France prepares $139 a month electric-car leasing plan

French President Emmanuel Macron had made a campaign pledge to make electric vehicles more affordable. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (BLOOMBERG) - France is readying a plan to subsidise electric-car leasing as part of President Emmanuel Macron's campaign pledge to make them more affordable.

The scheme will make electric vehicles available for €100 (S$139) a month, Budget Minister Gabriel Attal said on Sunday (Aug 28) on LCI television, noting that the cost is less than what many people spend on petrol.

The government is working on how quickly the measure can be rolled out and the availability of EVs, he said.

Macron promised a state-sponsored leasing programme for low-income households to counter criticism that even with subsidies, EVs are still out of reach for many.

The French government offers subsidies of as much as €6,000 for the purchase of EVs costing less than €47,000, with possible additional aid under a cash-for-clunkers programme for old combustion-engine vehicles. EVs represented 12 per cent of new car sales in France in the first seven months of 2022.

"We know that for many French they remain very expensive," Mr Attal said on Sunday.

The leasing measure stands to benefit European carmakers rolling out new electric models including Renault, Volkswagen and Peugeot and Citroen-maker Stellantis.

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