Emmanuel Macron had promised it during his campaign: his new government is now working on the possibility of renting an electric car for only €100/month. This attractive leasing offer will nevertheless have to face many obstacles before being put in place. At present, it is difficult to predict when this will be the case.
“We will deploy an affordable offer of electric vehicles […] by setting up leasing mechanisms to support the most modest households”. This is what Emmanuel Macron said on March 17, during his first campaign speech. The promise is significant: the re-elected president wants to allow the French – at least some of them – to rent an electric car for only €100/month.
Of course, the objective, other than political, is above all ecological. Less polluting than their polluting counterparts, electric vehicles are an integral part of the government’s strategy to reduce CO2 emissions. While diesel vehicles are on the verge of being banned, the government is seeking to ensure succession while maintaining suitable mobility for lower-income households.
An electric car at €100/month, but for whom?
Because for the moment, the various measures aimed at increasing the transition to electricity have mainly benefited the wealthiest households. With a market largely dominated by Tesla and, in France, by the Renault Zoé, electric cars are still much more expensive than thermal ones, although the latter are much less profitable in the long term.
For the time being, the government must therefore determine the terms of this shock measure. With a view to giving access to electricity to the less well-off populations, Emmanuel Macron had already specified last March that this new leasing offer would be offered primarily to young people, as well as to socio-medical professions. The general public could also benefit from it “subject to resources”. In addition, the first installment could be covered by the Caisse des dépôts “for couples who earn the minimum wage or a little more”.
In total, 100,000 vehicles per year would be eligible for this leasing offer. According to initial calculations, the measure would cost 50 million euros in its first year, i.e. a relatively ridiculous price of 500 euros per vehicle. For now, its implementation is not yet relevant. Difficult yet to chart on a deployment schedule. “We will need a sufficiently robust system for the French to benefit from it immediately”, explains Agnès Pannier-Runacher, new Minister for Energy Transition.
On the same subject: Driving with an electric car can cost you more than with a combustion engine
A measure that comes in a difficult context
Still, 100,000 vehicles is an ambitious figure. Given the current production largely slowed down by the shortage of components, it could be that the French have to rely on luck to hope to take advantage of this leasing offer. Especially since its price may also be undermined by market fluctuations. Experts predict an increase in the price of batteries, due to the lack of availability of raw materials.
Another problem to take into account: the number of charging stations on French territory. Currently numbering 50,000, France is still considerably behind in this field compared to its European neighbours. “It’s a major obstacle for city dwellers who don’t have a garage at their disposal”also believes Fabien Neuvy, researcher at the Cetelem Observatory of the automobile. “Poor people have often been forced to leave large urban centers to find accommodation, and drive a lot. Autonomy, the fear of running out of fuel, are significant issues”.