Tesla Model 3, MG4 and Dacia Spring…. With the end of the ecological bonus, these electric cars produced in China are seeing their sales fall

Tesla Model 3, MG4 and Dacia Spring…. With the end of the ecological bonus, these electric cars produced in China are seeing their sales fall
Tesla Model 3, MG4 and Dacia Spring…. With the end of the ecological bonus, these electric cars produced in China are seeing their sales fall

By K.D.

Published
yesterday at 10:45 p.m.,

Update 3 hours ago

A model of Tesla Model 3, one of the electric vehicles built in China that is very popular in France in 2023.
GREG BAKER / AFP

The loss of eligibility of these vehicles for the French ecological bonus weighed on the registrations of these three models, although popular in France in 2023.

The surge in imports of Chinese cars into Europe only lasted a short time. Since the French government decided to take into account CO2 emissions over the entire vehicle production cycle, in order to favor more virtuous models, those imported from Asia are automatically excluded from the ecological bonus. However, this aid system encourages the French to purchase new vehicles with a low carbon footprint. According to a calculation by the Reuters agency, this loss of eligibility for this French bonus therefore weighed on the registrations of the three electric models manufactured in China that were best sold in France: the Tesla Model 3, the MG4 (Group SAIC) and Dacia Spring (Renault Group).

These models represented 24% of electric car registrations in France over the period from January to November 2023. A figure rose to 22% last January then to only 4% in April, reports the press agency, a graph on the support. A phenomenon which goes hand in hand with the launch, at the beginning of the year, of the social leasing system launched by the government. The system in question encouraged manufacturers, until the end of February, to offer entry-level electric vehicles and stagger their payments to low-income households. A device to which vehicles manufactured in China could not automatically claim.

Bonus for electric cars made in Europe

These various changes go in favor of electric cars manufactured in Europe. In the top 3 best-selling electric vehicles in France in April, there are the Peugeot e-208, the Peugeot e-2008 and the Renault Twingo Electric.

However, some foreign manufacturers have not said their last word. In particular the Chinese manufacturer BYD, which has started the construction of its first factory in Hungary for electric passenger cars. The factory in question should be operational by 2025 and could therefore benefit from public aid for the purchase of new electric vehicles, as exists in France.

Because BYD, which was originally a battery manufacturer, became the world number one in electric cars ahead of the American Tesla in the fourth quarter of 2023 and intends to conquer France. The group is due to open two concessions on French soil in May, at Teste de Buch (Gironde) and Poitiers. Five more are also expected to open in the near future.

Distrust of the European Union

For its part, the European Union is observing this competition from Chinese companies very closely and opened an investigation in October 2023 into the subsidies granted by the communist regime to these manufacturers. More specifically, the European Commission wants to determine whether to impose additional customs duties on imports of electric vehicles manufactured in China, if it turns out that the subsidies granted by Beijing penalize European manufacturers.

The increase in car imports from this country has led the European Commission to request additional information from the Chinese groups BYD, SAIC and Geely. This subject should also be discussed during the Chinese president’s state visit to France on Monday May 6.

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