What just happened? France is preparing a subsidized electric vehicle leasing program that could make EVs available to locals for as little as 100 euros ($100) per month. During a recent television appearance, Budget Minister Gabriel Attal said the 100 euro target is less than what many people spend on gasoline each month.

As part of his reelection campaign, President Emmanuel Macron pledged to make electric vehicles more affordable to low-income households. The French government already offers subsidies on the purchase of EVs (up to 6,000 euros for an EV priced under 47,000 euros) but some contend they are still out of reach of many prospective buyers.

Bloomberg said the government is working to see how quickly it can roll out the program and determining how many EVs will be available to lease. Full terms were not mentioned so it's unclear if the program would be structured like a traditional vehicle lease with a down payment, restrictions on mileage and the like.

According to Bloomberg, 12 percent of new car sales in France through the first seven months of 2022 were of the electric variety. Interest has been strong stateside, too. In January, Chevrolet sold out of its new Silverado EV in just 12 minutes. GM and Honda in April announced plans to co-develop EVs, Ford recently showed off an all-electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck for police use and Dodge just last month previewed its Charger Daytona SRT Concept.

Tesla in the most recent quarter delivered 254,695 vehicles, an increase of 26 percent compared to the year-ago period. Covid-related shutdowns in China and parts shortages hampered production, however.

In related news, California regulators recently approved a plan that would ban the sale of new internal-combustion engine vehicles by 2035. The rule mandates that 35 percent of new passenger cars and light trucks sold in California will have to be electric or emissions-free by 2026. The target will climb to 68 percent by 2030 before reaching 100 percent by 2035.

Image credit: Jack S, Miguel Barrera