France has decided to halt the support for electric cars imported from China due to their environmentally harmful production methods.

Ready to depart: Electric cars are piling up in a Chinese port. Bild: AFP

The sale of electric cars from China will no longer be subsidized in France in the future. Paris aims to achieve multiple goals with this decision. However, it is likely that this measure will affect not only Chinese manufacturers.

AFrance, as the first country in Europe, wants to link the payment of the electric vehicle purchase premium to environmental criteria, effectively excluding vehicles produced in China from the subsidy. Currently, the country subsidizes the purchase of an electric vehicle regardless of the manufacturer or place of production, up to 7000 euros. In comparison, Germany offers up to 4500 euros, which will decrease to 3000 euros starting from January 1st. In China, there is a tax relief of nearly 4000 euros when purchasing an electric vehicle, which also applies to imported models, and some cities offer additional incentives.

Gustav Theile

Wirtschaftskorrespondent für China mit Sitz in Schanghai.

In France, starting from the New Year, the bonus will only be granted to vehicles that are classified as environmentally friendly by the French environmental agency, Ademe. The energy mix, materials used, and environmental damages from transportation to France will be taken into consideration. Manufacturers can submit their documents to the agency from October, and a list of eligible vehicles will be published in December. The government emphasized that Ademe applies an extremely precise scientific methodology and that the redesign of the purchase bonus does not violate the rules of the World Trade Organization, as such an approach is allowed to protect the environment.