the economic abyss of the French

350 euros per month. That is more than a quarter of the minimum growth wage (Smic). This is the price of a thermomobile in 2022. Within five years, it may even weigh a third of this minimum wage (410 euros per month). In a study released on October 18, the Climate Action Network (RAC) shows that the price of the car increased by 14 % in five years, from 3,680 euros per year in 2017 (ie 306 euros per month) to 4,210 euros today. And this growth could easily accelerate. It concerns the price of fuel, which constitutes the first item (and the third) of the expenses.

In a prospective analysis, the authors predicted the development of fuel prices according to three scenarios: price stability, an increase of 3 % per year and 5 % Per year. In the latter case, the budget allocated by the French to their car could rise to 410 euros per month (and 4,920 euros per year) within five years, an increase of 16 %. A pessimistic scenario, but realistic. Because if the development in fuel prices remains difficult to predict, the general context is hardly favorable for a price drop. On the contrary. L’OECD [1] expect an increase of 10 % of the oil price in 2023 »we can read in the report.

Faced with the relentless reduction of oil stocks, the costs [de l’or noir] will become more unstable »explains Louis-Pierre Geffray, transition mobility expert for IDDRI [2]. Not to mention that there are in the sector a very complicated set of actors », he points out. As evidenced by the recent decision by the 23 member countries of OPEC, the oil exporting countries, to reduce their production by 2 million barrels in order to raise prices. Finally, it seems increasingly uncertain that the state will continue to support the purchase of fuel indefinitely in order to limit the price increase »emphasize the authors, while the sale of thermal vehicles will be banned in Europe by 2035.

It is urgentimmediately explains to Reporters Valentin Desfontaines RACauthor of the report. The mobility system is out of breath. First from a climatic and health point of view. » Transport costs 15 % of greenhouse gas emissions, exhaust gases are responsible for air pollution, and cars cause physical inactivity and noise pollution. But also from a social point of view. On the side of the decision-makers, there is no awareness of the consequences [sociales] of this model and the scale of this challenge to fundamentally transform our mobility system »warns Valentin Desfontaines.

In many regions, mobility determines access to employment or health. In France, almost 13.3 million people are in a precarious mobility situation, i.e. they encounter difficulties in getting around: lack of means of transport, high fuel costs, aging vehicles, long journeys without an alternative to the car, etc. In this context, public mobility policies play a crucial role in combating inequalities.

Use public transport rather than the car

Our mobility system is above all centered on the car. The figures reported by RAC is eloquent: 82 % of the kilometers driven daily are by car. The shortest journeys are no exception: the car turns around 62 % of trips under 10 km and 41 % less than 5 km. Worse is that on weekdays 3 out of 4 journeys are made by car alone. However, there are solutions. For example, two-thirds (66 %) of the French believe that the introduction of a single transport ticket would encourage them to use public transport more frequently. And 9 out of 10 workers say they want to reduce the environmental impact of their travel »It is written.

We have an extremely complicated social situation in terms of mobility, and the real question today is how we get out of it. » With this in mind, the association lists nineteen measures to be implemented, divided into seven major projects: improving public transport and making it more accessible, developing cycling, less polluting vehicles and carpooling, better informing users and reducing the distances that the French lays back. day.

Among the priority projects, the Climate Action Network proposes that a climate ticket be established. The idea: to offer a single ticket for all public transport for 30 euros a month. Initiatives of this type exist in several European countries. For France, this project still requires significant technical and commercial developments »notice it RAC. To remedy this and intervene directly, the network recommends a change in two steps: immediate implementation of an exceptional subscription formula for public transport, thanks to financial support from the state, then starting a discussion with the authorities that organize the mobility of a sustainable system in the second phase.

The price of transport is no longer sustainableinsists Valentin Desfontaines. Today, the state spends 7.5 billion euros to help buy fuel, while some communities are forced to increase the prices of public transport. The prices for public transport must be revised. » In comparison, the organic support bonus weighs 1 billion euros. Parallel to this RAC calls for increasing investment dedicated to the railway and stopping new road projects.

Electric cars, bicycles, carpooling…

Another major project: access to electric vehicles. Emmanuel Macron thus announced on 17 October an increase in the ecological bonus for the purchase of a new electric car from 6,000 to 7,000 euros. For Valentin Desfontaines, this measure reveals a lack of knowledge of the field’s needs, as the most insecure are not on their way to buying a new vehicle. As can be seen from the study of RACthe cost of buying an electric car has fallen from an average of 20,000 euros in 2010 to 27,000 euros in 2020. The network therefore pleads above all for the improvement social and environmental efficiency » of the conversion bonus. In short: target the most modest households and direct this support only to electric cars.

The network recommends implementing the zero mobility rate system throughout the territory. Together with him, Louis-Pierre Geffray notes that an electric vehicle can be an economic advantage for households: 100 euros in leasing [crédit-bail] for the purchase of an electric vehicle, to which 20 euros will be added »all compared to the current 350 euros per month for a thermomobile. Not to mention that an electric car runs longer and is cheaper to maintain. », he pleads. It is still necessary that the models of the manufacturers meet the needs of the consumers. Because to limit its environmental footprint and its costs, the model must remain small It is necessary to question the size of the vehicles because the price of the vehicles is also highly dependent on the size », the researcher points out. And so far, manufacturers are still betting a bit on smaller models.

On the two-wheeled side, the network recommends going even further. If the latest cycling plan allows for 250 million euros for 2023, it will RAC estimates that twice as many would be needed (ie 2.5 billion over five years). It also recommends improving intermodality (for example, allowing users to take their bikes on the train) and supporting and funding learning to cycle. Carpooling, developing advice and reducing urban sprawl to limit distances traveled are all other avenues explored in this report to promote the transition to mobility.

Faced with a mobility system built around the individual car, these projections remind us how much our mobility system […] is vulnerable to the rise in the price of fossil fuels and the urgency of getting out of it. This vulnerability is not actually a death, but the consequence of the political choices of the past decades »concludes the report.

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