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Electric car at 100 euros per month: for whom, when? Here’s what the government is planning

An electric car at 100 euros per month for the most modest French people: this measure promised by the government is still unclear and could involve heavy subsidies. (©AFP/Archives/Patrick Meinhardt)

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

“We will deploy an affordable offer of electric vehicles (…) by setting up leasing mechanisms to support the most modest households”, promised the candidate Macron during his first campaign speech on March 17.

Here is what the government is planning with this measure, which is intended to be ecological.

Among other aids

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

Reaching up to 11,000 euros with the scrapping bonus, excluding local aid, these subsidies have nevertheless benefited the wealthiest and professionals more than the poorest households: the market is dominated by Teslas and Renault Zoemuch more expensive than their thermal equivalents.

The objective of the measure is clear: the government wants to reduce CO2 emissions on the roads and, at the same time, guarantee four-wheel mobility for alls right into the heart of cities, where diesel engines will soon be banned. The most modest households would thus avoid old second-hand cars, and would be protected from the cost of gasoline.

“You need a robust device”

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

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He would aim at least 100,000 electric vehicles on lease per yearfor an estimated cost of 50 million euros for the first year of the system, or an apparently very low amount of 500 euros per vehicle.

The timetable for the measure is not yet known, but it should be inserted in an amending finance law, explained this Tuesday, May 24, on France 5 the new Minister of Energy Transition Agnès Pannier-Runacher, in charge of the file.

It will take a sufficiently robust device for the French to benefit from it immediately.

Agnes Pannier-RunacherMinister for Energy Transition

Manufacturers are already offering offers

Manufacturers such as Renault, Hyundai or the Chinese MG have recently launched long-term rental offers that could fit with 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 said at the end of April.

According to this formula, still uncommon in France among individuals, a manufacturer or a rental company offers a car at an attractive monthly price and collects it to resell it after three or four years, adding penalties if it is too mileage or damaged. .

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

Dacia displays its Spring at 120 euros per month with 40,000 kilometers over 4 years, and a first rent of 7700 euros reduced to zero if the maximum public subsidies are applicable. With its 300 kilometers of autonomy, the small electric car is already meeting with great success and the waiting lists are getting longer.

On the side of Stellantis, Fiat displays its small 500 from 119 euros per month with 2500 euros of contribution, and Peugeot its e-208 at 149 euros per month with 4000 euros of contribution.

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

The boundary problem

The government will also have to speed up the deployment of electrical terminals. “It’s a major obstacle for city dwellers who don’t have a garage at their disposal,” emphasizes Fabien Neuvy, from the Cetelem Automotive Observatory.

Modest people have often been forced to leave large urban centers to find accommodation, and drive a lot. Autonomy, fear of running out of fuel, are important issues.

Fabien NeuvyCetelem Automotive Observatory

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

Source: © 2022 AFP

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