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France suspends subsidised electric car scheme after surge

Paris, Feb 12 (AFP) Feb 12, 2024
The French government said Monday it was suspending a scheme to lease electric cars from just 100 euros ($109) a month after subsidising more than double the number of vehicles planned for 2024.

President Emmanuel Macron's administration launched the scheme in December 2023 to make electric vehicles affordable to low-income households and reduce carbon emissions in France.

The scheme initially planned to subsidise up to 25,000 European-built electric vehicles this year, but it doubled the number following huge demand.

"It's a real success story, emblematic of French environmental policy: good for the wallet and good for the planet," said an advisor to the president.

Eligible French residents could rent a car without a deposit for three years and renew the subscription once, supported by a subsidy of up to 13,000 euros for each car.

In addition to income eligibility conditions, applicants must need a car to travel to a job more than 15 km (9 miles) away from home.

The French government indicated it plans to relaunch the scheme at the end of 2024 for 2025.

"What's great about this scheme (...) is that you're both giving people who aren't necessarily well-off access to a cheap electric vehicle and producing more French vehicles. We have to manage to do both", French Industry and Energy Minister Roland Lescure said on France 3 television on Sunday.


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