France to stop subsidising Chinese EVs

The list of electric cars eligible for subsidies from 1 January has now been published. It includes around 65 per cent of all electric cars sold in France. But you won't find an electric car from China on this list.

Image: Renault

The so-called “bonus écologique”, the subsidisation of electric cars in France, clearly favours models manufactured in Europe. This is evident from the list of eligible vehicles that has now been published.

In total, a good 65 per cent of the electric cars on sale in France are eligible. The list of vehicles includes many models from the Stellantis Group, Renault and German manufacturers. The Tesla Model Y, which is mainly built in Grünheide, is also still eligible for the subsidy.

However, the Tesla Model 3 built in China, the Dacia Spring and the MG4 are no longer eligible. The electric models offered by BYD in France are also not on the list. In general, not a single model from Chinese brands is listed.

“Until now, the state has not set any conditions as to how the vehicles purchased with the bonus should be manufactured. Hundreds of millions of euros of public money were therefore channelled into vehicles with a very poor CO2 balance. That is now a thing of the past,” said France’s Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire in a statement.

The reformed environmental bonus will come into force on 1 January 2024. President Emmanuel Macron had already announced in May that he wanted to make the state subsidy for electric cars dependent on CO2 emissions during the production of vehicles and batteries in future. From the turn of the year, it will be based on a points system that includes various environmental criteria – including the environmental footprint of the assembly plant and the transport routes to the point of sale. As China produces around 60 per cent of its electricity from coal, manufacturers there cannot meet the criteria.

Incidentally, the same vehicles that are eligible for the “bonus écologique” when purchased can also be subsidised as part of a leasing offer. This will also apply from 1 January 2024 and is reserved for people with a low income.

To qualify for state support, employees must not earn more than €15,400 per year and must live at least 15 kilometres from their place of work or travel more than 8,000 kilometres per year as part of their job. If these criteria are met, the state supports lessees with a monthly instalment of 100 euros. The programme was first announced in August 2022. (list of eligible vehicles), (leasing plan)


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