French carmakers target fourfold jump in EV sales by 2027

PARIS, (Reuters) – France’s car industry will aim to ramp up electric car sales fourfold by 2027 under a strategy agreement to be signed with the government on Monday, just as the president of China embarks on a state visit in the country.

French President Emmanuel Macron has set a goal for the nation’s carmakers to produce two million electric or hybrid vehicles by the end of the decade, even as they face tough competition from top producer China.

Under a new medium-term planning agreement with the government, the industry is set to agree to an interim goal of 800,000 electric vehicle sales by 2027, up from 200,000 in 2022, according to a finance ministry briefing.

Additionally, carmakers will aim to increase sales of electric light utility vehicles to 100,000 annually over the same period, from only 16,500 in 2022.

French carmaker are racing to get more electric models on the roads after Chinese rivals stole an early march with rapid market share gains only reversed recently after the government revamped its consumer bonus scheme to favour the purchase of Europe-made cars.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Marie said that building up France’s electric car industry was essential for the country’s independence from oil producers and major car exporters.

“The choice that has to be made is whether we want to be a country of (car) producers or a country of consumers. We have made the choice to be a big electric vehicle producer nation,” Le Maire told a news conference.

A finance ministry source said the state had earmarked 1.5 billion euros ($1.6 billion) to support the production and purchase of electric vehicles this year through various programmes.

Nearly 20% of new cars sold in France are electric, but only 12% of them are made in the country.

The agreement between the government and industry also calls for 400,000 charging points by 2030 and 25,000 quick charging points by the end of 2027 along major travel routes and in big cities.

($1 = 0.9288 euros)

Reporting by Leigh Thomas and Gilles Guillaume; Editing by Mark Potter