Macron promises up to €12,000 to buy eco cars

French President Emmanuel Macron announced yesterday (May 26) that the State would offer financial support for businesses and individuals to help them buy hybrid and electric cars.

27 May 2020
An electric car charging. President Macron yesterday announced that individuals could receive up to €12,000 to buy clean cars.President Macron yesterday announced that individuals could receive up to €12,000 to buy clean cars. (Andrew Roberts/Unsplash)
By Joanna York

In a speech explaining his plans on how to support the automobile industry through the Covid-19 crisis, the French President revealed generous financial support plans to help French residents buy "clean" vehicles.

These plans include offering incentives of up to €7,000 for individuals who buy a new electric car, and up to €5,000 for businesses who do so. Those who choose to buy rechargeable hybrid cars could receive up to €2,000. 

Alongside these measures, the President announced plans to increase the conversion bonus, known as la prime à la conversion, for those from low-income households who replace an existing polluting car with a clean vehicle.

Read more: New rules for electric car conversions revealed

Read more: France tempts people back on to bikes after lockdown

The President said: “An individual who gets rid of their polluting diesel or petrol car for a cleaner vehicle of any type, new or second hand, will be given up to €3,000 by the State, and even up to €5,000, if it’s for an electric vehicle.” 

This last measure is aimed at low-income earners with a revenue of less than €18,000 net per year, and will be in place for the first 200,000 cars sold from June 1, 2020.

 

Supporting France’s car industry 

These initiatives come as part of a total State support package of €8 billion for the French car industry, announced by the President, to help counteract large losses during the coronavirus Covid-19 crisis.

French car manufacturer Renault has suffered such severe losses that finance minister Bruno le Maire warned five days ago (May 22): “Renault could disappear.”

The company has since been offered a €5 billion bailout from the State, on the condition that round table discussions between company representatives, syndicates and the government are constructive. In his speech yesterday President Macron also emphasised that measures should be put in place to protect jobs at Renault factories in Maubeuge and Douai (Nord).

An electric future

Support for the French car industry comes with one objective in mind: making France a European leader in producing electric cars.

As well as supporting individuals and business who want to buy "clean" vehicles, Macron stated an intention to “make France the number one producer of clean vehicles in Europe, by supporting the production of more than a million electric, rechargeable hybrid and hybrid vehicles per year by 2025".

He added: “As we can’t have electric vehicles without a system to recharge them, we will also accelerate the roll-out of electric charging terminals throughout the country.” 

To this end, the French government plans to install 100,000 electric charging terminals in France by the end of 2022.

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