PARIS -- The French government is seeking to limit incentives for buying new full-electric vehicles to those built in Europe, President Emmanuel Macon said, part of a package of environmentally friendly business incentives meant to boost French competitiveness.
EVs sold in France are eligible for a 5,000-euro ($5,500) credit, provided their maximum price is below 47,000 euros and their weight is below 2.4 tons. Tesla has recently lowered the price of its Model 3 sedan and Model Y SUV to make them eligible, sparking criticism that French taxpayers are subsidizing foreign brands.
Under Macron’s proposal Thursday, the EV credit would be reserved for cars that have a low-carbon footprint, meaning that they and their batteries are built with sustainable energy. That would largely exclude Chinese automakers, who have recently made inroads with lower-cost EVs, especially from SAIC’s MG brand.
The Spring battery-electric minicar from Renault's Dacia brand is also winning customers in Europe. It is imported from China.
"We're going to support batteries and vehicles made in Europe because their carbon footprint is good; we're not going to use French taxpayers' money to boost non-European industry," Macron said, adding that the proposal did not amount to “protectionism.”
Automakers who produce in Europe are seeking ways to decarbonize their production and supply chains ahead of the EU's 2050 target for carbon neutrality.