Gasoline shortage. Why the electric car is still not decisive in New Aquitaine

The electric car is gaining ground in a car market that is trying to recover from the Covid period. At the Mondial de l’Automobile, which takes place from October 17 to 23 in Paris, it is the superstar vehicle. But on the roads of the New Aquitaine region, it is still largely the diesel engine that dominates.

We do not hear them, although they are a little more numerous than before, especially in the city. Electric cars, rechargeable or hybrid, are starting to be part of the interior, but very slowly.

The start of sales dates from a few months ago, linked to the international context. “The gap was made when the war was started, witnesses the sales manager of the Renault dealer in Marmande in Lot-et-Garonne, as prices at the pump skyrocketed”.

We lacked electric cars at the time.

Renault dealer – Marmande – Lot-et-Garonne

France 3 web writing

And the car that gets the most votes from this merchant, it is a model that fluctuates between 40 to 45,000 euros he tells us. With the state bonus, it is 6,000 euros less on the purchase price. President Emmanuel Macron also announced on Sunday 16 October an upward adjustment of this assistance: 7,000 euros for the most modest households.

But in fact, in this concession in Marmande, customers no longer buy cash, but monthly. Because despite these aids, the electric car still represents a significant budget. The first price, entry level, is 24,000 euros for a vehicle of the diamond brand. “With the monthly payments, it goes away.” explains this sales manager from Marmande, a medium-sized city and rural area where incomes are not very high.
“It’s like thermal at the end of the day. You have to calculate all the costs. With electricity, insurance is cheaper, maintenance is cheaper, fuel is cheaper.”

And the increase in the price of electricity? Is this a concern, like power outages?
“It has to send a signal, but the customer doesn’t put it down. Many of our customers want to charge outside, not at home”,
continues the car salesman.

The merchant remembers less prosperous times.

In 2012 we had a hard time. In the last few months, it has represented 11 to 12% of our sales. Gradually, it is necessary with the entry into force of the ZFE (Low Emission Zone Editor’s note).

Renault dealer – Marmande, Lot-et-Garonne

France 3 Web writing

Nationally, sales of new 100% electric cars represented 12.2% of registrations in France during the first eight months of 2022, according to the website of the Mondial de l’Automobile, which will be held in Paris from October 17 to 23.

The numbers are rising sharply, boosted by government subsidies for the purchase of an electric car. But not only: the ban on the sale of thermal vehicles in 2035 in Europe also changes the situation.

With more than 2 million vehicles running on diesel, this type of engine is still widely used in New Aquitaine. The infographic here speaks volumes. We are a diesel country, even if we don’t move to the countryside like to the city. Where budgets are tighter and where public transport is not as developed as in urban areas, electric cars have not yet met with much enthusiasm since 2011.

With 2,713 charging stations in the region, New Aquitaine is better equipped than the northern or eastern regions of the country according to data from Avere-France, the national association for the development of electric mobility.
The autonomy, which is still considered insufficient, the difficulty of accessing charging points, the long distances covered by company cars and thus the time required for this recharging are possible explanations.

For individuals, the need for a compatible connection is sometimes another limitation.

Nationwide, we are seeing an increase in the number of charging points for electric cars. Businesses, called companies on this infographic below, are encouraged to buy electric cars for their employees on the go. They therefore also contribute strongly to the establishment of charging stations in the area.

Bordeaux and the metropolis are preparing for it. From 1eh By January 2025 at the latest, the Métropole de Bordeaux has a legal obligation to create a low-emission zone on its territory, in accordance with the Climate and Resilience Act. This is to limit the circulation of the most polluting vehicles, defined by the Crit’Air sticker.
All cities with more than 150,000 inhabitants will have to create a ZFE where the circulation of the most polluting vehicles is restricted, bringing the number of ZFEs up to 45 in total. This will therefore also be the case for the urban area of ​​Limoges, Pau-Béarn or even the urban community of the Basque Country of Bayonne for New Aquitaine.

Today, only cities that regularly exceed pollution thresholds, around ten in France, are subject to it, such as Paris and the inner suburbs or Rouen. The full map can be found below.

The low-emission zones are somewhat à la carte depending on the territory. This is to limit the circulation of the most polluting vehicles, defined by the Crit’Air sticker. It is already mandatory for cities whose air quality does not meet European standards.
Each local authority is free to determine the scope, criteria and access conditions for their use.

To date, access to ZFEs is based on Crit’air vignettes. Created in 2016, these stickers classify vehicles from 0 to 5 according to their pollutant emissions.

And you, where are you? To find your way around, here are the categories:

  • Crit’Air 0 (green label) indicates 100% electric or hydrogen vehicles;
  • Crit’Air 1: gas cars, plug-in hybrids or petrol cars whose date 1. time registration is after 2011;
  • Crit’Air 2: petrol cars between 2006 and 2010 or diesel cars after 2011;
  • Crit’Air 3: petrol cars between 1997 and 2005 or diesel between 2006 and 2010;
  • Crit’Air 4: diesel cars between 2001 and 2005;
  • Crit’Air 5: diesel cars between 1997 and 2000;
  • Non-classified vehicles (NC) from before 1997, petrol or diesel.

    In New Aquitaine, a tipping point has been observed since 2018. 3,2,1 vignettes now take the lead of vehicles in circulation. The share of old diesel cars dating from before 2005 (vignettes 4 and 5), which was leading ten years ago, continues to fall in the region’s car fleet. On the infographic below, you can see the development of this share year by year since 2011. And all-electric progress slowly, to reach 21,882 vehicles by 2021.

    So far, Bordeaux Métropole has determined the area of ​​implementation of Low emission zone. It is located on the entire intra-ring road that includes 14 municipalities in the Metropolis. Bègles, Bordeaux, Bouliac, Bruges, Cenon, Eysines, Floirac, Gradignan, Le Bouscat, Lormont, Mérignac, Pessac, Talence, Villenave d’Ornon are therefore included in this scope.

    However, the ring road is not integrated into the perimeter of the ZFE to avoid the transfer of transit traffic to the parallel local roads outside the ring road.

    Bordeaux Metropolis

    Bordeaux Métropole website

    Within the metropolitan area of ​​Bordeaux, the data transcribed in the infographic below attests to a fairly recent vehicle fleet than the average in New Aquitaine and in France. For example, gas vehicles, plug-in hybrids or petrol cars that come into use after 2011 are more represented than elsewhere.

    From January 1, 2025, Limoges will also have a low-emissions mobility zone in its metropolis. The private car fleet is slightly less recent than in Bordeaux.

    For the Bayonne region, which will also be affected by the low-emission zone, and where there will therefore be the possibility of traffic restrictions, there is also a slightly newer vehicle fleet than the regional and national average.

    The urban community of Pau Béarn is getting ready also during its passage through the ZFE. On the available data, we observe a vehicle fleet that is slightly less recent than in Bordeaux or the urban area of ​​Bayonne. We come closer to the average for the region, and the park is slightly less recent than nationally.

    In light of these data, we see slightly different situations from one urban area to another. The question arises of vehicles located outside these sectors, which after all must travel in these areas for professional or personal reasons.

    The establishment of ZFEs will probably lead to a renewal of the car fleet towards less polluting cars, for those who have the financial means. Motorists finally have a short time to turn around. Factories will have to turn to supplying vehicles while the waiting time for a new vehicle is already several months. Brands Renault is suffering from the conflict and the component crisis.

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