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Electric cars: the State puts an end to the 2024 edition of “social leasing”

End clap.

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Electric cars: the State puts an end to the 2024 edition of “social leasing”

End clap. The State has decided to put an end to the 2024 edition of “social leasing”, this system allowing less well-off households to access an electric car for around 100 euros per month. A decree to this effect must be published on Tuesday, but “social leasing” will restart at the end of 2024 for the year 2025, assured the Élysée. As the Minister of Industry Roland Lescure pointed out in the program “Dimanche en politique” on France 3 this weekend, the system turned out to be “a victim of its success”: just one month after its launch, “social leasing” has already “exceeded” its initial objectives for this year. At the end of January, more than 90,000 people had requested an electric car via the system. In total, more than 50,000 orders were validated, a figure well above the 20,000 to 25,000 vehicles initially planned by the executive.

A strong measure of Emmanuel Macron's electoral program, "social leasing" or "electric leasing" offers the possibility for households earning a maximum of 15,400 euros in tax income to subscribe to a rental offer with purchase option (LOA) at least 100 euros per month for city cars, and 150 euros for family cars (excluding insurance and maintenance). To be eligible, candidates must also drive more than 8,000 km per year or live more than 15 km from their place of work. Households are helped up to a maximum of 13,000 euros per car, via the ecological bonus for low-income households (7,000 euros) and a surcharge of 6,000 euros. Without initial contribution, the rental is planned for three years, renewable once. Only vehicles manufactured in France or Europe are eligible for the bonus: this year, households had the possibility of choosing from around twenty models. The Stellantis group would have particularly benefited from the offer by offering a total of 20,000 cars from mid-December, including electric Peugeot 208s, Fiat 500s and Jeep Avengers. Renault, for its part, offered its Twingo at the end of its career at knockdown prices as well as the Kangoo family model.

In principle unlimited in time, the measure was finally overtaken by the budgetary brake. At 13,000 euros of state aid per vehicle, the bill for the 2024 edition of “social leasing” amounts to 650 million euros. A score that is already too high in view of the overall envelope of 1.5 billion euros intended to finance - in addition to the system - the ecological bonus and the conversion bonus. The fact remains that all orders validated for this year will be honored, which Roland Lescure confirmed on Sunday.

While announcing the end of “social leasing” for 2024, the Élysée welcomed the success of the system during this first edition. “Of the 100,000 vehicles normally purchased each year by French people eligible for leasing, this year 50,000 will be electric. “It’s a real emblematic success of French ecology, good for the wallet and for the planet,” a presidential advisor told AFP on Monday. The executive is also preparing the second wave of electric leasing for 2025, and a possible ramp-up of the system. Details will be provided at the “end of the year or the beginning of next year,” assured Roland Lescure.

The future of “social leasing” will depend, among other things, on the dynamism of manufacturers in terms of electricity production. “Today, there is great demand and we do not yet have enough products made in France. This means that French manufacturers must accelerate the pace or commit to doing so,” Roland Lescure recalled on Sunday. Among the models supported by the system, only a few are currently produced in France, such as the Renault Mégane or the Opel Mokka. However, manufacturers are planning the release of new models, such as the electric C3, produced by Stellantis in Slovenia and priced at 20,000 euros, or the electric Renault 5 manufactured by Renault in the north of France and marketed at around 25,000 euros. The second wave of “social leasing” could also allow foreign manufacturers such as Volkswagen, Skoda, Nissan or Hyundai to increase their offers, after a late entry into the system.

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