France Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne announced that the country has set a target of making it possible for members of the public to buy electric vehicles for a monthly payment of $112 (€100). The purpose is to make these vehicles more affordable, especially for the more vulnerable sections of the population.
Borne said that the initial batch of EVs at this pocket-friendly cost could become available next year. She added that the government was engaged in discussions with EV manufacturers in France so that vehicles could be more affordable for the population.
While no specific details are currently available regarding how the $112 monthly payment will become a reality, the French prime minister said that the government would have a role to play in this. She added that individuals from households with low incomes and medical personnel as well as young people would be among the categories of people to benefit from this plan.
For now, the government hasn’t made a decision on the household income threshold for those who will be eligible for the electric vehicles sold at this affordable monthly cost. It is also likely that the EVs to be sold under this campaign will be those made in France, or at least in the European Union.
At the moment, it costs approximately $144.6 (€129) a month in a rent-to-buy arrangement if one wants to own the popular Renault Twingo. The buyer is, however, required to put up a $3,363 (€3,000) down payment for the car.
Currently, the government in France has two plans to support motorists in making the switch to electric vehicles. The first is titled a “bonus ecologique,” or a grant aimed at giving incentives to people to purchase EVs. The other program is “prime a la conversion,” which provides assistance for individuals looking to convert ICE vehicles into e-vehicles.
These plans and the announcement by the prime minister couldn’t have come at a better time given that a poll conducted last October found that while just 30% of the French population was considering making the switch to EVs, a whopping 72% of the respondents expressed concerns about the affordability of those electric automobiles.
These poll findings are a mirror reflection of consumer sentiments in many markets, including the United States. As a result, governments may need to do more to support mass access to these ecologically friendly vehicles if climate-change targets are to be realized.
Private sector players such as Nikola Corporation (NASDAQ: NKLA) also have to do their part by bringing to market EVs whose cost is at par with or even lower than that of conventional fossil-fueled vehicles in order to boost the appeal of electric vehicles.
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