France Invests $549 Million in Electric and Hybrid Cars
The French government announced today that it has earmarked a massive €400 million ($549 million) in state support for the development of electric and hybrid cars. The news comes hot on the heels of key pledges on the development of electric cars from Renault and Peugeot-Citroen that signal a major shift in green transport policy across the country.
Speaking at the Paris Motor Show, President Nicolas Sarkozy said the investment is destined “exclusively for the research and development of non-polluting vehicles.” His comments follow earlier announcements from French carmakers Renault SA and PSA Peugeot Citroen of separate agreements with energy company Electricite de France (EdF) to develop and market green vehicles.
In a joint statement with EdF, Peugeot Citroen said that their scheme will support the development of electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids. Meanwhile, the Renault agreement will advance the development of an EV charging infrastructure, enabling a country-wide vehicle launch in 2011.
EdF, which is 85% owned by the French government, runs the worlds biggest fleet of EVs and is developing a ‘smart’ charging terminal currently being trialled on Toyota Prius’s in the UK. Using innovative vehicle recognition technology, the system allows drivers to be invoiced directly, irrespective of where they charge their vehicles.
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