France to lead European Electric Vehicle market

19.11.2010 By: TRANSFER based on Invest in France

The French believe passionately that a combination of innovative technology and responsible behaviour will deliver continued growth and higher standards of living for both present and future generations. With its ‘Green new deal’ France has proved to be serious and is becoming Europe’s leader in green business.

Recently France booked another success in the green field. Due to the introduction of a bonus system in 2008, based on rewarding purchasers of clean cars and penalizing purchasers of gas guzzlers, France now has the cleanest new vehicles in the EU. The country underlined its statement of sustainability in the automotive sector by also ordering 50.000 electric cars for its civil servants and promising to build at least a million electric car charging points in both residential and business areas.

France, being one of the five European core automotive markets (Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK), foresaw a successful future for Electric vehicles (EV), that are expected to reach a total market share between 9 and 13% in Europe by 2020 (between 1 and 1,6 million vehicles) and are now being introduced one after the other. Peugeot’s new car, the iOn, for example will appear on the French streets before Christmas. Renault is preparing an electric Kangoo for the European market in 2011 and has another electric model, Zoé, ready to take its first steps on the market in 2012. Last but not least is Daimler A.G., that has chosen France for mass-produce of the electric version of its famous Smart ForTwo car, expected to see the light somewhere in 2013-14.

The first mass-produced hybrid gasoline-electric car, the Toyota Prius, was introduced worldwide in 2003. Since then the electric vehicle or EV has been facing a golden future. On May 25th of this year, EU industry ministers welcomed the European Commission’s plan to launch an EU-wide electro-mobility demonstration project in 2011 that would integrate national pilot projects across borders. Again France showed to be a green pioneer. After mentioning its plans for a national electrical infrastructure it introduced the Parisian plans to launch the world's largest electric car access scheme in September of 2011. According to officials there will be about 1.000 battery-recharging parking stations in and around Paris, with an initial fleet of 3.000 electric cars planned.