PARIS -- Renault Group is expecting to lose French EV incentives for the China-built Dacia Spring full-electric minicar, as the government of President Emmanuel Macron revises the bonus system, executives said.
The Spring, built in China by eGT, a joint venture of Renault, Dongfeng and Nissan, has been a success for Dacia, with about 42,000 sales this year. It is the least-expensive EV in Europe, with a base price of about 21,000 euros in France, but that drops to less than 16,000 euros with incentives.
Half of all Spring sales are in France, which has some of Europe's most generous EV incentives. Buyers of electric vehicles 47,000 euros or less receive 5,000 euros, plus there are income-linked scrappage incentives
The EU has opened an investigation into the Chinese government’s support for EV manufacturing amid fears that the European market could be “flooded” with lower-cost cars from China.
The French government has taken more immediate action, announcing that it would take into account a car’s total carbon footprint -- a move aimed at China, where much of its energy comes from coal-fired plants.
The largest portion of a plant's emissions -- about 80 percent, supplier sources told Automotive News Europe -- result from the energy source used to power the facility.
The final list of EVs eligible for French subsidies will be released Dec. 15, but Renault Group CFO Thierry Pieton and Dacia brand chief Denis Le Vot said last week that they expect the Spring will lose its eligibility.