NEW PEER-TO-PEER CAR HIRE SERVICE ON THE CITROËN MULTICITY WEBSITE
  • CITROËN is the first car brand to launch a peer-to-peer car hire service (carsharing) in Europe, from 21 June.
  • CITROËN is partnering Zilok, the no.1 peer- to-peer car hire site.
  • CITROËN is taking things further by making electric cars affordable for all at €90 a month.
In a changing world, CITROËN is confirming its ambition to be a leading player in sustainable and shared mobility. Responding to new travel needs, the brand today launches a carpooling solution and a peer-to-peer car hire service on the CITROËN MULTICITY mobility website (www.multicity.citroen.fr). This is a first for a car brand in Europe.

Commenting, Xavier Duchemin, director of marketing and mobility projects at CITROËN, said: "Cars are and will continue to be a major means of transport, but automotive access and uses are changing. By enabling customers to hire their car out to other individuals, CITROËN is helping them to recoup on the running costs of their vehicle and bringing the public a new mobility service". To develop the new service, CITROËN is working together with Zilok, a pioneer in collaborative consumption, with the support of Marc Simoncini, a specialist in innovative economic models on the web.

To speed up the development of peer-to-peer car hire, the brand is taking things further by making its electric C-ZERO available for just €90 a month with no money down through a long-term rental contract of 20,000 km and 23 months (CITROËN takes the car back at the end of the contact). This original, simple and powerful offer gives those customers who want to the chance to rent their car out to other individuals via CITROËN MULTICITY and become ambassadors of electric vehicle sharing. The brand's is a revolutionary approach that makes electric cars available to the greatest number!

A few figures
  • Cars remain the number-one means of transport for local trips. A full 68% of local trips are made in cars, with an average in-car time of 50 minutes a day.
  • 47% of French people say carsharing has a promising future.
  • 28% of French people say they would be willing to buy an electric car.

(Sources: CREDOC, TNS Sofres, Frost&Sullivan; scope: France)