Car manufacturers now know the terms of the passing exam so that their electric cars can benefit from the state’s help. The government has just revealed the method of calculating its new green ecological bonus which will come into force in January 2024 when purchasing an electric vehicle. While until now, the subsidy of 5,000 euros (up to 7,000 euros for low-income households) for the purchase is allocated regardless of the CO2 balance of the vehicle over the entire life cycle, its environmental sobriety will be now scrutinized.

“Only greenhouse gas emissions during use (while driving, editor’s note) were taken into account as an environmental criterion. However, such an approach does not make it possible to support the most virtuous vehicles, since it does not integrate the emissions linked to the entire life cycle of a vehicle, from its manufacture to its use on the road. explains the government.

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From now on, an environmental score will be assigned to each model sold in France, which will make it eligible or not for the ecological bonus. The decree and order which govern the environmental criteria will be published in the Official Journal on Tuesday. However, the list of eligible vehicles will not be published until mid-December. The time that Ademe (the Ecological Transition Agency) screens all the cars according to an “extremely rigorous” methodology, says the government.

The vehicle’s environmental score will be calculated based on the environmental impact of each step preceding its use on the road. Thus, the materials used for production (steel, ferrous metals, aluminum, etc.) will be taken into account, as will the environmental impact during assembly (energy consumption, etc.) and the batteries (weight, transport, etc.). Logistics will also be examined. In total, cars must obtain a minimum score of 60 out of 80.

Even if Chinese manufacturers are not directly targeted by this new bonus, their vehicles will in fact be poorly classified if they were manufactured with Chinese batteries and materials and have traveled thousands of kilometers. Their sale will continue, but without the help of the State. Enough to make them more expensive and reduce the price gap with European vehicles. This year, the State allocated 1 billion euros to the ecological bonus. A good part of this amount benefited electric vehicles “made in China” including Renault’s Spring.

“Thanks to this reform, we will stop subsidizing electric vehicles which have a bad carbon footprint,” underlines Bruno Le Maire, the Minister of the Economy. We will favor vehicles whose production emits the least CO2, which should result in a reduction in the French carbon footprint of 800,000 tonnes per year (…) This is a common sense measure, emblematic of our industry strategy green. This will be a first in Europe. »

Also read: Can I get an ecological bonus by buying a used electric bike?

The objective of this new bonus is to encourage manufacturers, including Chinese, and their suppliers to produce in Europe. “The energy transition must make it possible to create factories and industrial jobs in our territory,” argues Agnès Pannier-Runacher, the Minister of Energy Transition. This is essential so that it benefits all French people. By imposing an environmental criterion on the ecological bonus and social leasing (renting an electric vehicle for 100 euros per month, editor’s note), we are giving an advantage to French and European companies which are making the effort to reduce their environmental footprint. »

And at European level, Ursula van der Leyen announced the opening of an investigation into the Chinese government’s subsidies to its automobile industry. The offensive is all-out.