2007 Bali Climate Declaration by Scientists
Diesel Registrations in UK Hit Record in November 2007

France to Institute Vehicle Feebate Based on CO2 Emissions; $7,300 Bonus for Electric Cars

France’s Ministry of Ecology (Ministère de l’écologie, du développement et de l’aménagement durables) announced a new feebate system based on CO2 emissions for new vehicle purchases.

Under the scheme, a bonus will be paid to purchasers of new passenger cars emitting less than 130 g CO2/km, which now represents about 30% of sales. The bonus will be supplemented by an extra payment when the acquisition of the vehicle is accompanied by the scrapping of a vehicle that is more than 15 years old. Conversely, buyers of new vehicles that emit more than 160 g CO2/km will pay a penalty. This will affect approximately 25% of new vehicles sold. Buyers of vehicles emitting between 130-160g CO2 will not receive a bonus nor will they pay a tax. This “neutral zone” will apply to about 45% of vehicle purchases.

The payments and the penalties are based on a sliding scale—the less (or more) carbon dioxide emitted, the greater the payment or penalty, respectively. The threshold points for payments or penalties will advance 5 g CO2/km every two years to encourage ongoing development efforts.

To encourage the development of extremely low emission vehicles—especially electric vehicles, the government has a special bonus of €5,000 (US$7,300) for the purchase of vehicles emitting less than 60 g CO2/km.

Feebate Payments and Thresholds
ClassEmissions CO2 (g/km)Bonus (-)/ Penalty (+) (€)Examples% Market share of Class in 2006
A+ ≤60 -5,000 Electric vehicles 0%
A ≤100 -1,000 Smart, Fiat 500 0%
B 101-120 -700 Citroën C1, C2 and C3; Renault Clio; Peugeot 107 and 207, Fiat Punto 18.1%
C+ 121-130 -200 Citroën C4, Renault Mégane, VW Polo, Dacia Logan 12.8%
C- 131-140 0 Citroën Xsara Picasso, Peugeot 307 and 407; Seat Ibiza 15.8%
D 141-160 0 Citroën C5, Mercedes A Class, Ford Focus 28%
E+ 161-165 +200 Peugeot 607, Opel Zafira 4%
E- 166-200 +750 Mégane II break, BMW 3 Series, Toyota Rav 4 14.5%
F 201-250 +1,600 Mercedes E Class, Nissan X-Trail, Renault Vel Satis 5.4%
G >250 +2,600 VW Touareg, Citroën C6 1.4%

(A hat-tip to Bob!)




Sits idle? or do you mean sold to other EU countries? Reactors don't shut down very well for periods as short as overnight.


Assuming that my (imaginary) electric car is recharged from 100% coal-fired electric utility generators, and all the associated losses of transmission lines, and battery efficiencies (Ni-Cad vs. Li-Ion) etc., what would be the equivalent gCO2/km?

Obviously they'll be a range (Prius vs. Smart), so lets not quibble too much, I'm just trying to gauge the benefit of all-electric or PHEV against other fuels.

Tom Street


For the U.S., this probably should be taken into account. Since France is nuclear, the CO2 emissions are next to nothing, at least during the actual power generation cycle. We could quibble, of course, about the entire energy cycle required to bring nuclear on line and to store the wastes.

Jeff R

==We could quibble, of course, about the entire energy cycle required to bring nuclear on line and to store the wastes.==

It wouldn't be quibbling, any more than a lifecycle analysis for biofuels would be quibbling. Since the waste storage problem hasn't been solved, the lifecycle analysis of something that will need to be safely stored for 100,000 years might get kind of tricky.

I say let's just forget the whole thing and go with the solar thermal plants being proposed for the Sahara and the Mojave deserts. They could be up and running a lot faster, too. If we just covered the areas already run/ruined by the US military in California and Nevada with solar thermal mirrors--there you go. We wouldn't even need to buy the land.


"Pollution does not bother me since my air is clean because the coal plants that produce my electricity do it cleanly." lolx... that's the funniest thing I've read all day. Funny, yet sad.


Any predictions of what percentage of the French passenger car market share will be below 140 gCO2/km at the end of 2008?

One might imagine that improvement from 47% to over 50% should be possible and a good sign.

It is evident from the distribution in the lower carbon emission categories, why VW / Audi would predict a prevalent role for diesel engines.

Also evident is the critical need for the factor that enables passenger car makers to cross the threshold to cleaner transportation.

