France changes vehicle scrappage plan rules, gives Tesla buyers an effective 20 discount

France had one of Europe's most ambitious "cash for clunkers" plan, but the fun will end in the new year. Starting January 1st, France's program will only pay out the largest award – €1,000 – to buyers of just one model: the smart fortwo cdi. The reason can be found at the tailpipe.

Starting in 2010, buyers of cars with CO 2 emissions between 116 and 125 g/km will get a €200 clunkers bonus; those that emit between 96 and 115 grams qualify for €500, and only cars that daintily spew between 61 and 95 g/km get the maximum €1,000 bonus from the French Government. The smart fortwo cdi produces just 88 g of CO 2 per km.There are two other models that qualify for a special maximum bonus: a subsidy worth 20 percent of the value of the car. These are the Tesla Roadster and the Reva, which both fall into the "less than 60 g/km" category.

France's southern neighbor, Spain, has decided to carry on its current scrappage plan, although it will be limited to €100 million in total awards. This fund is expected to run out next summer. Spain's program offers a €1,500 bonus to new car buyers, plus €500 for cars emitting less than 120 g/km CO 2.

[Source: Le Blog Auto, El País]

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