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Grants for Electric Vehicles in France

Monday 15 February 2021

Buy a new electric or hybrid car in France and obtain a grant on the purchase price of the vehicle and for the installation of a charging point.

As is happening in most other countries in Europe, the French government is encouraging the wider use of electric cars through financial incentives to buyers. 

The rules of engagement are forever changing and the generous headline figures that are often cited are subject to detailed conditions that are sometimes difficult to fulfil. Nevertheless, if you do meet the criteria, a reasonable sum of cash is available, although you need to be careful of inflated prices from dealers arising from the grants.

Broadly speaking, there are three main measures in place:

  • Prime à la Conversion – a grant for scraping an eligible car and the purchase of an eligible petrol, diesel, electric or hybrid car.
  • Bonus Ecologique – a grant for the purchase of a new or eligible second-hand electric or hybrid car.
  • Borne de Recharge - a grant for the installation of an electric recharge point at you home.

There is also an additional grant available for many areas of Paris.

These grants are cumulative, so you may be entitled to all four of them.

i. Prime à la Conversion

This grant is conditional on you scrapping your existing car. That is why is also known as a prime à la casse.

Eligibility depends on your income and the age, type of fuel used (diesel or petrol).

  • If your annual income is below €13,489 per household part (so double for a couple) the vehicle must have been registered prior to 2001 if diesel and before 1997 if petrol.
  • If your income is above this threshold (part per household) then if a diesel car it must have been registered prior to 2006 and for a petrol vehicle before 1997.

The vehicle to be scrapped must have been owned by you for at least a year.

The vehicle weight cannot be higher than 3.5 tons.

If you meet these criteria, the level of the grant depends on whether you purchase a new or second-hand eligible vehicle:

  • For the purchase of a new electric or hybrid car you would be entitled to a grant of €2,500.
  • For the purchase of a new or second-hand petrol car emitting no more than 117g co2/km you would be entitled to a grant of €1,500.

There is also entitlement to a ‘super-prime’ for those with an annual income no higher than €6,300 per household part.

Also entitled are those with an income no greater than €13,489 per household part  whose place of work is more than 30km from their home and who drive more than 12,000km per year for travel to work and your professional activity.

The vehicle to be purchased must meet pollution criteria. In the case of an electric car, a CO2 emission rate can be no greater than 20g/km and for a hybrid car no greater than 50k/km. The purchase price must also be lower than €60,000.

It is also possible to obtain a grant for the purchase of a new or second-hand low polluting petrol or diesel car, with a CO2 emission rate no higher than 137g/km. The grant is €3,000 for low income households and €1,500 with an income of €13,489 per part.

The government have an on-line simulator for you to assess your eligibility, which you can find at Simulator.

You can also make application at Prime Conversion.

These rules apply until 30th June 2021 when the emission criteria will tighten.

ii. Bonus Ecologique

This is a grant towards the purchase or lease of a new or second-hand electric or a hybrid car or small van, which does not require that your existing vehicle is scrapped.

The amount of assistance varies according to the price and type of vehicle.

The bonus is deducted from the price of the vehicle by the dealer or reimbursed on application by you after the purchase of the vehicle.

For a new vehicle the emission level cannot be higher than 50 g/km, which is reduced to 20 g/kg for a second-hand vehicle.

The grant for the purchase of a new electric/hybrid vehicle for less than €45,000 with a maximum CO2 level of 20 g/km, the bonus is 27% of the vehicle's acquisition cost including tax, up to a maximum of €7,000. From 1st July 2021, the grant is reduced to €6,000.

The grant for the purchase of a second-hand vehicle is €1,000.

If you purchase the car through a dealer they should deal with the formalities, but if not you can make application at Bonus Ecologique.

iii. Borne de Recharge

A tax credit (a grant if you do not pay income tax) is available to those who buy a charging station for their electric or rechargeable hybrid car, to install it in their home or co-ownership property.

Unlike the grants above it is available to second-home owners, provided you are resident in France. It is also available to tenants.

The tax credit is €300 per person, so a married couple (or those in a civil partnership) seeking two charging stations would be entitled to a grant of €600. It is only available for the purchase of the charging station itself, not the installation cost.

It is accessible to everyone, regardless of income, whether or not they are liable to income tax. The tax credit is granted the year following the completion of the work.

The grant is only going to cover part of the cost of the works, which will generally be in excess of €1,000, including labour costs.

In order to claim the tax credit, you declare it in 2022 on your 2021 tax return.

iv. Paris

If you live in Paris then you can make an application under their related scheme at Métropole Roule Propre.

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