France to build nationwide EV charging network, phase out diesel cars

Autolib' Bluecar carsharing

French industrial giant Bolloré plans to invest 150 million euros over the next four years to build a network of 16,000 public charging points across the country. Economy and Finance Minister Emmanuel Macron said that Bolloré may be granted tax relief for installing the charging stations on public highways.

“Through a private initiative with public support, we are accelerating our route towards having a truly national network of electric car charging points,” said Macron. His ministry is also considering increasing the maximum rebate for buying a new EV or hybrid, from 6,300 euros to 10,000 euros.

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Once the new network is built out, “no one in France will be more than 40 kilometers away from a charging station,” said Bolloré CEO Vincent Bolloré.

Autolib' Bluecar

Bolloré is the company behind Paris’s Autolib’ car-sharing program, which operates some 2,500 Bluecar EVs, served by 871 charging stations around the city. The scheme has 105,000 subscribers, and delivers around 10,000 journeys on a typical day.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said this week that France wants to phase out the use of diesel fuel for private passenger transport, and will launch a car identification system that ranks vehicles by the amount of pollution they emit.

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“In France, we have long favored the diesel engine. This was a mistake, and we will progressively undo that, intelligently and pragmatically,” said Valls.

It will take some undoing – currently, about 80 percent of French passenger cars are diesels. The government plans to reduce the tax advantage of diesel fuel vis-a-vis gas, raise the excise tax on diesel by 2 cents per liter, and offer a bonus of up to 10,000 euros to drivers who trade in a diesel for an EV.

 

Source: France 24, Reuters
Image: mariordo59/Flickr