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French entry-level EV conversion with government subsidies

  • 26-03-2022 1:52pm
    Registered Users Posts: 271 ✭✭

    For €5,000 after government subsidies, a company by the name of Transition One claims it can turn your old banger into a no fuss, no-emissions electric car

    Another interesting Fully charged show


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,984 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Can't watch the video at the moment but I really don't get the appeal of converting old cars to electric, unless it's something like a Ferrari Daytona with a blown engine

    I mean, a lot of people say we need to convert current cars over to electric, but it's not like car development stopped 20 years ago. Newer cars are vastly superior to 20 year old ones in terms of safety systems

    I really think the best approach is a scrappage scheme for old cars to switch to electric as long as the EV costs under €25k list price. Also the €5k SEAI grant shouldn't taper the cheaper the car goes, it should be possible to get a budget EV for under €20k

    This should finally push automakers to start making entry level vehicles instead of focusing on high profit segments

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 645 ✭✭✭Killer K

    So the SEAI grant and a scrappage scheme? I am sure the automakers would be all for it.

    Where does the money come from to fund all this?

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,984 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Taxpayers, who are already paying for truck drivers to claim VAT on diesel and for the recent cut in fuel excise. Personally as a taxpayer I'd have no issues with funding EV switchovers, especially for budget vehicles when EVs are currently quite expensive

    And I'm not sure garages would be too happy, they'd much rather sell high margin SUVs rather than budget hatchbacks that barely turn a profit

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 645 ✭✭✭Killer K

    Those things aren't directly comparable.

    I am sure dealerships and automakers would be delighted. That subsidy would go straight to the automakers who would in turn ensure that the dealerships are looked after. How can government subsidies not be good for them?

    Those who want a more expensive EV will buy one as they are already being subsidised by the taxpayer.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,439 ✭✭✭eagerv

    Not sure if "Subsidised by the taxpayer" is totally fair. Perhaps pays a little less VRT would be more correct.🙂.

    Example, base 60kWh Tesla Model 3 with 18" plastic aero cover wheels in Red:

    Cash Price€ 60,445 Includes VAT of approx € 10,524. Includes destination and documentation fee of € 980. Includes Vehicle Registration Tax of € 4,162. Includes SEAI grant of € 0. Includes tyre recycling fee of € 13.78.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 645 ✭✭✭Killer K

    That is pretty flawed logic though. VRT goes to the exchequer so even if you were to look at it that way (which wasn't what was being proposed), the loss of it would be a loss to the taxpayer who would effectively be absorbing that loss.

  • Registered Users Posts: 410 ✭✭neiphin

    25% of the car price is VAT/VRT

    do you think that that is not enough

    you would prefer or be happier with an effective 33.33% in taxes of one form or another being applied??

  • Registered Users Posts: 645 ✭✭✭Killer K

    Where have I said we should raise VAT/VRT? Obsessing about VAT/VRT is missing the original point completely.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,984 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    I don't really get what your original point was. If you don't like taxpayers money going to private companies then I guess you're not happy with the HSE buying medicines from pharmaceutical companies, or councils buying social housing, or farmers receiving subsidies?

    I get that EV subsidies end up just paying the automakers to build cars, but since it's already happening then we might as well make it more useful. The main argument against EV adoption at the moment is price, which is valid because there aren't really any affordable EVs out there.

    Automakers say they can't produce an EV with decent range for under €25k without incurring a loss, but that's kind of where the affordability segment is lacking, so that's where subsidies should be focused IMO. In Germany for example the EV subsidy increases for cars under €30k list price, which encourages automakers to focus on that segment

    Talking about converting old petrol vehicles to electric isn't really worthwhile since those cars won't be optimised for electric, and are using older safety technology, and have also had 20 years or so of rust loving Irish weather

    Since cars are fairly easy to recycle, it seems to me that a scrappage scheme would make more sense in this case

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

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  • Posts: 2,799 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]

    How can you say caring for the poor is the same as buying toys for assholes?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,085 ✭✭✭sh81722

    One asshole's toy becomes a second hand car after some number of years. Would you prefer they were forced to buy an used diesel in 5 years time instead of incentivising more new cars to become electric today?

