Conspiracy: France Cut Incentives to Boost Renault Sales

2016-Chevy-Volt

As Volkswagen frantically tries to paddle its way out of its self-inflicted, diesel-fueled crap tsunami and government regulatory bodies around the world look at ways to clamp down on emissions testing it might be easy to predict smooth sailing for hybrids and PHEVs for years to come. At least, you might have thought that before reading the headline, above.

Taking a radical approach towards pushing EV adoption within its borders, France has decided to significantly cut back on its “green” vehicle incentives, cutting incentives for hybrids and PHEVs, but leaving rebates for “pure” electric vehicles intact.

If you’re a full-on nutter conspiracy theorist, you might wonder if this move to cut incentives has anything to do with the fact that France’s government is Renault’s largest shareholder. It seems an especially dubious call when you consider that Carlos Ghosn, the Nissan-Renault Alliance CEO, has vowed to put 1.5 million electric vehicles on the road by 2020.

When you factor in Nissan’s spotty record with hybrids (the company eventually ended up buying Hybrid Synergy Drives from Toyota) and increasingly strong competition from the 2016 Chevy Volt PHEV and upcoming 2017 Toyota Prius, the French government’s moves seem shadier, still!

What do you guys think? Is this a carefully orchestrated move by the government of France to protect its interests in pure electric cars, or is the fact that they’re heavily invested in a company that builds solid EVs but crappy hybrids just a really, really, auspicious coincidence? Either way, it’s a lucky break for Carlos! Let us know what you think about all this French business in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Enjoy!

 

Source | Images: Motorpasion.

 

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.