renault zoe

Following an earlier report on France planning to gradually phase out the use of diesel for passenger cars and implement a pollution ranking system for cars, Bloomberg and Automotive News Europe have reported that from April, the French government will offer diesel drivers up to 10,000 euro (RM40,400) if they swap their cars for electric vehicles (EV).

“We have to eliminate old diesel cars that are more than 13 years old and have no filters,” energy minister Segolene Royal was quoted as saying, adding that 60% of the French population breathe unhealthy air. “(But) we have to be realistic because there are industries that make diesel cars, there are jobs involved,” she said.

Renault, of course, welcomed the incentives – a 10,000 euro rebate reduces the Zoe‘s effective price to 12,400 euro (RM50,100), while a Nissan Leaf would effectively cost 14,390 euro (RM58,100). The Zoe and Leaf are the best-selling passenger EVs in the country, with 5,970 Zoes and 1,604 Leafs finding owners last year, according to analysts Inovev.

bmw-320d-infiniti-euro-5

Diesel is taxed less than petrol in France, contributing towards 80% of French motorists driving diesel cars. But according to the national carmakers association CCFA, 64% of new cars sold last year in the country were diesel, compared to a 73% high in 2012.

In December, the French government announced that the TICPE excise tax (domestic duty on consumption of energy products) on diesel is set to go up by two euro cents (nine sen) a litre, drawing 807 million euro (RM3.54 billion) into state coffers in 2015.