Ecological bonus, social leasing: why are car dealers roaring with anger?

Ecological bonus, social leasing: why are car dealers roaring with anger?
Ecological bonus, social leasing: why are car dealers roaring with anger?

When purchasing an electric vehicle, dealers advance state ecological bonuses. Since February 14, reimbursements have been paused, weakening the cash flow of smaller groups.

The anger of car dealers roars like a sports car engine. For three months, advances linked to the ecological bonus and the social leasing superbonus have no longer been reimbursed. “It’s a delay, not a cancellation,” specifies Audrey Deschamps, employee of a Hyundai dealership, present in several departments in the Centre-Val de Loire region.

In fact, when purchasing a new vehicle, any discounts linked to a vehicle considered ecological are covered by the dealers, who must then submit a reimbursement request by filing with the State. “Every year, the Payment Services Agency (ASP) closes at the end of December and reopens in February at the latest. But in 2024, it closed again on February 16,” explains Frédéric Magret, Peugeot dealer in Fleury-les- Aubrais and president of the Loirétain delegation of the Mobilians union.

premium “We are overwhelmed by calls”: in car dealerships in the Loiret, the rush towards electric vehicles

Up to 13,000 euros advanced per vehicle sold

In addition to the ecological bonus, the most modest households were able to benefit from the “social leasing” superbonus (which ended on February 15, and which allows customers to access certain models of electric car for 100 to 150 euros per month). The State subsidizes the acquisition of this vehicle to the tune of 13,000 euros, but due to lack of payment to dealers, their cash flow is weakened. “This slows down investments, the possibilities of animation, and certain dealerships have had to take out a loan to cover their expenses. Within the Bernier group, for example, we have rented 180 cars, which represents an effort of 2.3 million euros.”

50,000 vehicles have been rented since the start of the year in the country. Frédéric Magret estimates: “Around half of the files have been reimbursed. By extension, more than 300 million euros are lost.”

The Mobilians union met with the ASP at the beginning of May, and the latter announced a return of the platform on May 30. But the profession remains worried, according to Frédéric Magret who adds: “We are afraid that processing times will be long, and that payments will take even longer. We wanted reimbursement spread from one month to the next. Colleagues who do not are not located in the Loiret wondered if they should stop delivering electric cars, because even if social leasing is over, there is still the ecological bonus, which can reach 4,000 euros for individuals. The union will meet again with ASP representatives during the week of May 20.

The electric market far from top speed

Although the ecological bonus/penalty system requires some adaptation, it is beneficial for the electric vehicle market. Valérie de Galliffet, territorial manager of Mobilians, explains: “There are still constraints of costs, autonomy and terminals. The German government has stopped the ecological bonus for the sale of electric vehicles and their sales have fallen. We are working with the State to establish a strategic contract for the sector for the period 2024-2027. All players in the sector are doing their utmost to enable intelligent deployment of electricity in France.”

Jeffrey Carpenter

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