Europe 1 with AFP / Photo credit: Gauthier Bedrignans / Hans Lucas / Hans Lucas via AFP 12:52 p.m., February 12, 2024
The State has decided to put an end to the 2024 edition of "social leasing", which allows the less well-off to access an electric car for 100 euros per month, after having "exceeded" its initial objectives for this year, announced the Élysée. With more than 50,000 orders that will be honored, the quota will go well beyond the 20,000 to 25,000 vehicles planned.
The slashed prices on electric cars will have only lasted six weeks: after more than 50,000 orders validated, and before a new edition in 2025, the Élysée announced on Monday the end of "social leasing". The State has decided to put an end to the 2024 edition of this system allowing the less well-off to access an electric car for 100 euros per month, after having "exceeded" its initial objectives for this year, according to the Élysée. The decree putting an end to this edition must a priori be published on Tuesday, said the presidency. But the operation will restart at the end of 2024 for the year 2025, underlined the Elysée.
“Social leasing”, launched in December by President Emmanuel Macron, offered rental with purchase option (LOA) at less than 100 euros per month for electric city cars, and 150 euros for family cars (excluding insurance and maintenance), without initial contribution, and for three years, renewable once.
“We achieved our objectives and exceeded our expectations”
The government had initially mentioned a quota of 20,000 to 25,000 cars for 2024, depending on the vehicles available, promising to ramp up in the following years. But the offer was immediately a victim of its success. “With this first wave we have achieved our objectives and even exceeded all our expectations,” said an advisor to the Head of State.
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This measure targeted modest French people who drive a lot and buy few new cars, for budget reasons, and should therefore have waited for more electric vehicles to arrive on the second-hand market to equip themselves. “Of the 100,000 vehicles normally purchased each year by French people eligible for leasing, this year 50,000 will be electric. This is a real success emblematic of French ecology, good for the wallet and for the planet,” said -he affirmed.
The State finances each rental up to a maximum of 13,000 euros, and manufacturers also make an effort on the amount of monthly payments. The Stellantis group particularly took advantage of this offer by offering its electric Peugeot 208 and Fiat 500 from mid-December, but also larger models like the Jeep Avenger, for a total of 20,000 cars initially. Renault offered its Twingo at the end of its career at knockdown prices, but also its Kangoo electric family car.
Made in France
For the Minister of Industry and Energy Roland Lescure, today there is "great demand and we do not yet have enough products manufactured in France. This means that French manufacturers must accelerate the pace or commit to doing so", declared the minister on Sunday on France 3. "What is great about this system, (...) is that, at the same time, you (give) access to people who are not necessarily well-off people to a cheap electric vehicle, and you also do it by producing more French vehicles. We have to be able to do both,” underlined Roland Lescure.
Among the supported models, only the largest are produced in France, such as the Renault Mégane or the Opel Mokka. Stellantis insists that it is impossible to build an entry-level car in France and has just opened sales for its small electric C3, produced in Slovenia and priced at 20,000 euros.
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Renault must market its electric Renault 5 manufactured in the north of France in 2024, but at higher prices, around 25,000 euros. Volkswagen, Skoda, Nissan and Hyundai have also launched offers within the framework of this “social leasing”, but only in January. Only vehicles built in France or Europe are eligible for this bonus.
The Volkswagen France group indicated on Monday that numerous files had been "received and accepted", but deplored the fact "of having arrived later than the French in the system". “We are ready to continue, and do not understand the ministers' statements, we have not been consulted,” a spokesperson told AFP.