In 2009, French Ecology and Transport Minister Jean-Louis Borloo unveiled a 14-point plan to promote the development of hybrid and electric vehicles. The overall goal of the French government is to place two million electric cars (EVs) on the road by 2020.
Car manufacturers PSA Peugeot, Citroën, and Renault have pledged to produce and deliver 70,000 plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) by 2015, while a group of companies including Electricite de France, SNCF, Air France, France Télécom, and La Poste have committed to an initial purchase order of 50,000 electric vehicles. Those purchasing a vehicle with carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) of 60 g/km or less will receive a €5,000 government grant through 2012.
Environmental legislation has been adopted by the National Assembly. This legislation, Grenelle II, assigns responsibility for infrastructure construction to local and regional authorities, and requires charging points at new construction areas.
Thirteen municipalities, among them Bordeaux, Nice, Paris, Rouen, Strasbourg, and Nancy, will deploy public battery recharging infrastructure. The government has also announced an investment plan to support public infrastructure. An estimated one million public and private battery-charging stations will be built by 2015 under the plan.
At this stage there are pilot programs for PEVs and related infrastructure. The intent is for local communities to match or contribute funds for the infrastructure investment needed. The State is investigating options for how local authoritiescan contribute financing.
Research designed to identify secondary markets for batteries through recycling or reuse is also being conducted. Additionally, a joint venture formed by Renault and the French Atomic Energy Commission will address advanced research, manufacturing, and recycling of electric vehicle batteries.
Image courtesy of Electricite de France.