New French president Macron aims for the last fossil fuel cars to be sold in 2040

10 May 2017

New French president Macron aims for the last fossil fuel cars to be sold in 2040

10 May 2017

The newly elected French president Emmanuel Macron is broadly pursuing the energy and traffic policies outlined by his predecessor, Francois Hollande. He is especially looking to promote electric vehicles (EVs) and aims for the last car with an internal combustion engine (ICE) to be sold in France in 2040.  

French daily newspaper Le Monde reported in the run-up to the election that one of Macron’s objectives is ‘to get out of fossil fuels’ and he therefore wants to expand France’s charging network.  In order to ‘protect the health of the French,’ Macron also proposes to align the taxation of diesel with that of gasoline by 2022 and ‘to strengthen the European antipollution standards of new vehicles and controls in real conditions.’ These measures were already in place under Hollande’s government but Macron has additionally announced plans to introduce a bonus of €1000 for the purchase of a new or used ‘greener’ vehicle. This extends further than the current bonus which is restricted to the purchase of a hybrid or electric vehicle. Apart from this, Macron wants to keep the existing bonus-malus scheme, which rewards the acquisition of clean cars and penalises those with higher fuel consumption. Ultimately, however, Macron’s aspiration is that there will be no more ‘sale of thermal vehicles’ in France in 2040.  

As far as broader energy policy is concerned, Macron aims to increase the share of renewable energies in France's energy mix to 32 per cent by 2030 and also to close the latest coal-fired power stations. By way of comparison, as early as 2016, renewable energy sources already contributed 29 percent to gross electricity generation in Germany. Macron was already committed to this project when he was the Minister of Economy in the cabinet of presidential predecessor François Hollande. In his term in office from 2014 to 2016, he passed the energy transition law for green growth (LTECV) and explicitly mentioned this several times during the election campaign. 

Macron also aims to reduce the proportion of nuclear energy in France to 50 per cent by 2025, and the CO2 tax will rise to €100 per tonne by 2023. In total, Macron wants to invest €15 billion in ecology and power generation.