Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Wisconsin companies involved in the electric vehicle industry, rechargeable batteries or alternatives to fossil fuel combustion engines could find markets for their products in France.
France is fueling the move to electric vehicles, adding €500 million ($523.9 million USD) to a program to help finance construction of electric charging stations throughout the country, the government announced in November 2021.
That brings the total to €600 million ($628.7 million USD) allocated for the project, which focuses on installing the charging stations in places such as condominium complexes, parking lots and roads.
France had a goal of 100,000 vehicle charging locations by the end of 2021, but as of July 2021, only 43,700 were available.
The European Union has voted to prohibit the sale of new vehicles that run on gasoline or diesel fuel starting in 2035 as part of the effort to put the brakes on climate change.
A November 2021 report by the International Council on Clean Transportation estimated that France would need 350,000 electric vehicle charging stations available to the public by 2030 to meet the needs of the 8.5 million electric vehicles expected to be on the road in France by then.
France had about 470,000 electric vehicles operating in 2020, the report said.
Electric vehicles make up 1% of the 32 million privately owned vehicles in France, but in terms of market share, sales have increased substantially. In 2021, 10% of the vehicles sold were electric, up from 8.2% in 2020 and 1.9% in 2019.
More than 315,000 new plug-in vehicles were registered in France in 2021, according to Inside EVs. Tesla—which operates a Gigafactory in France—was the top seller, followed by French manufacturers Renault Clio and Dacia Sandero.
The government’s goal is to have at least 7 million public and private vehicle chargers in place by 2030, and for 100% of vehicle sales to be electric by 2040.
With France’s goals to end sales of fossil fuel-based emissions, Wisconsin manufacturers of rechargeable batteries and electric vehicle components could find opportunities in that market.