the government prepares its offer

Candidate Emmanuel Macron has promised an “affordable” supply of electric vehicles. The government is preparing this file which may involve heavy subsidies.

An electric car at 100 euros a month for the most modest French: this measure promised by the government is still unclear and could involve heavy subsidies.

“We will implement an affordable supply of electric vehicles (…) by establishing leasing mechanisms to support the most modest families,” promised candidate Macron during his first campaign speech on March 17.

This device, first proposed by socialist candidate Anne Hidalgo, would be added to a series of purchase aids that have exploded electric car sales.

Reaching up to 11,000 euros with the demolition bonus, excluding local aid, these subsidies nevertheless benefited the richest and professionals more than the most modest families: the market is dominated by Teslas and Renault Zoé, although more expensive than their counterparts. thermal equivalents.

At least 100,000 electric vehicles leased per year

The purpose of the measure is clear: the government wants to reduce CO2 emissions on roads and, at the same time, guarantee four-wheel mobility for everyone in the heart of metropolitan areas, where diesel engines will soon be banned. The more modest families would thus avoid old second-hand cars and would be protected from the cost of gasoline.

The contours of this “social lease” must, however, be specified. Emmanuel Macron’s campaign team explained in March that this device would be reserved for socio-medical professions, youth and the general public under resource conditions.

It would target at least 100,000 leased electric vehicles per year, for an estimated cost of €50 million for the first year of the system, an apparently very low figure of €500 per vehicle.

The timing of the measure is not yet known, but it should be inserted in an amendment to the finance law, explained Tuesday in France 5 the new minister of energy transition Agnès Pannier-Runacher, in charge of the file. “You will need a device that is robust enough for the French to be able to take advantage of it right away,” she stressed.

charging stations

Manufacturers such as Renault, Hyundai or China’s MG have recently launched long-term rental offers that may fit this measure. In particular, if the first rent (the contribution) is guaranteed by the Caisse des dépôts “for couples who earn the Smic or a little more”, as Emmanuel Macron specified at the end of April.

According to this formula, which is still uncommon in France among private individuals, a manufacturer or rental company offers a car for an attractive monthly price and collects it to resell it after three or four years, adding penalties in case of exceeding a kilometer or damage.

Nissan, for example, offers its Leaf at 99 euros a month for three and a half years, for a maximum of 30,000 km.

Dacia presents its spring at 120 euros per month with 40,000 kilometers in 4 years, and a first rent of 7,700 euros reduced to zero if the maximum public subsidies apply. With its 300 kilometers of autonomy, the small electric car is already finding great success and the waiting lists are getting longer.

On the Stellantis side, Fiat displays its small 500 from 119 euros per month with 2,500 euros of contribution, and Peugeot its e-208 at 149 euros per month with 4,000 euros of contribution.

However, production will have to continue in factories, while the automotive industry is greatly slowed down by shortages. After years of decline, the cost of batteries is also expected to follow the increase in raw materials.

The government will also have to accelerate the implementation of electrical terminals. “It’s a big obstacle for city dwellers who don’t have a garage at their disposal”, underlines Fabien Neuvy, from the Cetelem Observatory of the car. “Modest people were often forced to leave large urban centers to find accommodation and drive a lot. Autonomy, the fear of running out of fuel, are important issues.”

Furthermore, could this aid benefit cars made in France? The Dacia Spring is produced in China, while French factories focus on mid-sized electric vehicles.

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