FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show An ‘Electric Car Cemetery’ In France?
An image shared on Facebook over 2,800 times purportedly shows an “electric car cemetery” in France.
The image shows abandoned electric cars in China, not France.
The viral image shows what appears to be hundreds of the same, small car abandoned in a grassy field. “Electric car cemetery in France,” reads the image’s caption. “Turns out no one wants to buy an electric car once the battery is shot.”
The image was not, however, taken in France. Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found similar photos featured in an April 2019 article published by Shanghaiist with the headline: “LOOK: Hundreds of electric cars rust away at ‘shared car graveyard’ in Hangzhou.”
The article explained the cars belonged to Microcity, a Chinese electric car rental company. Microcity reportedly claimed the cars were still in use despite users saying they were unable to locate nearby vehicles through the app, Abacus reported in March 2019. (RELATED: Did Ocasio-Cortez Tweet About Electric Cars During Hurricane Dorian?)
The same images were shared on the Chinese news website NetEase News with captions that also identify the location as Hangzhou, China. Several landmarks in these photos match with those found in the image shared on Facebook, confirming the locations are the same.
Hundreds of ride-sharing companies, including Microcity, opened in China in the late 2010s, a phenomenon driven in part by popularity of the industry and the abundance of electric vehicles in China, according to Abacus. Many of these companies faced economic hardship in the following years, the outlet reported.
A similar photo showing a field of cars in France previously circulated on Facebook, claiming the cars had been abandoned due to their batteries no longer working. Reuters debunked the claim, saying the abandoned car lot was due to a company’s contract ending, not faulty batteries.