France suspends social leasing scheme for EVs as demand exhausts budget

Tue 13 February 2024 View all news

The French Government has suspended a €100 per month leasing scheme for electric vehicles due to high demand. The scheme, targeted at lower income households, has already doubled - to 50,000 - the number of households able to benefit. 

The offer has been suspended for the year 2024 from February 15th, but will be renewed in 2025.

Introduced by President Macron last December, the Government-subsidized electric leasing scheme (also known as social leasing) began on 1st January this year. 

The scheme allowed participants to lease an electric car with an option to purchase, without an initial contribution, at the cost of €100 or €150 per month depending on the model (city/family, excluding insurance and maintenance). The lease arrangement runs for three years and is renewable once.

The initiative targeted people driving more than 8,000 km/year in the course of their work with their personal car, as well as people living more than 15km from their place of work and using their personal car to get there. Access to the scheme was available to households with a taxable income of less than €15,400 a person.

Originally, the scheme aimed for  25,000 European-built electric cars to be offered for lease but this was doubled after massive demand; The Government said it had received more than 90,000 applications by the end of January.

The Guardian reports that the industry and energy minister, Roland Lescure, suggested the offer had been constrained by the number of electric vehicles being made in France and urged the country’s carmakers to speed up production.

Roland Lescure told France 3: “It [the scheme] is a victim of its success. It all happened quicker than we thought. We’ll perhaps slow down a bit to give the French manufacturers some time and then, accelerate, accelerate, accelerate.”

< Back to news list