France increases EV incentives as Renault invests in next generation batteries

French president Francoise Hollande announced this week that his government would increase incentives for the purchase of high-tech cars.

 

French president Francoise Hollande announced this week that his government would increase incentives for the purchase of high-tech cars. France offers cash grants to buyers of electrified vehicles, which will increase from €5,000 to €7,000 for EVs, and from €2,000 to €4,000 for hybrids.

The new goody is part of a package of support for the auto industry that (as in the US) is intended not only to benefit the environment, but to prop up the economy and save jobs. French automakers have recently been making noises about restructuring plans that would include substantial layoffs.

Also this week, Renault and LG Chem agreed to cooperate to develop new battery technologies. Renault, supported by the French renewable energy agency CEA, has been studying new technology for lithium-ion batteries, and is now ready to plan real-world testing. Renault and LG Chem are also discussing the idea of building a battery factory in France.

Renault, a partner of Nissan, is probably the keenest of European automakers on electrification. It’s currently the top EV seller in Europe, with three models in its stable – the Kangoo utility van, the Fluence saloon, and the tiny Twizy – and another on the way, the five-door Zoe, which will feature LG Chem batteries and is supposed to be on sale by the end of the year.

 

Sources: Renault, Le Monde, Green Car Congress
Image: Renault