The French are currently struggling to find fuel, but Emmanuel Macron revealed this Sunday, October 16 to our colleagues from Les Echos the ambitious goals of the director of the tricolor car industry. Announcements coming when the Mondial de l’Auto opens this Monday to the press and Tuesday to the public at the Porte de Versailles in Paris (October 17 to 23). A demonstration that had not taken place in four years.
The head of state immediately sets the stage, believing that the decline in car production in France is not due to the transition to electric. “The difficulties in the French car industry existed before”, assures the head of state, who places the current production of vehicles in France at around 1.3 -1.5 million copies against 4 million 20 years ago. “The transition to electric (…) is, on the contrary, an opportunity to relaunch a sector with new objectives,” he hopes.
Goal: one million electric cars manufactured in France by 2027
First of all, there is a course – European – to the disappearance in 2035 of new thermal vehicles. Emmanuel Macron fully subscribes to it. To achieve this goal, it presupposes the quantified stages that French and foreign manufacturers installed in the area must go through. “We want to reach one million electric vehicles produced in France by 2027. (…) Our goal is to produce 2 million electric vehicles by 2030, with French and foreign investment creating jobs in batteries or assembly. »
One million vehicles is currently the number of electric cars registered in France. A number reached over several years. Achieving such a figure in just five years shows the challenge manufacturers face. “In 2017, electricity accounted for only 1% of sales, today it is 13% and we will reach 30% by the end of the five-year period, according to forecasts”, assures the tenant of the Elysée to our colleagues.
Vehicles made in France?
The second challenge to be solved concerns the possibility of bringing vehicles and batteries manufactured in France. At the moment, the result is clear, as Emmanuel Macron also acknowledges: “The figures are quite cruel: more than 80% of the electric vehicles purchased were imported. How do we manage with a horizon of five years and even more ten years, so it will be different ? »
The sinews of war concern not only the car, but also the batteries, the equipment at the heart of the electric revolution. “Today we have three large electric battery gigafactory projects. The first batteries will be produced in France in the coming months. We are therefore very credible with our goal of being autonomous on batteries by 2027. We could even start exporting after this date.”
But the solution probably goes through Europe to bring out giants capable of competing with the US and… China. On Friday, a major European car rental company (Sixt) announced an order for 100,000 cars from Chinese manufacturer BYD. Could a producer from the Old Continent have honored such a contract? “We have to wake up, neither the Americans nor the Chinese will give us such gifts! “, urges Macron.
New electric car for 100 euros per month
Once manufactured, electric cars struggle to find buyers. Blame it on a high price, much more in any case than their thermal counterparts. During the presidential campaign, candidate Emmanuel Macron had promised a lease with the option of acquiring a vehicle for 100 euros a month. This proposal has been the subject of several simulations since, but has yet to see the light of day.
Emmanuel Macron assures Echos, “pre-orders will be made in the second half of 2023, for delivery in early 2024”.
A tariff shield for charging stations
Beyond industrial targets, another problem awaits the 100% electric car world. The thing with the charging stations. And their insufficient number. The government had promised 100,000 public before the end of the year, but we will be around 72,000. Many are out of service due to maintenance issues.
“We will be at 100,000 public terminals by the end of the first half of 2023. And 400,000 in 2030”, the head of state promises, however, calling for an installation rate of “3,000 terminals every month”. According to Luc Chatel, president of the Automotive Platform (PFA), we’d rather be at “500 installed a week when we need 1,500.”
Finally, the ultimate challenge is the price of refills, which is rising amid the energy crisis. “From January 2023, we will also extend the tariff screen to electric terminals to avoid adventures like some of our neighbors. Today, prices remain reasonable, we will make sure they remain so,” promises Emmanuel Macron.