Plug-in hybrids and electric cars have grown in popularity in France, from 2.5% of all vehicles sold in 2019 to 7.5% today. The increase in sales is partly linked to the electricity bonuses granted as part of the country’s recovery plan, called France Relance. EURACTIV France reports.
“There is a greening of the vehicle fleet which is much stronger than expected,” the Ministry of the Economy and Finance said Monday, July 19 to the third national monitoring committee of France Relance.
“The electric bonus has tripled the market share of electric vehicles, which rose to more than 7% of registrations,” he added.
As part of the post-COVID economic recovery plan, the government has set up a support system for the purchase of less polluting vehicles.
The objective of this electric car bonus is to “support households by giving them purchasing power” and “to support a sector which has also suffered from the crisis”, specified the Ministry of Ecological Transition of Barbara’s cabinet. Pompili.
Although the ministry recognizes that “the transition of the automotive sector will be long”, it seems for the moment on the right track since the electric bonuses increased by 125,000 in 2021 so far, against 117,000 granted in 2020 and 50 000. in 2019.
620,000 electrified vehicles in France
“In June 2021, electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles represented nearly 16% of light vehicle registrations. In total, there are more than 620,000 rechargeable electrified vehicles on the road in France, ”Cécile Goubet, general delegate of the National Association for the Development of Electric Mobility (Avere-France), told EURACTIV.
Goubet also underlined a “desire of the French to adopt a form of mobility that is more respectful of the environment”. The “increasingly competitive operating costs compared to combustion vehicles” are supported by today’s “richness and variety” of what manufacturers have to offer, she added. The market currently offers 200 different models, compared to 60 offered in 2018.
But car manufacturers must also speed up their greening efforts, especially since they are faced with a series of regulations, including Euro VII which provides for stricter regulations on CO2 emissions and pollutants.
Renault, for example, aims to reach 90% of its electric vehicle sales by 2030, while PSA aims at 70% electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle sales by 2030.
Green MEPS live review
To cope with the rise of electric vehicles, France will ensure that “all areas of the motorway network are equipped with charging stations for electric vehicles by the end of 2022”, the Minister of Transport announced on July 15. Jean-Baptiste Djebbari.
According to Goubet, “the maintenance and location of charging points remain essential”.
France is one of the best equipped countries in Europe in terms of charging stations after the Netherlands since it is home to more than 20% of the block’s charging stations.
Of the 100 billion euros of France’s recovery plan, 30 billion euros have been devoted to ecological transition. In addition to this, France will receive 39.4 billion euros for its recovery of Brussels. While a minimum of 37% of EU funds must be allocated to the energy transition, France has pledged to invest nearly half of the funds in the fight against climate change.
But while the recovery plan of France Relance seems to accelerate the ecological transition of the automotive industry, the group of the Greens in the European Parliament is skeptical about the funds invested in hybrid mobility in certain recovery plans, including those of France and Germany.
“These hybrid investments do not comply with the regulations,” warned the Greens group. When the batteries of plug-in hybrid vehicles are empty, the heat engine takes over, causing CO2 emissions to skyrocket, they added.
The Greens also criticized the nature of these buying incentives, which they said were “generally short-term consumer measures” without “a” lasting impact “as required by the regulation as a necessary condition”.
The Commission’s Fit for 55 package aims for new cars to be emission-free in the EU by 2035 and for the bloc to step up production of electric vehicles to achieve this goal. Meanwhile, France appears keen to participate in the collective European effort to embrace electric mobility and plug-in hybrids.
[Edited by Josie Le Blond]