Europe 1 with AFP / Photo credits: FRANK HOERMANN / SVEN SIMON / SVEN SIMON / DPA PICTURE-ALLIANCE VIA AFP 17:47 p.m., September 18, 2023

The Ministry of the Economy indicates this Monday that the list of electric cars eligible from January 1, 2024 to the ecological bonus will be unveiled on December 15. In parallel, this week, two texts published in the Official Journal will detail the method of calculating the "environmental score".

The list of electric cars eligible from January 1, 2024 for the ecological bonus according to environmental criteria will be unveiled on December 15, said Monday the Ministry of the Economy. Two texts published Tuesday or Wednesday in the Official Journal will also detail the method of calculating this "environmental score" which also aims, indirectly, to limit imports of Chinese cars in France.

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Carbon footprint of vehicle production and transport

The score will be calculated by the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (Ademe) with data provided by the manufacturers. It will take into account the carbon footprint of production: the materials used, the assembly, the battery and its manufacture still very CO2 emitter, as well as the transport of the vehicle from its place of manufacture.

Only electric cars with a minimum score of 60 points will be eligible for this aid of several thousand euros allocated to the purchase or long-term lease.

Innovation at European level

The France is thus innovating at European level, while the Union is slow to position itself against these new competitors. "We will stop subsidizing electric vehicles that have a bad carbon footprint," which "will make it possible to value the most virtuous industrial productions," Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said in a statement sent by the ministry.

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"We are giving an advantage to French and European companies that are making the effort to reduce their environmental footprint," said Agnès Pannier-Runacher, Minister of Energy Transition. If no criterion will be eliminatory, the ministry judged Monday that the score indirectly favored European production.

China's auto industry heavily dependent on coal

In China, which dominates the electric car market, the industry is still largely dependent on coal at a time when more and more manufacturers are trying to enter the European market, often at discounted prices. Some models, especially small ones, produced in Asia could be eligible, the ministry said.

The government also expressed confidence in the legal strength of the reform under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules that allow exceptions in the name of environmental protection. The measure is also a response to the IRA, the set of subsidies awarded by the US government to accelerate green investments in the United States, particularly in the electric vehicle industry.