France awaits clearer EU strategy on e-cars

Published: 21 April 2010

France’s ambitious national strategy on electric cars is awaiting a clearer position from the European Union, EurActiv France reports.

Thanks to state support, the classic automobile market in France grew by 10.8% in March 2010 – a considerable leap – but the government is hedging its bets on “de-carbonised” vehicles.

French Ecology and Transport Minister Jean-Louis Borloo unveiled a national strategy in October 2009, with 14 concrete steps to encourage the development of electric and rechargeable hybrid cars.

The objective is to put two million electric vehicles on France’s roads by 2020.

Earlier this month, Borloo and Industry Minister Christian Estrosi stated that ”12 out of the 14 planned steps are now in process”.

”We are the first and the most organised in the European Union’,’ the two ministers added.

The ministers signed a charter with 12 local authorities and car manufacturers PSA Peugeot Citroën and Renault, with the aim of making electric and rechargeable hybrid cars accessible to the public in 2010. Financial support of some €2.5 billion should be provided to the sector.

People buying an electric car will also receive a grant of €5,000. To help establish a market for electric cars, the French state said it will place 100,000 orders for new vehicles. Borloo announced the formation of a group – including EDF, SNCF, Air France, France Télécom and La Poste – which will order an initial 50,000 vehicles. A call for tender will open on 23 April.

Brussels preparing legislative package

Meanwhile in Brussels, EU Industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani is preparing to unveil an electric car strategy next Tuesday (27 April).

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