In the future, France will link purchase bonuses for electric cars to environmental criteria, which practically excludes vehicles produced in China from funding.
The bonus of 5,000 euros that was previously automatically granted when purchasing an electric car worth less than 47,000 euros will in future only be paid if it is produced in a climate-friendly manner, as a decree published on Wednesday stipulates. The responsible environmental authority takes CO2 into account when categorizing vehicle models -Emissions caused by the materials used, the energy used in assembly, the production of the battery and ultimately during transport to France. Three times more greenhouse gases in China batteryThe government assumes that the production of a battery in China 1.7 – up to 3 times more greenhouse gases than a battery made in France, reported the newspaper “Les Échos”. Likewise, the production of a small sedan in China causes 45 percent more climate-damaging gases than in France. This is due to a much more carbon-rich electricity mix in China. As “Les Échos” writes, the environmental criteria have been weighted in such a way that they exclude Asian manufacturers from the bonus, but not French manufacturers, even if they have models manufactured in Eastern Europe and equipped with Chinese batteries. Their goal is to promote the European car industry The French government makes no secret of its desire to protect itself from competition from China. Almost a year ago, President Emmanuel Macron emphasized the need to promote the purchase of electric cars produced in Europe in view of competition from China and the USA. At the end of May, Economics Minister Bruno Le Maire said that in view of the challenges posed by China and the USA, the EU must show its muscles and defend its industry and attractiveness as well as its employees. Automotive expert Ferdinand Dudenhöfer criticized the French move and warned of consequences for Germany. “In our opinion, what France is doing is officially declaring a trade war against China,” said Dudenhöfer. “After the announcement by the French, one can expect that Brussels will come to the conclusion in a few weeks that punitive tariffs will be imposed.” In Germany, thousands of jobs would be at stake in the automotive industry as a result of such a trade war. “Distortion of competition” through China subsidies The EU had For its part, last week announced an investigation into state support for electric cars from China. The price of these cars is being artificially depressed by huge government subsidies, which is distorting the European market, said EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen.