Conversion bonus: a largely positive social balance sheet, according to a study

Conversion bonus: a largely positive social balance sheet, according to a study

A study by the Ministry of Ecological Transition quantifies the benefits of the system introduced in 2018.

Rural and modest households are the big winners of the measure.

It will therefore bear fruit. The 2018 conversion bonus has enabled low-income and rural households to replace their old polluting vehicles with cars (new or used) that emit less CO2, according to a report by the Ministry of Ecological Transition spotted by The echoes.

The bonus, which is paid to all motorists who agree to get rid of their pre-2001 polluting vehicle to buy a more recent petrol or diesel car, a hybrid or electric vehicle, has benefited low-income households. 72% of those who were able to benefit from it in 2018 were thus not taxable.

The bonus has thus made it possible to leave the circuit for vehicles aged 19 years on average, and diesel for 80% of them. Beneficiaries of the bonus have instead chosen vehicles that pollute less than all new vehicles (with an average unit emission rate of 106 gCO2/km, compared to 112gCO2/km on average). They are mainly diesel (48%) and gasoline (47%). 2% of them are electric.

Benefits concentrated in dense areas

For all of the 253,000 vehicles in the database, the socio-economic balance sheet is a collective net gain of 65 million euros (M€), welcomes the report of the General Commissioner for Sustainable Development (CGEDD). The main gain, of €220 million, comes from the reduction of atmospheric pollution from fine particles and nitrogen oxides. Fuel savings are €75 million. Savings in terms of maintenance amount to €60 million.»

The report therefore underlines the importance of the conversion premium in the cost-benefit balance of households. Indeed, from the purchaser’s point of view, the main gains come from fuel savings and maintenance costs, but these savings would not cover the cost of anticipating the purchase without a premium. “It therefore seems that public intervention is justified, because the owners of old vehicles do not have, according to these analyses, a sufficient individual interest to replace them,” explains the report.

These very encouraging results should not hide the disparities in terms of socio-economic results: it is when the vehicle is acquired in the densest areas – with more than 1,000 inhabitants per square kilometer – that the benefit is greatest because it is “where the social cost associated with air pollution is greatest.However, it is rural households that have taken advantage of this system in large numbers.

Taken aback by the success of its system, the government has chosen to restrict the conditions of access to the conversion bonus from 2020. The eligibility threshold has been tightened (it will rise to 116 grams of CO2/km , compared to 112 previously). The vehicles acquired must also be either electric or classified Crit’Air 1 or Crit’Air 2 (registered after September 1, 2019 for the latter).

See also: “The super bonus for car conversion does not make sense for those who are within 50 euros” (27/11/2018)