The French government is preparing a plan to subsidize electric vehicle leasing in order to make the vehicles more affordable to low-income consumers.
The plan, according to Gabriel Attal, France’s budget minister, is to make fully-electric vehicles available for €100 ($99.95 USD at current exchange rates) per month. That price, the minister noted, would make an EV lease cost less than what most drivers spend on gas in a month.
The plan was announced Sunday night on LCI television, according to Bloomberg, and comes in the wake of promises made by France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, to offer a state-sponsored leasing program for low-income households. This was, in part, made to counter criticisms that even with current subsidies, EVs are still out of reach for many consumers.
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“We know that for many French they remain very expensive,” Attal said Sunday.
France offers incentives worth as much as €6,000 ($5,997 USD) on EVs that cost less than €47,000 ($46,976 USD). More is offered under a trade-in program. The nation also offers a subsidy of up to €4,000 ($3,998 USD) for consumers who trade in their vehicle for a bicycle or e-bike.
That plan will also see the European country invest in infrastructure for bicycles and e-bikes. Paris has committed to spending €250 ($249 million USD) on making the entirety of the city bikeable and adding 130 km (81 miles) of bike-safe paths over the next five years.
This EV leasing plan would likely benefit European automakers who produce EVs. Earlier this year, the European Union Parliament decided to establish a 100 percent reduction in CO2 emissions for all new vehicles by 2035, effectively banning the sale of internal combustion engines, in favor of electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles.