EVs to the rescue of the French auto industry

French President Francois Hollande has proposed a package of measures to revive France’s auto industry by encouraging the production of environmentally-friendly vehicles.

The government will strengthen the reward-penalty system for the environmental impact of cars that has been in place since 2008. The incentive for EVs will increase from €5,000 to €7,000, and from €2,000 to €4,000 for hybrids. Drivers of heavily polluting vehicles, on the other hand, will pay a supplement, beginning in 2013. Installation of EV charging stations is also a priority. Chargers will be installed in public parking facilities in twelve cities. Finally, the government will replace 25 percent of its own fleet with EVs, purchasing about 1,500 electric cars per year.

“This plan is the rebirth of the French car. The government wants to help in promoting clean vehicles and to make them available for every budget,” Industrial Recovery Minister Arnaud Montebourg declared in July. “The future of the French automobile will come through clean, innovative, and popular cars. We have to take advantage of the energy transition so that we can make an industrial reality from it.”

Naturellement, French automakers praised the new plan. Renault, a partner of Nissan, is the most electrically savvy of all European carmakers, with three EV models now on sale – the Fluence sedan, the tiny Twizy and the Kangoo van – and another, the Zoe, due to hit the market later this year. Peugeot Citroën sells rebadged versions of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV.

 

Image: PSA Peugeot Citroën
Source: Environment News Service