The Minister of the Environment hopes that the diesel vehicle cheating scandal promotes the rise of cleaner electric vehicles.
Environment Minister Ségolène Royal hoped on Saturday that the crisis born of Volkswagen’s cheating on diesel engines (nicknamed “dieselgate”) would give a “boost” to the development of electric mobility.
During a two-hour visit to the Paris Motor Show which opened its doors to the public, Ms. Royal, whose portfolio includes Transport, was especially interested in plug-in cars, and praised the government’s action for the development of their sales.
Beyond Volkswagen, which admitted a year ago to have rigged the software managing the engines of 11 million diesel cars, the investigation of a commission of experts appointed by Ms. Royal detected “anomalies” on the emissions of pollutants from cars of several brands.
His work also highlighted the sometimes considerable gap between polluting emissions during homologation sessions and in real conditions.
“The automakers knew it, they didn’t brag about it, so it’s not good, but at the same time it’s not a fraud in the sense that they didn’t install any fraud software”, Ms. Royal assured.
On Friday, Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn said he was “totally determined to collaborate at all levels” with the commission, which is continuing its investigations.
Manufacturers “must now, and French brand manufacturers are committed, including Renault, to get back to standards,” noted Ms. Royal.
“Now, what I want is that this crisis will give the electric car a boost. The electric car, the hydrogen car, that must now be a priority, manufacturers must lower prices and broaden their range, ”she said.
During her time at the Mondial, the minister had eyes only for electric cars, whether on the stands of the brands of the PSA group (Peugeot, Citroën and DS) or those of Renault, which showed her new Zoé with almost doubled autonomy: theoretical 400 km, 300 in real conditions.
“Autonomy is something totally crucial, because what hinders the purchase of an electric car is the fear of breaking down,” she commented.