With France playing a lead role in addressing climate change after the successful COP 21 Climate Conference in France in December 2015, the pressure is on for French manufacturers to design lighter and more energy efficient vehicles for the French consumers and beyond. Manufacturers can predict that European and French regulators will continue to regulate emissions for diesel and internal combustion engines, driving more investments for electric vehicles. Meanwhile, despite some of the inconveniences in owning electric vehicles, the French government will continue to offer incentives to consumers for the purchase of electric vehicles. This report for U.S. exporters provides a summary on the current production of passenger vehicles in France as it relates to shifting design away from the use of fossil fuels and carbon gas emissions to hybrid and electric vehicles.
Last Published: 1/4/2017
As of January 2016, the French vehicle fleet, including all engine types, was composed of: 31,193,569 passenger vehicles, 105,279 buses, 5,025,465 light utility vehicles and 591,657 heavy utility vehicles and tractors.
 
57.2% of passenger vehicles had diesel engines (compared to 67% in 2013) and 38.6% had gasoline engines. By the end of 2015, France was second behind Norway in Europe in registration of hybrid and electric passenger vehicles. The market share for plug-in hybrid electric passenger vehicles reached 3.3% (of which 0.3% are rechargeable), and 0.9% for fully electric vehicles. This is an increase of 27% compared to 2013. The number of registrations of hybrid & electric passenger vehicles has rather slowed since January 2016 in France compared with the rest of Europe, as French customers expect newer models to come to market in 2017 that allow for greater distances without recharging.

Passenger vehicle registrations in France:
 
Fuel type/CategoryDieselGasolineHybrid Battery Electric Vehicles (HBEVs)Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)GNGBi-Fuel Gasoline/LPG & Gasoline/GNGTotal
Vehicle Stock by fuel type (as of 1/2016)17,842,72212,040,718998,194280,742Info not availableInfo not available31,193,569
2015 annual registrations (approximated figures)1,097,124738,98261,61917,268511,9561,917,000
 
The market for electric passenger vehicles is also driven by rental car companies (EuropCar, Avis, UCAR, Sixt), by car-sharing services (Autolib, Citiz, Uber Green) and by taxi companies (G7, Taxis Bleus), that have invested in electric and hybrid-rechargeable fleets

The Ten Most Popular passenger EVs in France in 2015:

 
Renault ZOE – 10,406 – 60.4% market share
NISSAN Leaf – 2,220 – 12.9% market share
Bolloré Bluecar – 1,166 – 6.8% market share
Tesla Models S – 741 – 4.3% market share
Peugeot I On – 725 – 4.2% market share
Kia Soul – 431 – 2.5% market share
Smart Fortwo – 396 – 2.3% market share
Citroen C-Zéro – 293 – 1.7% market share
BMW Série I – 293 – 1.7% market share
Volkswagen Up – 189 – 1.1% market share
Light Utility Electric Vehicles:  As far as light utility vehicles are concerned, France registered 4,915 electric light utility vehicles in 2015. The Renault Kangoo II is the leader of this segment with 2,836 registrations for 57.7% of the segment’s market share.

Demand for electric light utility vehicles is driven by companies such as FedEx, Chronopost, TNT, La Poste, Engie, Metro Cash + Carry, Darty, and Deretthat, which have developed their fleet of electric light utility vehicles.
 
Powered Two-Wheelers: The number of electric scooters increased by 60.7% in 2015 to reach 1,861 registrations, compared to 1,158 in 2014. This segment is dominated by Chinese brands.  Electric 3 wheel models, such as Ligier, Norauto the Ride, Govecs models, Peugeot e-vicacity, Yamaha EC03 and Matra e mo, are doing well with a total of 1,408 registrations in 2015.
 
For the 125CC segment, the BMW C Evolution is leading the market with 409 registrations in 2015. For the motorcycle segment, the number of electric engine motorcycles is very low with only 102 registrations in 2015.
 
Electric Bicycles: 102,083 electric bicycles were sold in 2015. This represents 2% of market share of the total number of bicycles sold in 2015 in the market. The majority of them were electrically assisted bicycles. This market segment has been very dynamic for the last couple of years due to the general growth of the bicycle market. There are around 240 models available in the French market. The main brands include Arcade, Dolphin, Easy Bike, Eveo, Gitane, Matra, MBK, Peugeot, Watt’s Up, and Wattitud.
 
