France encourages rapid chargers in rural areas

The French government has launched a new subsidy program to support the installation of fast charging stations at smaller gas stations in the country’s rural areas.

The new programme, with a budget of €10 million, targets independent service stations that sell less than 2,500 cubic meters of fuel per year and are located in a “medium-density or rural community”. According to the French government, there are more than 4,000 eligible gas stations.

These can receive a subsidy of 60 to 70 percent of the costs from the state, depending on the charging capacity (50 or 150 kW). The grant can be requested from the French Agency for Environment and Energy Management (ADEME) starting December 1, 2022 and will be paid one month after the validation of the submitted documents.

The support for rapid charging of the independent service stations officially came as a support for their modernization and “confirmation of their fundamental role in the electrification of mobility,” according to the statement of the French Ministry of Economy.

In fact, the financing that has now begun is the second part of the aid package for small gas stations. In August, the government put in place a “First Aid Regulation” so that smaller petrol stations can also offer politicians-decided fuel discounts until the end of the year. It was about a subsidy of between 3,000 and 6,000 euros per petrol station – depending on the monthly turnover in 2021.

“As we committed ourselves to last summer in parliament, which approved an appropriate budget framework, the government will help small independent petrol stations, especially in rural areas, in the energy transition,” says Economy Minister Bruni Le Maire. Energy Transition Minister Agnès Bagnier-Ronacher adds: “Thanks to regional interdependence and the role it plays in social cohesion across France, small independent gas stations should become a major player in the energy transition closer to France.” (in French)

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