France to trial zero-interest loans for electric vehicle conversions

We explain the criteria to qualify and how it will work

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Electric vehicle conversions in France are to be eligible for zero-interest loans from January 2023.

Under the scheme, diesel or petrol cars and vans can be converted into vehicles allowed to enter low-emission zones (zones à faibles émissions, ZFE). The process is called ‘retrofitting’.

The scheme, which will be restricted to lower-income people who live or work in a low-emission zone, is set to be trialled from January 1, 2023, for at least two years.

Until now, funds have only been available to help with the purchase of an eligible hybrid or electric vehicle.

Read more: France to offer €30,000 loans to help buy hybrid or electric vehicles

"Introducing the ZFE…requires more clean mobility solutions for all. In this sense, ‘retrofitting’ provides a relevant solution from an environmental point of view,” said MP Jean-Luc Fugit, in the statement alongside the amendment to the 2023 finance bill that introduced this measure.

Who is eligible for a zero-interest loan for a vehicle conversion?

The zero-interest loan (prêt à taux zéro (PTZ)) will be available to residents who:

  • Live or work in an inter-municipal area where part of the area is located in a ZFE, where air quality standards are regularly exceeded, or in an area bordering the ZFE.

  • Has a taxable income per part (person unit in your household) of less than or equal to €14,000 (according to your most recent tax return)

How much will the loan be?

The government has not yet specified the maximum amount that will be granted, but Mr Fugit has said that this year, the cost has been estimated at around €14,000 per vehicle.

Consumer website UFC-Que Choisir said: "A decree is set to offer the precise means of application.”

How many vehicles will the loan apply to?

Mr Fugit added: "For the year 2023, the industry estimates that about 500 retrofitted vehicles will benefit from the loan for the cost of a retrofit.”

This figure will remain low this year due to issues with approving a standardised retrofit kit, said UFC-Que Choisir.

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