France to support fast charging at rural fuel stations

The French government has launched a new funding programme to support the installation of fast-charging stations at smaller filling stations in rural regions of the country.

The new programme, with a budget of ten million euros, is aimed at independent petrol stations that sell less than 2,500 cubic metres of fuel per year and are located in a “medium or rural density commune”. According to the French government, more than 4,000 petrol stations qualify.

Approved refuelling stations can receive a subsidy from the state of 60 to 70 per cent of the costs, depending on the charging capacity (50 or 150 kW). The subsidy can be applied for from 1 December 2022 at the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) and should be paid one month after validation of the submitted documents.

The fast charger subsidy for the independent service stations is officially a support to modernise them “and confirm their essential role in the electrification of mobility”, according to the French Ministry of Economy’s announcement.

Part two of help package

In fact, the support now launched is the second part of an aid package for small petrol stations. In August, the government set up a “first aid scheme” so that small petrol stations could also offer the fuel rebate decided by politicians until the end of the year. This involved subsidies of between 3,000 and 6,000 euros per petrol station – depending on the monthly sales volume in 2021.

“As we promised this summer before Parliament, which voted a budget for this purpose, the government will help small independent service stations, particularly in rural areas, to make the energy transition,” says Economy Minister Bruni Le Maire. Energy transition minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher adds: “Thanks to their territorial networking and the role they play in social cohesion throughout France, small independent petrol stations must become key players in the energy transition, closest to the French.”