France Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg said that he would prefer municipalities to faster push forward the development of EV charging stations.
Montebourg said that a national operator can interfere when the municipalities are slow to develop EV charging stations, “but it would best for it to intervene eventually, not now.” Demand for electric vehicles in France begins to increase, as people are concerned about the rising fuel prices and the change in climate, but they are also encouraged through a rebate of 7,000 euro for the purchase of an EV and 4,000 euro for a hybrid electric-gasoline model.
Currently, the France EV market is dominated by Renault and Nissan. Still, demand for electric vehicles has not reached the expected level as customers are drawn back by the high prices and short travel range, compared with gasoline-powered vehicles. According to the Les Echos newspaper, the French government plans to set up a nationwide charging network, joining hands with several providers such as Bollore SA, Vinvi SA, JCDecaux SA, power utility EDF SA and Veolia Environment SA.
There are 6,000 charging stations for EVs in France, and the government wants to increase the number to 8,000 units by the end of 2013. Renault has four EV models and since 2011, when it entered the segment, the company sold 25,000 EVs globally.