The future of electric cars got a nice boost last week when the French government announced that it would spend about $2.2 billion to create a network of battery charging stations for electric cars. One million charging stations will be built under the plan by 2015, with 90% of them in private homes and the rest in parking lots and other sites. Additionally, all apartment buildings with parking lots will be required to install the charging stations after 2012, and all office parking lots must install them by 2015. This should result in a total of four million charging points by 2020.
The new charging network will support France's goal of putting two million electric and hybrid cars on the road by 2020. Currently, the country has only a few thousand such vehicles. To jump-start their deployment, the government will give carmaker Renault €125 million to develop of a new battery manufacturing plant and a €150 million loan to build an electric car factory. Another €100 million will be made available for other electric carmakers. Fleet orders for electric vehicles are expected to reach 100,000 units by 2015.