France will invest 2.5 billion euro (£2.3bn) into the development of electric cars over the next ten years.
The money will be spend on subsidies, infrastructure and research and would be split between pilot projects, battery production and bonuses for carmakers building green cars.
Government minister Jean-Louis Borloo said: “The risk is to do nothing, like American carmakers. No player can take the risk alone, and if all the players take the risk at the same time, it will work.”
The French energy ministry estimates that electric cars could represent 16 per cent of new cars by 2020, and 27 percent by 2025. Borloo confirmed that 50,000 electric cars would be ordered in 2010, split between the government, local authorities and partner companies, while 50,000 more orders would be placed in the coming years.
Borloo said about half the charging points would be in private homes, with almost as many in offices, as well as 75,000 "back-up" charging points in streets and parking lots. The government’s investment would also cover the development of the country’s national grid to cope with the extra power needed to charge the cars.
Renault has been a big advocate of electric cars and showed off four all-electric concepts at last months Frankfurt motor show. Peugeot and Citroen also plan to release electric city cars based on Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV.