Are electric vehicle incentives the path toward cleaner air? New legislation in France offers up to €10,000 in incentives, could be a step in the right direction!
Taking a look at the air quality in some of the world’s cities, such as Beijing, Los Angeles, or Paris, and one can see, quite literally, the big problem that burning fossil fuels is creating. Electric vehicles, on the other hand, generate no emissions of any kind (at least not on the vehicle-level), which could go a long way to clearing the air in these cities. The problem is that, though they save money on fuel, many electric vehicles can be prohibitively expensive, which can be hard on the bank account.
While some have debated the effectiveness of electric vehicle incentives, almost no one debates the effectiveness of eliminating emissions-spewing conventional vehicles from the road. Convincing people to do so, even in “enlightened” areas, such as Paris, has been much easier said than done. In a bid to convince people to ditch their pre-2005 diesel-powered conventional vehicles, specifically those with no exhaust treatment systems, France has put in place new legislation allowing for up to €10,000 in incentives, to offset the higher cost of electric vehicles.
The problem with pre-2005 diesels is their lack of particulate filters. As we’ve covered before, PM2.5 and PM10 (particulate matter 2.5 µm or 10 µm is size), otherwise known as “soot,” are a huge problem for public health. Unprecedented levels of PM2.5 and PM10 in China, for example, has led to the untimely deaths of thousands. The new electric vehicle incentive plan covers both battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, but only if trading in a qualifying diesel-powered vehicle.
Battery electric vehicle incentives are up to €10,000, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle incentives are up to €6,500. Additional electric vehicle incentives include permitted travel on high-pollution days, free parking in certain zones, and privileged lane access on certain motorways in the country. Are we looking at a new boom in electric vehicle adoption in France? Will this help clear the air in Paris?