France aims for two million electric cars by 2020: minister

Oct 01, 2009
New electric Mini E cars manufactured by German automaker BMW are presented, in Paris in September 2009. France plans to invest 1.5 billion euros (2.2 billion dollars) on infrastructure for the two million electric and hybrid cars it wants on its roads by 2020, the ecology minister said Thursday.

France plans to invest 1.5 billion euros (2.2 billion dollars) on infrastructure for the two million electric and hybrid cars it wants on its roads by 2020, the ecology minister said Thursday.

A million battery-charging points will be built by 2015, 90 percent of them in private homes but also in parks and at roadside sites, according to a national plan presented by Jean-Louis Borloo.

"No player can take the risk alone, but if all the actors take it at the same time, that works," the minister told reporters as he outlined his government's strategy on helping reduce C02 emissions via cleaner cars.

The state and major companies will order 100,000 by 2015.

Nine hundred million euros of the investment money -- to be used mostly for infrastructure but also for buying cars and on subsidies to buyers and makers of vehicles -- could come from a state loan due to be launched next year.

The state will also participate in the creation of a battery factory at a Renault plant at Flins, west of Paris, by contributing 125 million from its strategic investment fund to the overall cost of 625 million euros.

The state will give Renault a 150-million-euro loan to build the factory.

French automakers PSA Peugeot Citroen and Renault presented their solutions for tomorrow's cars -- electric or hybrid -- at the Frankfurt Motor Show earlier this month.

Renault introduced four electric prototypes in Frankfurt that cover the range from small urban to commercial vehicles.

Renault chief Carlos Ghosn says he has made Zero Emissions the group's top strategy in the ongoing battle against .

The firm believes that by 2020 electric cars will make up more than 10 percent of the market and hopes to present its by 2011 and have them ready for the market the following year.

Rival PSA Peugeot Citroen equally aims to impress the general public with its environment-friendly cars after new company head Philippe Varin, who took over in June, made them one of his priorities.

(c) 2009 AFP

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