France continues drive towards electric cars with new incentives image

The European country has envisioned a new plan to spur lagging sales of electric cars: taxes on gasoline and diesel cars would be leveled off and incentives would be introduced for buyers who swap diesels for electric autos.

According to Energy Minister Segolene Royal, from April the government will introduce a bonus of up to 10,000 euros ($11,422) for the purchase of an electric model if the customer elects to replace an old diesel vehicle. “We have to eliminate old diesel cars that are more than 13 years old and have no filters,” commented Royal. The official added that new measures designed to discourage the use of such types of polluting cars would make them “harder and harder” to use. Renault – a proponent of electric cars (they have the Zoe and Fluence passenger cars, the commercial Kangoo variant and the urban-dwelling Twizy) – believes the EV incentives are a good measure. Having a 10,000 euro rebate would drop the price of a Renault Zoe subcompact to 12,400 euros and Nissan’s Leaf would be priced from 14,390 euros – with the two cars the country’s best selling electric cars. Analyst firm Inovev shows that Zoe sold 5,970 units in 2014 and the alliance partner Nissan delivered 1,604 Leaf cars.

Royal’s comments on diesel cars fall in line with the recent measures by the French government, which in December announced it would increase the so-called TICPE excise tax on diesel by 2 euro cents per liter, claiming a total of 807 million euros this year from consumers. French drivers have been encouraged to buy diesel cars over gasoline because of more affordable taxes – now environmental groups lobby the government to align the levies. Additionally, French automakers also believe the new measures would spur consumption, as buyers will re-orient towards new cars with better fuel consumption.

Via Automotive News Europe