The great “imbroglio” of electric mobility aids

One hundred and three ! This is the total number of electric mobility aids (cars, bicycles or even scooters) that exist in France, whether at national or local authority level, according to a study by the Institute for Sustainable Development and of international relations (IDDRI) published on Thursday 20 October. It should be noted that IDDRI has focused on six types of vehicles and has deliberately left aside, for example, aid for the purchase of classic bicycles.

Admittedly, one could almost use the many detailed tables to find the number of cumulative euros to which to claim according to the coveted vehicle and its domicile. But IDDRI’s point is different. The Institute says it wanted to highlight “the disparities between the aid systems within the French territory, so as to be able to challenge the communities to encourage them to harmonize these systems, and to make benefit from them the territories which do not have them”. Fact, “great inequalities” appear between the territories where aid exists, namely 13 regions, 96 departments and 10 metropolises.

According to Secours Catholique and the Climate Action and Transport & Environment Network, which reacted to this work, there is indeed a “geographic imbroglio” with regard to the various aids, and, consequently, inequalities between citizens according to their place of residence in France.

Many white areas

“Beyond the fact that no region, no department, no metropolis offers the same thing, this study brings to light the existence of many white areas where no support for less polluting mobility is offered”, worries in a press release Valentin Desfontaines, sustainable mobility manager at the Climate Action Network. Thirteen million French people would thus have no access to any local aid for the acquisition of a new electric car.

Associations also mention poorly calibrated aids that do not “would not benefit those who need it most”, in particular the households most dependent on thermal vehicles. Thus, the maximum amount of combined aid at national level for the purchase of a new electric car is €12,000, while the first purchase price is around €20,000. “We can clearly see the need for strong complementarity between national and local aid to reduce the rest to be paid as much as possible”, they observe.

In addition, only eight grants are offered throughout the territory for the purchase of a second-hand electric car, while the vast majority of cars purchased are not new. In 2022, according to the Cetelem Automotive Observatory, when 604,000 new vehicles should be sold to individuals, second-hand sales will be around 5.5 million units. The observation is also severe with regard to aid for the electrification of one’s mode of transport: only 7 aids are thus offered in France for the purchase of a bicycle electrification kit.

6 aids for scooters, 22 for bicycles

Finally, inequalities are also visible between the modes of transport themselves. The
passenger cars and electrically assisted bicycles have an advantage over other so-called intermediate modes of transport (scooters and quadricycles in particular). For example, there are 6 aid systems for the acquisition of an electric scooter, compared to 22 for bicycles…

Secours Catholique, the Climate Action Network and Transport & Environment recommend in particular to review “the scale of the devices” and better targeting of the most vulnerable French people in national or local aid. These associations also plead for a “one-stop shop” allowing “to standardize and simplify procedures”.

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