PARIS -- The French government is revising a program for trading in older, higher-emissions cars for cleaner ones, after financing the scrapping of 200,000 vehicles in two months to stimulate auto sales after coronavirus lockdowns.
The new program, which is similar to one in place for several years before the coronavirus crisis, will start on Aug. 3, the Ministry of Ecological Transition said in a statement on Monday.
Vehicles eligible for scrapping will remain the same as under the COVID-19 relief program: diesel vehicles registered before 2011 and gasoline vehicles registered before 2006.
Under the coronavirus relief program, buyers who turned in an older car and bought a new or used gasoline or diesel car that conformed to the latest emissions regulations could receive 3,000 euros ($3,520), and those who bought a new or used electric or plug-in hybrid (with electric range of at least 50 km) could receive 5,000 euros.
But in an effort to focus on lower-income buyers, the government has reduced the income ceiling for participants.
The new plan provides 2,500 or 5,000 euros for an electric or plug-in hybrid, depending on income level, and 1,500 or 3,000 euros for a gasoline or diesel model. Cars registered after Aug. 1, 2019, with emissions of 137 grams per kilometer of CO2, are eligible to receive the bonus.
The French government said 800,000 vehicles have been scrapped in the last five years under the program, including the 200,000 that were turned in after the coronavirus aid started on June 1.
According to the CNPA automotive association, 18 percent of all vehicle sales in June benefited from the conversion bonus. Sales in June rose by 1.2 percent compared with June 2019, after falling by 72 percent in March, 89 percent in April and 57 percent in May.
A separate program that provides 7,000 euros for the purchase of a new electric vehicle and 2,000 euros for a new plug-in hybrid will remain in place until the end of this year.
That program and the enhanced scrapping incentives were part of an 8 billion euro ($9.4 billion) plan to support the automotive industry announced by President Emmanuel Macron at the end of May.
France is also preparing to invest 30 billion euros in stimulus spending for environmental projects as part of a plan to relaunch the economy, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said in an interview published Sunday in the newspaper Journal du Dimanche.
Among the plans are an increase in credits to make homes more energy-efficient, increasing the use of rail freight, extending bike-lane networks and supporting electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, Le Maire said, without offering specifics.
Macron has said that France should take advantage of the coronavirus crisis to rethink its economy and further reduce its dependence on carbon-based fuels.