And, one might imagine that manufacturers' marketing departments add cost analyses to this data.


==Coal powered PHEV, what would be the equivalent gCO2/km==

It would be comparable to a Hybrid.
In this specific study, that comes out to 104gCO2/km

Ironic, eh?
Electrics are just that efficient.


And frankly France has figured out the solution to their their Nuclear waste problem. Send it to America.


I live in France and as far as I am aware electric cars are for sale only to large corporate buyers. There are no models available to households so what is the point of this change? The French system is extremely corrupt and is under huge lobby control. All subsidy systems e.g. for domestic solar are geared to subsidise enterprises not to help households or market development.
On the plus side this ought to entice Mitsubishi and others to release EVs here so I imagine the French must have some models planned for release. Perhaps based on the Cleanova system?


"...in regions with coal-heavy electricity generation, the plug-in would not reduce CO2 emissions at all."


If 2000 pounds of coal would produce 200 kwh and that is enough to propel an EV 1000 miles then it seems to me that 1 ton of coal would produce more pollution than a car traveling 1,000 miles.

I do not have the numbers yet, but I thought I would bring this up for discussion.


Quick search I found ~6000khw thermal energy in 1 ton of coal. Conventional coal power plant is ~35% thermal efficiency (newer coal tech can get up to 50%), that's 2000kwh/ton of coal. Your 200 kwh is prob missing a zero...so your car comparison should be for 10,000 miles!


1 Short Ton = 20,754,000 Btu

It IS more like 10,000 miles and if the hybrid gets 40 mpg it uses 250 gallons for about 2000 pounds of gasoline.

I guess it IS a wash. Thanks for playing our game, you get to take home our consolation prize for the day :)


=="...in regions with coal-heavy electricity generation, the plug-in would not reduce CO2 emissions at all." http://aceee.org/pubs/t061.htm==

Yes. You're forgetting that the baseline they are comparing to is a Prius.

The study is comparing a Plugin Prius, versus a conventional Prius.

Arguably, if they had a Series Plugin Hybrid, it would be actually greener than a comparable hybrid due to the weight difference.


You already have/had half of this system in the USA - 180 degrees the wrong way round. The enormous incentives for small businesses to buy Hummers, while the Federal Gvnt joined big auto in destroying the CARB mandate and the EV1.

Have you all forgotten "Who Killed the Electric car?" Watch it again.

So all you need to do is switch the subsidies from the Hummer to EVs and bring 'em (EVs) back with those nice ol 90s tech NiMH batteries instead of waiting another 4/5/6 however many years for the LiIon pipedream.

Here we are, cooing over GM's "Volt" un-aerodynamic rubbish "oh it would have been better the other way round in the wind tunnel ha ha" while only 2.5 years ago they crushed the last of their EV1s, the most aerodynamic production car ever built (maybe Honda Insight).


To be fair this needs a band H and H+ for really polluting vehicles.

As for CO2 of electric vehicles, a one ton EV in the Us is responsible for about 120g per km of CO2. That's actually more than an Audi A2 tdi, but a lot less than most cars.

The same vehicle in France would emit about 8g.


We need a system like this in the US to encourage a rapid transition away from fuel hungry vehicles and to decrease our dependence on foreign sources of energy. It's not about copying France, it's about structuring the US economy to be more resilient to the high cost and impact of petroleum based energy. We need to rapidly transition away from petroleum and toward electricity.

Even use of grid based electricity is far more efficient in the US than direct burning of gasoline. An all electric vehicle in the US consumes energy equal to 300 mpg efficiency if you consider Natural Gas and Coal produce barrel of oil equivalent fossil fuel energy.

So why not incentivize all electric and low carbon vehicles in the US?

Of course, we should also incentivize transitioning toward solar, wind, and nuclear energy based grid supply.

If we do not rapidly transition away from the use of oil and other fossil fuels we face the combined problems of increasingly limited supply, worsening political tension surround world nonrenewable energy supply and the expanding cost to life and treasure for energy wars, and the growing spectre of catastrophic climate change.

I would think such incentives combined with the added benefit of energy independence is a strong rational for feebates in the US.


Well done France! There will be always critics to such a system, but this one really makes sense. The argument drivers who do drive a lot will not have to pay, is not quite correct. If you drive more, you will have higher expenditures for fuel etc.. So it pays out to drive less.

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