The implementation of an environmentally responsible public policy at the national and local level and the supply of vehicles produced by French manufacturers have enabled France to become the largest electric vehicle market in Europe.
1) Public policy that promotes increased use of electric vehicles in France
The environmental policy and the measures to promote the energy transition encourage the purchase and sale of electric vehicles. The introduction of various incentives is part of this approach, with in particular the environmental bonus created in 2008 aimed at rewarding those who purchase new cars with the lowest CO2 emissions. The bonus currently amounts to €6,300, irrespective of the purchaser, company, community or individual.
The national plan to develop electric and hybrid vehicles was announced in October 2009.
In this context, measures have been taken with respect to developing recharging infrastructure for electric and hybrid vehicles: funding to develop this infrastructure will be provided by the Agency for the Environment and Energy Management. However, it’s the City of Tomorrow program implemented by the Caisse des Dépôts that will fund innovative and exemplary sustainable mobility projects.
2) Locally implemented measures
This success can be explained by the involvement of city councils and local authorities in the electromobility field.
Many French cities have introduced an electric vehicle sharing service (car sharing system), for example “Autolib” in Paris, introduced on the initiative of Mayor Bertrand Delanoë, and “l’Auto bleue” in Nice, “Sunmoove” in Lyon and “Bluecub” in Bordeaux, etc.
The “Electromobile City Trophy” is an award presented every year to regional and local authorities (cities, inter-municipal associations, etc.) that are especially committed to giving momentum to sustainable mobility, especially electric mobility, in their region.
3)Innovative French manufacturers
The supply of vehicles produced by French manufacturers (Renault has played a pioneering role in this area) has helped France to achieve this top ranking. Indeed, Renault has sold the largest number of electric vehicles in Europe (6,000 cars during the first half of 2013), ahead of Nissan (5,500 cars) and Smart (1,500 cars).
4) Conclusive results
Europe has become the second largest market for electric vehicles behind the United States and ahead of Japan. 18,939 electric vehicles were registered in Europe during the first half of 2013 (compared with 15,503 during the first half of 2012), while the United States registered almost 30,000 electric cars and Japan less than 6,000.
France is consolidating its leading position within Europe. In 2013, the French market for electric and hybrid vehicles represented 3.1% of the global passenger car market in France. Compared to 2012, sales of electric vehicles (passenger cars and light commercial vehicles) increased by 50% and sales of hybrid vehicles increased by 60%. In total, 8,779 electric passenger cars were registered in France in 2013. Sales increased by more than 50% compared with the 5,663 vehicles registered in 2012. Sales volumes in France were twice as high as in Germany (3,000 cars) and Norway (2,500 cars).