France to Invest Euro 400 Million for Low-Carbon Vehicles

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lowcvp-logoThe French President has announced support worth €400 million ($550m) over four years for the development and construction of low-carbon vehicles. 

Speaking at the Paris Motor Show, Nicolas Sarkozy said the money is intended "exclusively for the research and development of non-polluting vehicles, that is vehicles with the least possible emission of carbon dioxide, whether electric cars or hybrids."
In his speech, Mr Sarkozy also said he would ask the European Commission to loosen regulations on state aid to enable EU governments to better support policies that benefit the environment. In particular as "The U.S. Treasury is preparing to grant 25 million dollars in long-term loans at unbeatable rates to U.S. carmakers for them to renovate their plants that are more than 20 years old," Sarkozy said. 

European carmakers have called for support for EU policymakers to consider a €40bn "low-interest loans package" for car buyers, and further incentives to replace vehicles that are more than eight years old. ACEA says that government support would help the industry to meet planned CO2 regulations and also provide a more even playing field following the announcement of low interest loans from the US Government to support the struggling US industry.

Mr Sarkozy's earlier announcement came against the backdrop of French carmakers Renault-Nissan and PSA Peugeot Citroen signing separate agreements with the largely state-owned energy supplier EDF to establish programmes for the commercialization of electric cars. The agreement between EDF and Renault-Nissan calls for the development of batteries and the construction of a network of battery charging stations throughout France by 2011.

(Source: LowCVP)


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