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Businesses call on French government to up support for the EV transition

7 February 2024, 9:41 UTC 3 min read

Global non-profit Climate Group, alongside 11 of the biggest fleet operators in France, have written to the French government urging them to throw their support behind the EV transition to boost economic competitiveness and reduce air pollution.  

With the government set to introduce stronger green quotas on corporate fleets, businesses including Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, Danfoss and Schneider Electric are urging the French government to offer their full support to the EU-wide 2035 deadline to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans, along with a raft of other measures to support businesses as they invest in EV technologies. 

By doing so, the government can protect the global competitiveness of the French automotive sector and give businesses already investing in EV technologies the confidence to continue to do so at pace. 

Maintaining current financial incentives, businesses argue, will help with the higher upfront costs of electric fleet vehicles. They allow businesses to invest at increasing pace in their electric fleets – driving prices down for the whole market. 

They’re also calling for continued clarity and certainty around EV subsidies, like rebates for purchasing EVs, which help businesses to invest with confidence.  

It’s vital that the government works with business as the roll-out of charging infrastructure intensifies, Climate Group and the businesses argue in their letter. Public charging, in particular fast charging, must meet the needs of businesses. By working together, government can ensure that infrastructure is delivered in the most cost-effective and targeted way possible.  

The letter also calls on the French automotive sector to keep pace with the demands of businesses. Businesses highlight the difficulty of getting hold of large vans with enough range, and specialist utilities vehicles, both of need to be electrified to meet zero emission targets.  

Broadening the range of EVs would keep the French automotive sector at pace with global carmakers and allow businesses to continue to support and invest in the French car industry. 

Sandra Roling, Director of Transport at Climate Group:   

“Businesses are at the forefront of the electric revolution in France and all across the world and don’t want to get left behind, they want to get ahead. An increasing number of French companies committing to and investing heavily in the electrification of their fleets, and they need the government’s support. 

“Around 16% of all newly registered cars in France last year were battery electric vehicles. Electrifying France’s roads is essential to meet net zero 2050 targets, and while the government has been supportive so far, we’re calling on them to go even further, being transparent with regulation and maintaining their fiscal support. By doing so, businesses will be able to continue to invest with certainty and clarity.” 

Bruno Pedrotti, Head of Public Affairs Southern Europe & Latin America, at Danfoss adds:  

“We are heavily investing in the electrification of our fleet in France as part of our EV100 commitment. This electrification of professional fleets plays a key role in decarbonizing road transport in France, and the government has the opportunity to provide us, as well as other companies, with the confidence and clarity needed to continue investing at a sustained pace in the accelerated deployment of electric vehicles, in line with our decarbonization ambitions."