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October 2, 2009

FRANCE: EUR1.5bn pledged for EV infrastructure

France wants to be a world leader in electric and hybrid vehicles and will invest EUR1.5bn (US$2.2bn) on infrastructure for the two million electric and hybrid cars the government says it wants on the road by 2020.

France wants to be a world leader in electric and hybrid vehicles and will invest EUR1.5bn (US$2.2bn) on infrastructure for the two million electric and hybrid cars the government says it wants on the road by 2020.

The aim is to “make the French energy and car industry a world leader,” ecology minister Jean-Louis Borloo told reporters as he presented a strategy on CO2 reduction.

Under the plan, 1m battery-charging points will be built by 2015, 90% of them in private homes but also in car parks and at roadside sites.

From 2012 all new apartment blocks with parking will have to include charging stations and the network will grow to 4m points by 2020, the equivalent of two per vehicle.

Paris will help build up the battery production sector by contributing EUR125m from its strategic investment fund to the overall cost of EUR625m for a Renault battery plant at Flins. Renault will also get a state loan of up to EUR150m to build an electric car factory at the same site near Paris.

A further EUR100m will also be made available for other electric carmakers such as Peugeot or Daimler’s Smart division, officials said.

The schemes are part of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s “green plan” for France that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Last month Sarkozy announced a new carbon tax on businesses and individuals that will come into force next year to encourage consumers to cut down use of oil, gas and coal.

Joint purchases by state authorities and major private companies will see orders for 100,000 electric vehicles by 2015, according to the plan.

By 2030 the emissions-free vehicle sector in France is projected to be worth some EUR15bn, representing 27% of the total market, according to the ecology ministry.

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