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France plans possible grant bonus for electric car purchases

In the UK, we are already aware of the £5,000 grant being offered by the Government for individuals who purchase new electric cars. It seems as if France is getting in on the act with news of an even more generous grant hitting the headlines. France has already followed in the footsteps of a number of European countries where car owners are being encouraged to switch to electric vehicles as French consumers already receive a grant.

This is set at €6,300 but clearly, the French Government does not believe this is a large enough incentive. As a result, French diesel car owners can look forward to another €10,000 added to the existing grant if they switch to electric vehicles from their old diesel-engine cars.

New Bill

The French minister for ecology, sustainable development and energy, Marie-Segolene Royal, submitted the new bill to parliament. If it passed, the €16,300 grant would easily be the most generous EV grant available anywhere in the world. At the moment, France is ranked #5 in terms of world EV market share but sales of electric cars are falling and this has clearly caused the French to act.

Marie Segolene Royal

French Minister Marie Segolene Royal. Image: Google UK

It appears as if France wants to make it all the way to the top of the world EV market and fight it out with Norway for the #1 spot. At present, diesel-engine vehicles are more popular in Europe than in the United States but if this new incentive passes; it will hopefully increase the rate of diesel-burning cars that are scrapped.

Among the companies that will benefit from such as grant are Nissan Motors from Japan and France’s own Renault S.A which happens to be Nissan’s partner. The Nissan-Renault Alliance would certainly go from strength to strength as Nissan’s Leaf vehicle and Renault’s Zoe car would surely enjoy an increase in sales.

Renault actually has four electric vehicles on the market so the ‘Made in France’ advantage will also yield increased profit. Switching from the Volkswagen diesel car to a Renault Zoe would become a very shrewd move with the extra €10,000 grant in place.

The European car industry has taken a beating in recent years and while electric car sales in Europe are increasing, France has suffered a 12% drop in EV sales as Nordic countries are responsible for most of the growth. Renault’s new car sales have fallen as have total car sales in France so it is hoped this initiative will help turn the tide.

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