“We will deploy an affordable range of electric vehicles […] establishing leasing mechanisms to support the most modest households, ”promised candidate Emmanuel Macron during his first campaign speech on March 17.
Reduce CO2 emissions
This device, first proposed by Socialist candidate Anne Hidalgo, would be in addition to a series of purchase aids that have exploded electric car sales.
Reaching up to 11,000 euros with the scrapping bonus, excluding local aid, these subsidies, however, have benefited the richest and most professionals more than the poorest households: the market is dominated by Teslas and Renault Zoé, much more expensive than the its thermal equivalents.
The aim of the measure is clear: the government wants to reduce CO2 emissions on the roads and, at the same time, guarantee everyone four-wheeled mobility in the heart of metropolitan areas, where diesel engines will soon be banned. More modest homes would thus avoid second-hand cars, and would be protected from the cost of gasoline. However, the outlines of this “social lease” need to be specified. Emmanuel Macron’s campaign team explained in March that this device would be reserved for socio-medical professions, young people and the general public in resource conditions.
It would target at least 100,000 electric vehicles rented a year, at an estimated cost of 50 million euros in the first year of the system, or a seemingly very low amount of 500 euros per vehicle.
The timing of the measure is not yet known, but it should be included in an amending finance law, the new Minister of Energy Transition Agnès Pannier-Runacher, in charge of the file, told France 5 on Tuesday. “A robust enough device will be needed so that the French can benefit immediately,” he said.
Attractive monthly prices
Manufacturers such as Renault, Hyundai and the Chinese MG have recently launched long-term rental offers that could fit with this measure. Especially if the first rent (the contribution) is guaranteed by the Caisse des dépôts “for couples who win the Smic or a little more”, as stated by Emmanuel Macron in late April.
According to this formula, which is still uncommon in France among individuals, a manufacturer or rental company offers a car at an attractive monthly price and collects it for resale after three or four years, adding penalties in case of overkill or spoiled.
Nissan, for example, offers its Leaf at 99 euros a month for three and a half years, for a maximum of 30,000 kilometers. Dacia shows its Spring at 120 euros per month with 40,000 kilometers in 4 years, and a first rent of 7,700 euros reduced to zero if the maximum of public subsidies is applied. With its 300 kilometers of range, the small electric car is already very successful and the waiting lists are getting longer. Along with Stellantis, Fiat shows its small 500 from 119 euros per month with a contribution of 2,500 euros, and Peugeot its e-208 at 149 euros per month with a contribution of 4,000 euros.
However, production will have to continue in the factories, while the car industry is slowed down by the shortage. After years of decline, the cost of batteries is also likely to continue to rise in raw materials.
The government will also have to speed up the deployment of power terminals. “It is a major obstacle for the city’s residents who do not have a garage at their disposal,” said Fabien Neuvy, of the Cetelem Automotive Observatory. “Poor people have often been forced to leave large urban centers to find accommodation and drive a lot. Autonomy, the fear of running out of fuel, are important issues. “