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France - Policies and Legislation

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The major policies and laws pertaining to hybrid and electric vehicles in France relate to tax incentives and building charging infrastructure. The Grenelle II legislation adopted in July 2010 addresses a number of environmental topics, including EV charging.

Tax Incentives

The French Government designed an annual eco-label for the average CO2 emissions of passenger cars on new vehicles with a bonus-malus (tax-deduction/tax-penalty) system that favors low-CO2 emission vehicles. The national plan establishes tax deductions (bonus) and tax penalties (malus) for new vehicle purchases on the basis of their tank-to-wheel CO2 emissions.

The plan applies to new cars sold on the French market since January 2008, and because the tax deductions are balanced by the tax penalties, no government financing is needed. In 2009 the plan set a new bonus of €5,000 for new cars and light commercial vehicles emitting less than 60g CO2/km, which automatically covers all electric vehicles. The bonus applies until 2012 for the first 100,000 low-carbon vehicles purchased.

A progressive company-car tax is also based on CO2 emissions. Tax rates vary from €2 for each gram emitted for cars emitting 100g/km of CO2 or less and up to €19 for each gram emitted for cars emitting more than 250 g/km of CO2.

Charging Infrastructure

In 2010, the government formed a charging infrastructure working group to coordinate installation of a standardized national charging network for PHEVs and battery-powered BEVs. The strategy foresees inclusion of the following provisions:

  • Local governments will be empowered to install public charging infrastructure
  • A quota of parking areas in work places and shopping areas will be reserved for electric vehicles and charging spots
  • Builders of collective residences must install charging facilities at parking places upon request of the inhabitants
  • Local governments will be obligated to equip public-parking areas with charging facilities.