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France motoring news 2022

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New translation, the Magna Carta

government fuel subsidy to continue beyond the end of july

Despite government aid, prices at the pump have stayed very high, although now starting to fall. According to the minutes of the last Council of Ministers, the subsidy on energy prices will be extended until the end of 2022. This also concerns the 15 to 18 centimes discount on the price of a litre of fuel. Introduced on April 1, it was initially to last four months until July 31. Now, it is to be extended further.

"The discount of 15 centimes per litre on fuel, excluding tax, will be extended and is intended to be replaced by a permanent and targeted system according to criteria of income and use of the vehicle in a professional context", specifies the report of the Council of Ministers. This extension will be included in a package of measures for purchasing power, presented at the next council after the legislative elections on 11th and 19th June 2022.

Soon a more targeted measure

“If we see that we need to extend the measure, we will extend. In any case, we will not leave our fellow citizens without a solution,” said the Minister for Ecological Transition, Barbara Pompili, on Franceinfo. As indicated in the Council of Ministers report, this discount should be replaced by a new rebate. “The idea is to replace this 15 centimes measure with a subsidy that would be more targeted and that would affect more those who need it most, particularly, for example, heavy-duty wheelers [heavy goods vehicles - hgvs, poids lourds]”, the minister saids.

related reading
current fuel prices in france graph

the web address for the article above is

Private transport and the French Presidential election

direct fuel cost subsidies
electric cars at 100 euros per month? what “social leasing” provides

direct fuel cost subsidies

France is to introduce a rebate of 0.18 euros (including the value added tax - mainland France) per litre of transport fuel to help drivers cope with soaring pump prices from 1st April, continuing foe four months. This is expected to cost the government just over 2 billion euros. The rebate will cover households as well as lorry transport and farmers. France's fishermen will receive a separate and substantial rebate from July.

With the Presidential elections first round on 10th April, President Macron can be seen as attempting to bribe the French electorate, to consilidate his already strong lead in the polls.

This measure should save a motorist 9 euros on a 60 litre tank.

electric cars at 100 euros per month? what “social leasing” provides

In a context of soaring fuel prices, now exceeding the 2 euros per litre level, and looking for re-election, President Emmanuel Macron says he wants to enable low-income households acquire an electric vehicle for less than 100 € per month.

Presidential election candidates Emmanuel Macron and Socialist Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris, talk of a subsidised vehicle rental mechanism to support energy transition. That is, using leasing so the French can have electric vehicles, very expensive to buy, for an affordable sum. Macron says, "I prefer to help our compatriots to buy vehicles that consume less fuel rather than continuing to pay part of their full tank" (but see direct fuel cost subsidies above!).

how would this work?

The potential customer first chooses the model at a dealership or via a bank. The State will then pay part of the leasing, so that the monthly bill for the customer does not exceed 100 €.

  • Anne Hidalgo's “social leasing” would also be set up in partnership with car manufacturers and rental companies so that electric vehicles are accessible to individuals “for a monthly cost lower than the cost of a gasoline-powered vehicle. » The criteria of the public, such as age, income, daily commuting distance travelled, are still to be refined.

  • Emmanuel Macron's measure would provide for a fleet of 100,000 "carbon-free" cars from 2023, dedicated to this system and financed by an envelope of 50 million € per year, benefiting from partnerships with car manufacturers and private companies. Annually, this would mean an average subsidy of 500 € per household, or around 42 € per month. To achieve a leasing at less than 100 €, the total monthly amount would need to be capped at around 140 euros.

for which vehicles, and other questions?

The models concerned would be those whose monthly leasing amount is currently close to this 140€/month ceiling. So while a Renault Twingo starts at 89 euros per month, monthly leasing quickly rises to 129 € for the Fiat 500, 159 € for the Volkswagen e-up!, 169 € for the Renault Zoe or the Opel Corsa-e, and 179 € for the Peugeot e-208.

