PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday called for more support for consumers and companies that choose electric cars produced in the EU instead of foreign ones.
“The Americans are buying American and pursuing a very aggressive strategy of state aid. The Chinese are closing their market. We cannot be the only area, the most virtuous in terms of climate, which considers that there is no European preference,” Macron told French daily Les Echos.
“I strongly defend a European preference in this area and strong support for the automotive industry. We must stand by this and it must happen as soon as possible,” he said, noting that several European car rental companies are massively buying Chinese vehicles. “We must wake up, neither the Americans nor the Chinese will give us such gifts! Europe must prepare a strong response and move very quickly.”
“I have been pushing for more European sovereignty for five years. The software of many Europeans is changing,” Macron added.
The French president also said that France’s long-term objective is to develop a car supply chain entirely located in the country.
France is also set to launch from 2024 an experimental, subsidized leasing scheme for low-income consumers to buy electric vehicles for €100 per month, Macron said, while confirming that the mechanism will favor as much as possible the choice of French and European cars. The French president also announced that the government will top up from €6000 to €7000 an existing bonus to help lower-income families to buy electric cars.
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