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Bioethanol: faced with the explosion in demand, this region is restricting conversion aid

Victim of his own success. In the Hauts-de-France region, motorists who wish to convert their petrol car to E85 bioethanol have benefited since 2019 from a financial boost from the Regional Council. The program has been particularly in demand and the rise in fuel prices since the beginning of the year has amplified requests. They have increased tenfold in recent months, according to The voice of the North, Wednesday, May 18. And it shouldn’t stop. This is why the Region recently took the decision to change the rules for allocating aid: it will now be granted subject to means testing.

To benefit from it, you must not exceed 28,200 euros per year of income for a single person. The amount is set at 42,250 euros per year for a couple. The principle remains the same, however: the aid of the Regional Council represents 40% of the cost of the conversion of the vehicle within the limit of 400 euros, knowing that the cost of installing a box varies between 500 and 1,200 euros. Motorists who request it must always reside in Hauts-de-France, go through an approved installer and buy an approved box. Concerning the vehicle that one wishes to convert, it must always have a fiscal power lower than or equal to 10 fiscal hp, be more than 2 years old and less than 18 years old.

“Support purchasing power”

Why restrict the allocation rules? “We first want to support the purchasing power of those who need it most and who opposite have the least means”, explained to our colleagues Christophe Coulon, vice-president of the Regional Council in charge rurality, and safety, member of the Environment commission. In 2019, when the device was launched, it was mainly “to help raise ecological awareness”, he said. While the subject has “become more mature” today, the recent spike in fuel prices has given the program a resurgence in popularity. “The rise in fuel prices at the start of the year caused demand to explode: while we were between 30 and 40 requests for files submitted per month in 2019, we are now at nearly 400 files.” Gaining purchasing power being one of the main concerns of the French, “it is in this sense that we have tightened the targeting of the device”, justified Christophe Coulon.

At the same time, “bioethanol is distributed in more service stations, we expect high flows,” said the vice-president of the Regional Council. To meet a demand which should therefore increase in the coming months, the Region voted a budget extension of 683,000 euros over the year on March 29, we learn in La Voix du Nord. “There will be no financial blockage,” assured the elected official. Other regions have also set up similar aid: the Grand Est, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and, most recently, Île-de-France. As Capital relayed on Wednesday May 18, the President of the Region, Valérie Pécresse, has just announced that motorists in the Ile-de-France region will be able to benefit from aid of 500 euros to set up a bioethanol unit.

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