France wants to make €100-a-month electric cars a reality

The first vehicles could be available as early as next year amid a drive to make it easier for low-income drivers to go electric

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The French government wants to make €100- a-month electric vehicles a reality, Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne has announced.

The first vehicles could be delivered as early as 2024, she said.

“We are discussing it with French manufacturers so that they can sell electric cars at accessible prices,” Ms Borne told France 2.

“The state will help, of course, so that we can have cars at €100 per month.”

Although the details of the new scheme have not yet been revealed, Ms Borne indicated that lower-income households, young people, and medical workers would be among those to be eligible. However, no household income cap has yet been revealed.

The vehicles in the scheme will also very likely need to have been manufactured in France or Europe.

Currently in France, renting an electric vehicle, with the option of buying eventually, costs from around €129 per month for a Renault Twingo, with a €3,000 upfront payment.

The French government has already announced a host of financial measures to help make electric cars more affordable, including the bonus écologique grant, and the prime à la conversion.

The first is financial aid to help with the purchase of an e-vehicle, while the second is a grant to incentivise people to convert their vehicles from combustion to electric.

Read more: Buying an electric car: What French aids are available to help?

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

Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire mentioned the idea to offer electric cars for long-term hire at a cost of €100 per month in September 2022, when he also said that the 2023 budget bill would have a total of €1.3billion in funding for encouraging electric car use.

It comes after an October 2022 poll found that 30% of people in France were thinking about buying an electric car, but 72% said that cost was a major stumbling block stopping them from going electric.

Read more: Electric cars, hybrids, public chargers - views of EV owners in France

In June last year, the EU voted to ban new petrol and diesel cars in Europe from 2035, with only vehicles that use electric or hydrogen batteries to be permitted for new vehicle sales.

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