Given the still limited autonomy of electric vehicles, might this measure concern rechargeable hybrids? And in relation to the leasing mechanism, will a contribution be necessary to launch leasing? And how will the current leasing format with limited annual kilometres with overrun compensations be handled?

related reading
current fuel prices in france graph

the web address for the article above is

Fuel prices: don't fill up now, good news is coming

Editorial note, 27 March 2022
These price reductions have hardly appeared.
Firstly, the Russian 'non-invasion' of Ukraine and Ukraine's continued resistance, has meant that fuel is becoming more expensive, whichcosts are being passed on.
Secondly, commercial fuel sellers - suppermarkets etc, are keeping prices up in preparation for the government rebate promised for 1 April 2022.

Prices are finally going down again. From Monday the 14th March, fuel prices at service stations should be down after several weeks of increases. According to Michel-Edouard Leclerc, CEO of the Leclerc group, the sudden increase in fuel prices was caused by a speculative market, which should drop in the coming days.

Don't rush! is the message to motorists from Michel-Edouard Leclerc

As prices soar, with petrol and diesel now above the symbolic bar of 2€ per litre, sometimes by a lot more, French drivers have been rushing to service stations to fill up, fearing yet another increase.

"By the end of the week, the [prices of] stocks must go back down. First because crude prices are collapsing, and secondly as oil took a big discount because the euro is rising against the dollar. I think that from Friday we will have a drop of 14-15 cents per litre."

The Leclerc CEO confirmed that this drop will not be just at Leclerc service stations. "There is a general market drop, it doesn't apply to just one chain". Thus, the other service stations should pass on this drop to remain competitive on the market.

"It's a crazy market"

However, nothing says that this decline will be lasting. The market will fluctuating greatly over the next few weeks.

"It's a crazy market. I don't understand it. We are the second largest buyer of fuel in France. We buy it for the Leclerc centres, for the Super-U chain, for the RATP [Paris Transport Authority], for transport companies. We have a good monitoring system. I announced a flare-up at the start of the week and today the market is turning around. Notably, the price of oil fell on Wednesday, this explains this expected decrease in fuel prices at the pump."

"No rationality in the market"

This upcoming drop can indeed be explained by a slight drop in the price of a barrel of Brent Thursday [10/3/22] evening. At almost $130 a barrel for weeks, the price fell by 13.6% on Wednesday evening with the prospect of Europeans not enacting an embargo on Russian oil.

"I find no rationality in this market. There is stock, there is no less oil today, even the Russians are still selling diesel. There was no objective reason that it is soaring, the markets are speculating", Leclerc analysed.

And to indicate that the market has panicked in recent days without the brand being able to help households:
"What we could do was sell at cost price, but we caught ourselves in a week 20 cents increase. The average price had to be between 2.15 and 2.22 euros per litre."

"Prices are mechanical.A week ago, we were at 1.93€ being the average price in France with differences of 10 cents between regions. In some regions, especially in the East, diesel has gone to 2.25 or 2.27 and it will go down by 35 cents per litre."

Since the beginning of March, the price of diesel fuel per litre has been higher than that of petrol (SP95/E10).

The French government is currently working on several solutions to enable the French to absorb this increase with, for example, the introduction of a fuel check.

related reading
current fuel prices in france graph

the web address for the article above is

russia attacks more than merely ukraine

Glory to Ukraine

In this article
fuels: “There will be an increase of 8 to 10 cents”, announces michel-edouard leclerc
"moving from one supply to another"
"3.6% increase in food"
fuel prices at the pump in france

fuels: “There will be an increase of 8 to 10 cents”, announces michel-edouard leclerc

On France Info, Michel-Edouard Leclerc, strategic committee president of the Leclerc chaiin, predicts that the price of fuel will continue to increase. “The hardest part is ahead of us,” he announces, on fuels and also on food.

The prices of all fuels have not stopped climbing in recent weeks in France, sometimes reaching more than €2 per litre. This is consequences of the war in Ukraine and the increase in the price of a barrel of Brent.

Michel-Edouard Leclerc warned that This situation is not going to improve.

"moving from one supply to another"

Michel-Edouard Leclerc believes that the price of fuel will continue to rise in the coming weeks. "The trend is up. Even the currently cheap one will have to renew its stocks and become more expensive."

Michel-Edouard Leclerc also believes that the boycott of Russian energies has not yet produced its effects: "We continue to buy Russian gas and fuel. A third of our fuel on the Atlantic seaboard comes from the Russians. Our problem is to go from one supply to another, to get barges that take a month to come from the United States. I don't know if European states will stop buying all this energy from Russia."