  • Registered Users Posts: 645 ✭✭✭Killer K

    Yes, you clearly don't understand the point I am making. I am not going to go into the flawed comparisons you make here as you have already hit the nail on the head when you cite affordability. .

    If automakers can't make affordable BEVs then the solution you are proposing is that governments will need to subside the cost of making these cars 'affordable' indefinitely. Is that a good use of public resources? I would argue it isn't and public money is better spent elsewhere.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    old cars generally do fewer miles than new cars and occupy roles which are less critical. From an environmental perspective the best thing to do with them is to let them take on these lighter duties, do not convert to EV and maintain them well(within reason) to maximise their life until a major expensive component fails then send them to an end of life facility where all valuable resources are reclaimed.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,609 ✭✭✭zg3409

    In theory if it was done right, a simple bolt in kit for a common car say a Ford fiesta could be created, and local garages could do a swap out in a couple of days. In a few years 10,000 minus grant could be feasible.

    Knowing the Irish government and lobbying by main dealerships some form of scrappage scheme will be floated where perfectly good cars less than 10 years old are scrapped for no reason.

    Insurance may be an issue (modified car) and it needs an automotive engineer to sign off the work. As suggested you may also need brake, suspension updates or renewals and you still have some parts of car that are rusty and wear such as sills, wheel arches etc.

    There is also the whole car reg year, where some people will not be seen dead in anything over a 5 year old car.

    There are already old mini & beetle bolt in kits that can be done diy in less than a week.

    Some hybrid cars already have electric motors so a battery range upgrade might be practical such as an old prius doubling or trebling EV only range and putting a plug on it to home charge.

    Labor costs, R&D, subsidies are all big issues along with consumer demand and supply of older cars suitable for simple kit swaps. I do think a specialist company or two would be able to make money right now.

  • Registered Users Posts: 65,037 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    I applaud the idea of anyone converting their car to EV. I was planning to have my own Porsche Boxster done one day. Fact is that it is still very expensive to do unless you can DIY, even with a generous subsidy like the French one, it makes no financial sense when you can buy a second hand Leaf for about €6-7k

    It's a bit like a deep retrofit of houses with a heavy subsidy. 50% of the money will go towards labour, 30% will go towards the profit for the installer company, and 20% will actually go into the materials used for the deep retrofit (figures made up, but you get the idea). Houses are with us a long time. Cars aren't. Agree with @the_amazing_raisin that it is better to slowly replace the car fleet by natural change. In the meantime let's use any spare tax money to nudge the building of a few big atlantic wind farms so we can produce 200-300% of our current electricity needs with wind and let's incentivise people and companies to plaster their buildings with PV panels. These are far more efficient use of tax payers money

  • Registered Users Posts: 271 ✭✭daarmcd

    The French company are saying conversion from a 10yr old petrol clio to full electric will take about 4 hours, cost 5k after gov subsidy and have a range of 100 miles. They will have set conversions available for a large range of cars and they are training local garages around France to do the conversion.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,984 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Well there's a bit of a conundrum there because if the car is worth €5k, and you spend €5k converting to electric, you still have a car worth €5k

    Okay, maybe €6-7k given current interest in EVs. But it's not exactly going to pay for the cost of the modifications

    It could go the other way as well, a lot of folks will see a modified car and walk away. So your pool of potential buyers isn't gonna be great, which favours the buyer as they can bid low

    I mean, 100 miles is 30kWh Nissan Leaf territory, and the cost difference between a conversion and a used Leaf isn't much. So it seems like a better deal to buy the Leaf and get a newer car in the process

    I know a lot of people talk about throwing out perfectly good cars, but the annoying truth is that those cars are 10 years old or more and have wear and tear to match. On top of that, cars are very easy and valuable to recycle, so any cars going to scrap aren't exactly going into landfill

    There's plenty of cases where it makes sense to convert old vehicles, like I mentioned classic cars with engines that aren't worth repairing can be given a second life. But it's a hobby, not a business case

    I don't think anyone is going to claim a 2012 Clio is an icon of motoring that should be preserved

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 65,037 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    Couldn't agree more. Much better idea to have a relatively large grant on the cheapest of brand new EVs. Turn a €20k Dacia Spring EV into a €15k car with that €5k subsidy instead.