Fact-checking claims about electric car cemeteries in Paris

Memes about electric car graveyards in France have been circulating for years. The most recent example actually comes from China.

For years, memes and photos have circulated around the internet purporting to show hundreds of electric vehicles abandoned in Paris

A meme says: “France: They bought electric cars for civil servants, but it was too expensive to replace the batteries. After that nobody wanted the cars anymore. Now they are there.”

A tweet with the meme has been retweeted more than 8,000 times and has over 24,000 likes.

A Facebook post which has been shared more than 700 times, shows various images with a long caption stating that the “Boneyard” for electric vehicles exists in Paris because there is no way to dispose of batteries from electric vehicles that need to be replaced and the city cannot afford to pay for replacement batteries.

IMAGE 1

Does this meme show abandoned electric vehicles in France?

THE SOURCES

ANSWER 1

That's wrong.

No, this meme doesn’t show an electric car graveyard in France. The photo was taken in China.

WHAT WE FOUND

Using RevEye, a reverse image search engine, VERIFY tracked the types of vehicles featured in the images Chinese website Baidu. The same vehicle type and green logo seen in the meme also appears in the website’s images.

According to the website, which was written in Chinese and translated using Google Translate, there was a storage yard with 3,000 “obsolete” energy-efficient vehicles on the Qiantang River in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China. According to the South China Morning Postthe property was rented out to store the vehicles.

Satellite imagery from Zoom Earth included in the Baidu article shows the bin filled with vehicles, but VERIFY could not confirm the date the images were taken.

VERIFY on October 14th Google Earth used to find the same place and the same large lot, but the vehicles were gone.

An article from India Times website satellite images of the abandoned vehicles said the cars once belonged to the Chinese company Microcity, which went out of business.

So we can VERIFY that this meme does not show abandoned electric vehicles in Paris, nor is there any evidence that the vehicles were ever delivered to public officials.

It is not the first time such claims have been made.

PICTURE 2

Do these photos show a “graveyard” of electric vehicles in Paris that have been abandoned due to battery problems?

I shared this earlier. FB deleted it. This is a cemetery near Paris, France, with hundreds of electric cars…

Written by Paul E Parker on Sunday, May 16, 2021

THE SOURCES

ANSWER #2

That's wrong.

No, while the electric vehicles were parked in Paris, there is no evidence they were abandoned due to battery problems. VERIFY wrote about these images in June 2021.

WHAT WE FOUND

The cars pictured in the Facebook post are part of a fleet run by Autolib, an electric car ridesharing company that operated from 2011 to 2018. The company’s slogan can be seen on the side of the vehicles.

Autolib cars were launched back in 2011 and were part of a partnership between the city of Paris and a transport company called “Bolloré”.

In 2016, the deal with the city began to fall through after Autolib’s parent company reported a €179.3 million (about $174 million) deficit and the city decided not to renew the contract. according to a press release from the city of Paris.

In July 2018, the city officially announced on Twitter that the ridesharing program would no longer be available.

The original photos shared again were first posted on Vega Gex Facebook page in March 2021a French site with content on electric vehicles.

According to a report by Actu Pariswho shared Vega Gex’s Facebook post, the parked vehicles were eventually either put into storage or sold.

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https://www.kvue.com/article/news/verify/electric-vehicles-verify/fact-checking-images-claiming-to-show-abandoned-electric-vehicles-in-france/536-7cf539e1-6bb0-4c4e-957b-170f367341df Fact-checking claims about electric car cemeteries in Paris

Laura Coffey

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