PARIS -- The French government is trying to put more electric vehicles in the hands of lower-income drivers with its “social leasing” program, with rates as low as 40 euros a month with no down payment.
Stellantis stands to benefit the most from the program at the moment, with nine of the 15 eligible models, including the Fiat 500e and the forthcoming Citroen eC3, produced by the group. Stellantis said earlier this month that it had already received 20,000 orders, 80 percent of the total 25,000 cars that the government will help to finance this year.
The social leasing program was initially funded with 400 million euros in government money, but it has been such a success that the Ministry for the Ecological Transition announced it would add at least an additional 5,000 cars, with the possibility of more. The ministry said it had received 90,000 inquiries about the program since it opened in mid-December.
“The program allows households for whom the transition to electric is the hardest to have a recent electric car, at a fixed rate well below market value, while seeing significant savings on fuel,” a Stellantis spokesperson told Automotive News Europe in an email.