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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

France targets 2 million electric cars by 2020

France hopes to have 2 million electric cars on the road by 2020, and its energy minister Jean-Louis Borloo will on Thursday launch a plan designed to ensure the necessary infrastructure is in place in time. The French state will invest over a billion euros, installing charging stations, adapting the electricity grid and buying vehicles, as well as providing subsidies to buyers and carmakers, Paris Match reported on its website on Wednesday.

The government wants to build up a network of 4.4 million charging points by 2020, enough to support 2 million vehicles, Paris Match said.

Last week, industry minister Christian Estrosi said public and private players would launch tenders for 50,000 electric vehicles during the autumn.

French carmakers Renault and PSA Peugeot Citroen are both launching electric cars, but their forecasts of the likely market for the vehicles differ.

Philippe Varin, CEO of PSA Peugeot Citroen, which displayed the i0n, based on partner Mitsubishi Motors' iMiev, at the Frankfurt Auto Show, said earlier this month that he expected around 1 in 20 cars sold worldwide by 2020 to be electric.

Renault Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn, meanwhile, who is also CEO of Japanese alliance partner Nissan Motor Co is sticking by a forecast of 1 in 10 electric cars by 2020.

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