In the future, France only wants to subsidize the sale of electric cars produced in Europe. This was announced by President Emmanuel Macron in a speech on Thursday. When buying US and Asian cars, the environmental bonus will no longer be granted, which was slightly increased in France at the turn of the year and currently amounts to up to 7000,47 euros, provided that the vehicle costs less than 000,2 euros and weighs 4.<> tons. The change is expected to take effect by the end of this year.

Niklas Záboji

Business correspondent in Paris

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Macron's announcement is part of a package of measures with which the French government wants to accelerate the reindustrialization of the country. The draft for a corresponding "Green Industries Act" is to be presented next week. Based on the American Inflation Reduction Act, tax credits for investments in "green" technologies such as heat pumps and solar modules are also planned. In addition, the approval procedures for industrial projects are to be roughly halved to nine months.

"We are not called to become the consumers of American industry," Macron said. This is also "a question of sovereignty". He justified the modification of the electric car subsidy in a similar way. "We do not want to use French taxpayers' money to accelerate non-European industrialization," the president explained. France will be the first country in Europe to reform the criteria for awarding the environmental bonus "in order to better take into account the CO2 footprint of the vehicle".

Macron's announcement plays into the hands of French car brands such as Renault, Peugeot and Citroën. They are exposed to fierce competitive pressure, especially from Chinese manufacturers. But they are also affected by the recent price reductions of the American competitor Tesla, which means that its Model 3, for example in France, now costs around 42,000 euros, just as much as the all-electric Renault Mégane, which was launched a few months ago and is associated with high hopes.

The state is not only promoting the ramp-up of electric mobility in France on the sales side. Paris is also supporting the domestic production of battery cells to the best of its ability. This Friday, Macron travels to Dunkirk in northern France, where the Taiwanese company Prologium plans to build a gigafactory. It would be the fourth production facility on French soil. The first gigafactory is scheduled to open at the end of this month in Billy-Berclau in northern France. Behind this is the Automotive Cells Company, a joint venture of the car manufacturers Stellantis, Mercedes and the energy group Totalenergies.