The ecological bonus granted to electric models will no longer be awarded openly, but taking into account their carbon footprint. This new approach, announced Thursday, May 11 by the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, must mechanically favor vehicles manufactured in Europe, where the share of carbon-free energy production is higher than in China and the United States. The terms of this reform of aid for the purchase of 100% electric cars – hybrids do not benefit from it – will be defined by“here the end of (2023)“. They will also have to take into consideration the integration of recycled or biosourced materials.
Indispensable to partially offset the additional cost of buying an electric car, the ecological bonus is a bonus of 5,000 euros (paid on condition that the purchase price of the model does not exceed 47,000 euros and its weight 2, 4 tonnes) which costs the State 1 billion euros per year. Tightening its allocation conditions according to environmental criteria aims to protect French automobile production and, by extension, European production, which benefits from a lower carbon energy mix.
“That does not mean that we are doing protectionism, but we do not want to use French taxpayers’ money to accelerate non-European industrialization”assured the Head of State, who pleaded not to “not repeating mistakes” leading to abandoning the production of photovoltaic cells to Chinese companies.
By imposing on manufacturers “to justify that they respect these ecological criteria required to be able to benefit from the ecological bonus”, this reform is presented as an act intended to contain the offensive of Chinese brands, which are beginning to distribute models produced in a country where coal-fired power plants dominate. It is also a response to the Biden administration’s decision to only subsidize electric vehicles produced on United States territory or having concluded a trade agreement.
Achieve carbon neutrality
This strategy – Bercy claims to have a model to establish the amount of CO2 generated by the manufacture of a vehicle – appeared to be the best way to reform a bonus system that had become untenable in the context of heightened Chinese competition.
It is accused of rolling out the red carpet in front of non-European electric cars by subsidizing them, when they already have large competitive advantages given their costs and production conditions. Relying solely on geographical origin for the allocation of public aid would have been contrary to the trade agreements signed by France.
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