Electric Trucks: Although most trucks on French roads still have diesel engines, a few truck manufacturers are now offering 100% electric trucks, such as the MAXITY truck from Renault, or the Daimler/Mercedes-Benz truck.
 
Public Transportation/Buses: Buses in large French cities have already moved from 100 percent diesel to hybrid engines. The main manufacturers/models of France’s hybrid buses are Heuliez Bus—GX 327 and GX 427, Iveco Bus (Irisbus)—Citelis 12 and 18, MAN—Lion’s City, Mercedes—Citaro BlueTec, Solaris—Urbino 12 and 18, Van Hool—A330 and Volvo—7700.
 
Some are 100% fully electric, but the numbers are still insignificant. However, manufacturers are working on new models, and six which have been approved by the French Ministry of Transportation. In 2015, the RATP (Paris transit authority) and EDF (French electric company) entered into a partnership to make 80% of Paris’ buses completely electric by 2025.
 
Below is the current list of the major available electric buses in France:
 
  • Bolloré Bluebus, bit.ly/1ug2l9r
  • B.E. Green ZEUS Bus, bit.ly/2dI1c6H
  • Cushman Diabline, bit.ly/1qATgXu
  • Gepebus Oreos 2x, bit.ly/1qHTpY0
  • Eagle 14 place, bit.ly/1uteebb
  • Gepebus Oreos 4x, bit.ly/1qATlun

Charging Infrastructure:
 
The success of the electric vehicle versus other green vehicle technologies depends upon the development of charging stations.  During a recent conference on energy in Paris, the CEO of Renault/Nissan explained that consumers will only buy electric cars if it’s convenient. This means that the government has to get involved in building the infrastructure that will allow charging stations to become more ubiquitous and accessible throughout France. 
Many partnerships between OEMs, energy providers and charging station infrastructure suppliers are underway and continue to develop. The French government continues to participate in this development as well.
As of today, there are about 2,689 stations registered in France with a total of 9,064 charging points *. They can be located thanks to various websites and apps. The https://fr.chargemap.com/ website is one example. 
  
Breakdown of Charging Stations by Location (https://fr.chargemap.com
Parking23.4%
Road23%
Car Dealership12%
Home11.10%
Shop9.40%
Hotel5.60%
Company4.70%
Fuel Station2.70%
Train Station1.50%
City Hall1.80%
Restaurant1.20%
Others (park, school, association, church, campsite, airport, movie theater)4.10%
Breakdown of charging stations by location (https://fr.chargemap.com/)
 
For the moment, most charging stations are located in 3 main regions in France; Ile de France (Paris Region), Rhone-Alpes (South Eastern France) and Gironde (Bordeaux area, Western France).
 
However, 3,000 cities in France are awaiting financial assistance from ADEME (the French governmental agency for the environment & energy savings) in order to develop new charging station projects, which all together will represent 12,000 additional charging points. 16,000 additional charging points by private operators, such as Bolloré, Compagnie Nationale du Rhone and EDF, are expected to be developed soon.
 
Most public charging stations are installed along public roads, at shopping facilities (big retail stores such as Auchan, Leclerc, Ikea) and in parking garages (Vinci Park) in major cities. These charging stations are installed in cooperation with e-mobility partners and municipalities, via car-sharing electric vehicle service providers, or via partnerships with private companies and e-mobility partners. Since 2012, the government requires all new parking garages to include a certain number of charging stations in parking areas. The same requirements were imposed on the construction of new business buildings/offices (not just garages) starting in 2015.
 
90% of electric vehicle charging takes place at home. Electric vehicles usually plug into a standard household outlet (the Renault Zoe is the exception). For security reasons, the majority of OEMs recommend the use of a wall box. The car is charged for six to eight hours with an 8–10A DC, less with a wall box (16A DC). 71% of charging points are standard charging, 19% are fast charging, 5% semi-fast charging and 5% are super-fast charging.
 