"3.6% increase in food"

And it's not just the fuels that are affected. "Russia is a big producer of wheat, corn, cereals, fertilizers," recalls Michel-Edouard Leclerc. He estimates that the consequences of the war in Ukraine on the rise in food prices are "rather for next summer. We have to wait for the harvests to know if the Russians will be able to sell them or not."

However, he believes that "we have already entered an era of inflation which comes from the rise in transport costs and the Egalim law [ed.: which aims to grant guaranties to the French food sector]. In the coming months, we will have an average increase in food of 3.6% in all brands". A second wave of increases is to be expected afterwards, as a result of the war in Ukraine.

fuel prices at the pump in france

The price of diesel soared by more than 14 cents per litre on average last week in France, in the wake of soaring oil prices since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to official figures published Monday, 7 th March.

A litre of diesel was cost 1.8831 euros on average (an increase of 14.16 cents in a week) and that of super SP 95, 1.8889 euros (+ 7.56 cents), according to weekly data from the Ministry of Ecological Transition. A litre of super SP 95-E10 reached 1.8713 euros (+ 7.16 cents).

Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine started, prices at the pump were already up and had been beating records for weeks, against a backdrop of global economic recovery and still limited oil extractions from major producing countries.

But the Russian offensive has pushed crude prices to new highs. The price of a barrel of Brent crude from the North Sea approached $140 on Sunday evening [6/3/22], close to its all-time high of $147.50 dating from July 2008.

Faced with the worsening war in Ukraine, the United States is considering banning imports of Russian oil, also a possibility under discussion with the European Union. Note that Germany, highly reliant on Russian gas, oil and coal, is opposed to an embargo.

Faced with the rapid increase in energy prices, the French government is ready to take "more" measures to support the purchasing power of households, but it will be, if necessary, "targeted" responses, said Monday the Minister of Economy Bruno Le Maire.

further reading
current fuel prices in france graph

the web address for the article above is

another eussr attack on the motor car

The French version of the M.O.T. (le contrôle technique) is to be heavily upgraded from May2018.

This is an EUSSR 'directive'.

The number of checks made during the test are to rise from 124 to 400.

There will also be 100 critical faults which will forbid driving until 'corrected'. The example described is "a piece of plastic that is ready to fall". Drivers will have only one day to get repairs underway, a sticker to that effect being plastered on the windscreen.

And yet another fine of €135 if caught not having made required repairs.

Of course, the cost of the contrôle technique will rise.

the web address for the article above is

penury of fuel - all 8 french refineries blockaded

  tracking down fuel  
  other areas of essentials supplies now being affected  

25 May 2016

The French government intends to introduce various amendments to employment law, called the Law on Work - la Loi de Travail, intended to make employing and stopping employing workers a bit less difficult to achieve.

As part of the protests against these changes, the largest French trade union, the CGT, has blockaded, currently, six out of eight national fuel refineries. Thus, fuel is gradually becoming less easy to find, with about 40% of service stations being affected.

Fuel stocks should be at least, precisely, sixty-one days, but they often exceed that threshold.

  tracking down fuel

Le prix des carburants
[app. is downloadable from app stores.]

In late July 2017, the Macron government created a very useful website showing the current fuel prices at service stations in each commune. This changes daily, using the price declarations the service stations have to make to the government for tax purposes. As such, this website is a very useful aid for finding the best prices as you journey through the départements of France.

However, 5 years later, this web site has become common knowledge for French news sites and so can throw up a 502 Bad Gateway because of being overloaded. If this message happens to you, close the page, and restart the process. This is the most reliable way of correcting the problem.

  other areas of essentials supplies now being affected

As well as the refinery blockades, the staff of 19 French nuclear plants have voted to strike for Thursday. The threat of power cuts looms.

However, a CGT union spokeswoman for the Federation of Energy and Mines said, "This action will cause decreases in load, but not stop the power plants. You can not stop a nuclear power plant like this, it's not like a power plant or a hydroelectric dam."

Besides the strike in nuclear power plants, personnel at least four conventional thermal power plants have also decided to stop working and there will be blocking a gas storage unit in the south of France.

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