May 17, 2024
The State does not reimburse the aid promised for the purchase of electric cars

The State does not reimburse the aid promised for the purchase of electric cars

Promising aid for the purchase of an electric car is easy, but when it comes to paying, the State is absent. The problem is that the dealers have advanced the money, and it’s digging a bigger and bigger hole in their cash flow.

When a customer buys an electric car while benefiting from government aid (bonus, social leasing, etc.), it is the dealers who advance the amount of the aid, so that the buyer does not have to take tedious steps. The State then pays the money to the concessionaires within a certain period of time to regularize the file. Anyway, this is the theory.

In practice, the concessionaires recover well from advancing the funds, but the State does not reimburse the amounts due, or with extremely long delays. This has left automotive professionals in a more than uncomfortable situation for their cash flow. This is what raises an article in the media Auto Infos from May 15.

At least 100 million in unpaid aid

Social leasing has aggravated a situation, which had already been complicated for several years, between the concessionaires and the organization (ASP) which must pay the aid. Social leasing is a new aid measure, introduced in 2024 to allow low-income households to have access to leasing electric cars for an amount between €50 and €150/month. This system mainly corresponds to a subsidy of €13,000 on a limited number of models (and files).

Two models eligible for social leasing for Renault // Source: Renault.fr website captureTwo models eligible for social leasing for Renault // Source: Renault.fr website capture
Two models eligible for social leasing for Renault // Source: Renault.fr website capture

Dealers are therefore able to cover up to €13,000 on vehicles worth between €25,000 and €35,000. They generally buy the vehicle from the manufacturers at a high price, without having a big margin on each model, and need reimbursement of the aid advanced within a reasonable time frame. Already they also do this for the ecological bonus (€4,000 or €7,000) and the conversion bonuses (up to €1,500), this is starting to represent particularly large sums for certain manufacturers. At least 100 million were not redistributed to dealers, just for social leasing.

The platform for submitting buyers’ files had already been launched well after the 2024 aid announcements, and the files quickly created backlogs to be processed. But other problems are also blocking the processing of files. However, dealers continued to deliver cars to customers.

Dealers who threaten to no longer deliver to customers

For certain distribution groups, up to 8 million euros have already been advanced for 2024 aid, and which are digging a gaping hole in the group’s accounting. The Auto Infos article even specifies that dealers find themselves forced to borrow to be able to cover the out-of-pocket amounts.

Discontent is starting to mount and many dealers are ready to stop deliveries of electric cars to customers until repayments of public aid have resumed.

Many are also worried about the second phase of social leasing in 2025, fearing to relive the same chaotic situation two years in a row. However, the government took more than two and a half years to release the measure, which left sufficient time to anticipate the situation a little better with the various stakeholders. It is not enough to promise tax incentives to boost sales; the government must then assume responsibility and be able to pay them.


If you liked this article, you will like the following: don’t miss them by subscribing to Numerama on Google News.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *