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French president announces EV stimulus package

Future proof: French president Emmanuel Macron says the stimulus package and investment fund is a defence and sovereignty plan for the French automotive industry.

The French government is offering up to €12,000 to new-car buyers to buy an EV

29 May 2020

FRENCH president Emmanuel Macron has announced an €8 billion ($A13.3b) COVID-19 recovery incentive scheme to help revive the near-crippled French automotive industry.

 

Under the scheme, new car buyers will be offered €7000 ($A11,680) to put towards the purchase of an electric vehicle and will receive a further €5000 ($A8342) ‘conversion bonus’.

 

For those not quite sold on the idea of EVs, a grant of €2000 ($A3336) is being offered to be used in the purchase of a ‘rechargeable’ hybrid (plug-in/PHEV) with the same conversion bonus added on top.

 

When all is said and done, prospective EV buyers will receive €12,000 while PHEV buyers can get up to €7000.

 

Taking to social media on Tuesday to announce the scheme, President Macron said the French government would help those wanting to drive “cleaner” vehicles.

 

“Because there can be no electric vehicles without charging systems, we are also accelerating the deployment of electric terminals across the country to reach by 2021 the objective of 100,000 terminals which was initially set for 2022,” he said on Twitter.

 

Industry journal Automotive News Europe quoted President Macron as saying: “We need a motivational goal: Make France Europe’s top producer of clean vehicles by bringing output to more than 1 million electric and hybrid cars per year over the next five years”.

 

Coming into effect as of next week (June 1), the grants will be available through to December 31 this year with the French government also set to try and use the pandemic to slingshot the French auto industry to the forefront of European EV production.

 

“This is a historic plan to confront a historic situation,” President Macron said.

 

“Our country wouldn’t be the same without its great brands – Renault, Peugeot, Citroen.”

 

President Macron’s goal for the industry is to produce at least one million EVs and hybrids per year as of 2025 before the total ban of internal combustion engine cars comes into effect in 2040.

 

“Our fellow citizens need to buy more vehicles, and in particular clean ones. Not in two, five or 10 years – now,” he said in a speech at the Valeo car factory in Etaples earlier this week.

 

An additional €600 million ($A1b) was also announced “to support innovation, research and development in the French automotive industry”, under which Groupe Renault would join PSA and oil superpower Total in a joint venture manufacturing batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles.

 

President Macron described the investment fund as a defence and sovereignty plan for the French auto industry and “the future of the 21st century automobile”.


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