On the 14th of December, the French government published a list of vehicles that would be eligible for the new standards of its ‘Bonus Écologique’, the EV subsidy scheme. Notably, Tesla’s Model 3, the Dacia Spring, and all MG models did not meet the environmental criteria and would lose the subsidy from the 1st of January 2024. Subsequently, the French EV market responded strongly as consumers bought vehicles before the subsidy ran out.

A Peak in Sales

The ‘Bonus Écologique’ EV incentive offers individuals and businesses a grant ranging from EUR5,000 to EUR7,000, dependent on income, making it one of the most generous schemes in Europe. However, it only applies to EVs with a maximum cost of EUR47,000 weighing under 2.4 tonnes.

France’s total BEV and PHEV sales for December peaked at 57,178, a 15% increase from November, and 17,000 units above the mean for 2023. Within December the top four EVs sold were the Tesla Model 3, Model Y, the MG4, and Dacia Spring all of which, apart from the Model Y, from 1st of January 2024 are no longer eligible for the subsidy.

Vehicle sales of the MG4 increased by 55% in December compared to November figures alluding to its affordability and popularity on the French EV market. Sales of the Dacia Spring increased by 9% from November, again showing a reaction to the cessation of the subsidy, however, its sale figure of 2,800 was not an annual peak having sold more than 3,300 units in October. Markedly, sales of the Tesla Model 3 decreased by 27% from November to December, whilst Model Y sales saw a 30% increase.

Rho’s Evaluation

The phasing out of subsidies provides a short-term driver-to-vehicle sales. Unlike the cessation of the German EV subsidies, French consumers were allowed to react before the subsidies were phased out, consequently leading to a sales spike. Data Manager at Rho Motion, Charles Lester commented “Following respective spikes, we expect these models’ market share to decrease to levels lower than those seen in 2023, as consumers may look towards more price competitive models with the subsidy.”

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