France is a country lacking oil, gasoline is expensive, and the price of oil is about four times that of the United States. It imports a large amount of oil from abroad every year. The oil crisis in the 1970s became a turning point in the development of electric vehicles in France. In 1972, Renault Automobile Group has developed an electric car. The two major automobile companies, Peugeot-Citroen and Renault, have been actively developing electric vehicles. In 1990, Peugeot-Citroen’s J-5 and C25 electric trucks were put into production. In 1995, the company officially put Peugeot 106 and Citroen AX electric cars into production.
Beginning on July 1, 1995, the government has provided 5,000 francs in subsidies to users who purchase electric cars. EDF, considering its own interests, provides 10,000 francs in subsidies for each electric car produced by electric car manufacturers.
In 1999, the government required that the proportion of electric vehicles and natural gas vehicles in all municipal departments must account for more than 20% of the total number of vehicles owned by municipal departments, in order to drive the entire society to choose environmentally friendly models.
The French government has stipulated that since January 1, 2008, the government will give car owners corresponding cash “rewards and penalties” to encourage the purchase of low-emission, environmentally-friendly vehicles based on the amount of carbon dioxide emissions from new cars purchased. According to regulations, the owner of a new car with an exhaust carbon dioxide emission between 100 and 130 g/km can receive a cash incentive ranging from 200 to 1,000 euros for environmental protection. If you buy ultra-low-energy, low-emission new energy vehicles such as electric vehicles, the reward amount can be as high as 5,000 euros. Conversely, if the exhaust carbon dioxide emissions are more than 160g, environmental protection taxes will be levied on car owners in an incremental manner, ranging from 200 to 2600 euros. In addition, the French government also encourages the scrapping of old cars with high energy consumption and gives a certain amount of cash rewards.
Under the guidance of these subsidies, taxation and other policies, the development of electric vehicles in France has obtained a good environment. Many car manufacturers and consumers have turned their attention to more environmentally friendly small-displacement vehicles and new energy vehicles. In 2009, cars with carbon dioxide emissions below 140g/km accounted for 63% of the French new car sales market. Driven by government preferential policies, Renault-Nissan Alliance, Peugeot-Citroen and Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors Corporation have successively launched environmentally friendly electric vehicles, such as Renault Zoe (Figure 1) and Peugeot iOn (Figure 2).
At present, France has become the largest electric vehicle market in Europe, and Paris is one of the few cities in Europe that has achieved initial success in the popularization of electric vehicles. Among them, in 2013, when the automobile industry suffered a severe cold, the sales of electric vehicles in France showed a strong growth momentum. As an environmentally friendly and innovative means of transportation, electric vehicles are becoming an important part of the automobile industry revitalization plan advocated by the French government.
The changes in the global economy have more or less affected the French automobile market, but it is worth noting that electric vehicles have shown a rapid growth momentum against the market. Among them are the Renault Zoe, which can be charged in only 20 minutes, the Nissan Leaf, which has sold more than 10,000, and the Smart electric version, which is highly regarded by young consumers. Although the number of electric vehicles is still not very large, its outstanding performance in the French market and its explosive potential in the future have become an important growth point for the French economic recovery.
Do you still want to see the general situation of automobile development in various countries? Please refer to some previous articles-Overview of the Development of New Energy Vehicles in Japan, Overview of the Development of New Energy Vehicles in the U.S., etc.