Charging stations have to be in accordance with the European standard in place since December 31, 2015. The French government asked that all needs were taken into account when developing charging station networks (slow night charging for private vehicles charging at home, or for professional vehicles charging at the company parking facilities). Large cities such as Paris or Nice also signed contracts with energy suppliers to develop the use of green energy (solar, photovoltaic, wind, etc.) for those specific uses.
 
On January 24, 2013 the Commission in Brussels approved a common European charging connector system. Mennekes' "Type 2" was declared a common standard for charging ports in Europe. In Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, the most widely used plug by far is Type 2, which now has official backing.
European carmakers are in agreement with US manufacturers that the Society of Automotive Engineers' combo standard, which integrates DC fast chargers with Level 2, is the right way to go. Neither group is supporting the Japanese CHAdeMO fast charger, which is already available in vehicles like the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i. At this stage, the SAE's combo standard just doesn't exist in Europe and, so, Mennekes' Type 2 is being adopted. For more information on the plug types and standards for different manufacturers in Europe and France, copy and paste this link into your browser: http://bit.ly/2dNwqJN
 
The French association Smart Grids France is the leading coordinator for smart grid activities in France. It is now part of the Global Smart Grid Federation and regroups 2,300 participants. Many companies are involved in smart grid development (energy providers, OEMs, software development and telecommunications companies, building and constructions companies, research and development, consulting agencies and the French government and municipalities). For more information, please visit bit.ly/1tFDU6G.
 
Official Government Position and Programs:
 
In addition to compliance with the EU target of a 40 percent reduction in emissions by 2030 (compared to the 1990 base), the goal in France is to reach well beyond this for 2050. Electric vehicles will not be the only way to achieve this target, but they will be the main focus.
 
The French government will continue to offer an incentive of around EUR 6,000 for the purchase of an electric vehicle, EUR 10,000 for a vehicle with less than 20 g of CO2 emission, EUR 1,000 for plug-in hybrid rechargeable vehicles and EUR 750 for full hybrid vehicles. This is a significant decrease from 2013. France’s government is diminishing aid going to hybrid vehicles in an effort to budget their money towards the emerging two-wheeled electric market. By 2017, the budget for hybrid non-rechargeable vehicles is set to disappear. For the scrapping of a diesel engine vehicle registered before 2006, the incentive will reach EUR 4,000 in 2017 instead of EUR 3,700. For green leased vehicles, a premium is also offered (around EUR 150).  Fiscal incentives will be offered to companies developing fleets of EV vehicles. The goal is to have 15 percent of vehicle travel done with 100 percent green/renewable energy engines by 2030.
 
Regarding charging infrastructure, the French government’s objective is to reach 7 million charging points for hybrid and electric vehicles by 2030. Individuals who install a charging station at home will benefit from a 30% tax rebate.
 
Furthermore, the French government is involved in the development of smart grid activities. It approved the deployment of 3 million electric “Linky” meters by 2016, and all homes in France should be equipped with one by 2021. ERDF (a subsidiary of the French energy provider EDF) is leading this project. Around 35 million French homes should have access to real-time electrical consumption information in 2020. This project should cost EUR 5 billion.
 
An endowment of EUR 5 billion is allocated for the development of green freight rail transportation, green public rail transportation (purchase of rolling stock) and river goods transportation. Municipalities developing such projects will benefit from the fund.
 
Projects & Initiatives (examples): Important Electric Mobility Stakeholders:
 
-EU & French government level: -Relevant associations (not an exhaustive list): Leading Trade Events in France (featuring eMobility):
   
 
The U.S. Commercial Service — Your Global Business Partner
With our network of offices across the United States and in more than 80 countries, the U.S. Commercial
Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting www.export.gov/.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this report is intended to be of assistance to U.S. exporters. While we make every effort to ensure its accuracy, neither the United States Government nor any of its employees make any representation as to the accuracy or completeness of information in this or any other United States government document. Readers are advised to independently verify any information prior to reliance thereon. The information provided in this report does not constitute legal advice. The Commercial Service reference to or inclusion of material by a non-U.S. Government entity in this document is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement by the Commercial Service of the entity, its materials, or its products or services. International copyright, U.S. Department of Commerce, 2016. All rights reserved outside of the United States.
 

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.



France Automotive Market Research