The French state has always believed in industrial planning. The country’s governing elite knows better than its CEOs what the consumer really needs. The announcement on EVs on May 26, 2020 by President Macron also follows this logic. It places EVs “at the heart of the strategy of the French automotive industry.” It is a pronouncement about no less than “the reconquest of the industrial technological sovereignty of the country” where “electric mobility is a key element in meeting current economic and ecological challenges.”
How is France going to conquer the hearts and minds of EV consumers? First of all, by legislation: it plans to ban fossil fuel cars by 2040, and Paris has said it will prohibit them by 2030. Second, by infrastructure building: public charging terminals will be boosted from the present 30.000 to 100.000 by the end of 2021. This will bring the total number of private and public charging points to about half a million. Then, of course, there are the consumer incentives: 7.000 euros for EVs, 2.000 for plugins — plus an additional 5.000 euros for households earning less than 18.000 euros.
Is it working? Well, yes: 43 thousand EVs were sold in 2019 and 111 thousand in 2020. Counting plug-ins and utility vans, some 195.000 rechargeable vehicles were registered in the country last year. France now has 470.000 EVs & plug-ins on the road. The forecast is 1 million for 2022. French drivers are rapidly losing their addiction for diesel-powered cars (70% of sales in 2012).
You could say that the French state takes money from the taxpayer’s pocket only to put it in that of its power companies, EdF and Engie (the world’s 3rd and 6th biggest). But that is not quite fair. Mr. Macron, as the driving force behind the 3,2 billion euros of EU funding in battery research, is putting some into other pockets too. There are EV opportunities everywhere, but the French president knows what’s best for you: France is the place to be in electric mobility.
SAI has been active in smart businesses — smart energy, smart grids, smart buildings — and electric mobility for several years. We know the opportunities in France and would be happy to help you outsmart the others here.