What place for electric cars in Caledonia?

Integrating the electric car into the country’s energy transition plan is the government’s goal. But, for now, the infrastructures that involve this new means of transport are still in the planning stage.

In Caledonia’s car fleet, electric vehicles have been making a timid appearance. In 2021, 62 cars qualified as “clean” were sold, just 1% of the total. Infrastructure such as the regulatory framework is still under study, but the government has a target of 18,500 electric vehicles by 2030.

“The first thing is to support the installation of terminals in different municipalities. Next week we will launch a call for projects of 80 million to install a territorial network throughout New Caledonia, in addition to terminals at home to be integrated into the tax exemption system in the IRPP, but also support for taking over the vehicle, explains Christopher Gygès, member of the government responsible for the energy transition.

This support could take the form of government participation in the repayment of a loan for the purchase of an electric vehicle, up to CHF 15,000. The national government must also be asked to make the ecological bond eligible on Caillou. Ecomobility players support the transition, such as the Synergie cluster, which brings together the information needs of professionals about regulations. “We will have to think about everything that is taxation, implantation of terminals, also having communication in the electric vehicle, and then the arrangements for this massive implantation. explains Angélique Renucci, manager of the energy transition cluster.

It will, therefore, be necessary to organize everything to promote the choice of electric in individuals with the guarantee of being able to recharge the battery almost anywhere. Because autonomy remains the weak point of these cars, 400 km maximum in general, and still with high recharge times. At the same time, and with prices much higher than those of thermal cars, the advantages are numerous.

Our arguments in terms of travel time, in terms of maintenance, (…) it’s soundproofing, it’s flexibility, you accelerate the car and go straight.“says Julien Crépy, commercial director of Autovolt.

Low consumption, reduced maintenance and today’s performance… the promise of a top-of-the-line Chinese model, four-wheel drive, at a price of almost eight million francs a beast, but with breathtaking acceleration, equivalent to a thermal engine of 500 horsepower. From zero to 100 km/h in four seconds, you better anticipate braking! In this brand, we are committed to the specific needs of neo-caledonians with an offer of packages. “When we sell an electric vehicle, we offer an integrated formula to make a thermal vehicle available seven days a year at no additional cost so that the person who has an urban vehicle can occasionally use a thermal vehicle for longer trips.“explains Pierre Krafft, founder of the SLK group.

On the side of French manufacturers, the offer is still moderate. One brand, however, offers a model for 4,600,000 francs, another for just over five million. Only companies have invested in these clean cars, they are better equipped to charge and the brand is waiting for utility models. It’s a small revolution in dealerships, agent training and safety are at the forefront of manufacturer requirements.

This required training all employees on this new vehicle and this new maintenance category…“explains Véronique Dinahet, commercial director of the Ménard automobile group.

The electric vehicle is living its pioneering era in New Caledonia, but the infrastructure should soon see the light of day. The transition will take time because relatively high prices and limited range are hampering the development of electric power transport.

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