France Halts Low-Earner BEV Subsidy After Flood of Applications

Government's planned annual budget for $108-a-month lease scheme runs out in less than two months.

Paul Myles, European Editor

February 13, 2024

1 Min Read
Renault Megane E-Tech
French low-earners flood cheap BEV leasing scheme.

The French government is risking the ire of climate change lobbyists and automakers alike by halting its battery-electric-vehicle leasing subsidy for low earners after less than two months.

It acted after being flooded by tens of thousands of applications for the scheme, which offered lease payments as low as €100 ($108) a month for people earning less than €15,400 ($16,600) a year. The scheme specifically tried to address the issue that low earners cannot afford to switch from their old internal-combustion-engine vehicles to costlier BEVs.

However, its wildly successful take-up has forced the government to suspend the program for the rest of the year, likely because the €1.5 billion ($1.6 billion) to fund 20,000 BEV leases it assigned for the scheme has already been gobbled up. The government promises to resume the scheme next year aiming to cover an additional 50,000 car leases.

For most consumers on average salaries, the government currently offers car buyers a cash incentive of between €5,000 ($5,390) and €7,000 ($7,546) toward the cost of a BEV a total cost of €1 billion ($1.07 billion) annually.

Eligible vehicles for both programs have to meet limits on how much carbon was produced in their manufacturing and shipping, effectively making inexpensive Chinese-made BEVs exempt from the schemes.

About the Author(s)

Paul Myles

European Editor, Informa Group

Paul Myles is an award-winning journalist based in Europe covering all aspects of the automotive industry. He has a wealth of experience in the field working at specialist, national and international levels.

Subscribe to a WardsAuto newsletter today!
Get the latest automotive news delivered daily or weekly. With 5 newsletters to choose from, each curated by our Editors, you can decide what matters to you most.

You May Also Like