Electric vehicles continue to gain ground in the market. Manufacturer efforts only benefit from government programs that offer customers incentives/rebates and special access (carpool lanes, Low Emissions Zones, etc.). While EVs represent the future of mobility, most electric automobiles, motorbikes, and scooters can’t fully stand by their zero-emissions claims.

Of course, nearly all electric-powered vehicles produce no greenhouse gases directly. However, many mining and manufacturing processes emit CO2. The same goes for EV charging, which doesn’t draw from electric sources exclusively. Many EV naysayers cling to this conundrum as an argument against the imminent transition, but many OEMs can no longer make these claims in France.

Instituted on January 1, 2023, the new law prohibits manufacturers from claiming a vehicle is carbon neutral if the same can’t be said of its production or recharging stages. Up to this point, the country has championed EV-promoting bills. From strict Low Emissions Zones to noise cameras to parking fines, the legislative steps frequently fall in favor of electric vehicles.

The latest bill, however, takes aim at the advertisement practices adopted by many electric mobility brands. Under Article L229-68, a company cannot claim that a product is carbon neutral unless it provides a greenhouse gas emissions report (direct and indirect) to the public. The entity will also need to state how it avoided, reduced, and offset carbon emissions in addition to the methods of compensating for residual greenhouse gas.

Should an OEM maintain greenwashing verbiage in its advertising without the aforementioned proof, authorities have the right to fine the legal entity €100,000 ($105,500 USD) under Article L229-69. If cited for non-compliance, the government allows the company to prove its carbon footprint claims within a month of the notification.

As a result, we fully expect manufacturers to adjust their marketing campaigns to the French market. Yes, EVs continue to gain ground in the market, but France’s new laws ensure that no customer is duped in the process.

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