Urban transport policy for promotion of electric vehicles in France

Type de publication:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Paris (2019)


[The purpose of research]
The purpose of this research is to elucidate trend, institutional and social background of Electrification of Urban transport and Automobile. We will focus on promotion of electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrids vehicle (PHV) in France. France has developed an advanced legal system on Transportation and urban mobility planning system. France made decentralization of transportation policy. We will make empirical research on France: intuitional research; Empirical research and case study of some good practice. This research analyze not only projects for electrification but also social background and urban and transportation planning system. We will elucidate the concern with institutional aspect (example urban mobility plan) and implementation of project for Electrification of Urban transport and Automobile.
This report choses 5 city cases and consists in three part. The first part is analysis Concerning Urban plan, mainly PDU (Urban Mobility Plan). The second part is field survey including interview to Urban Transport Authorities or other agencies. The third part is analysis the relation between policies in each cities and the regulation reform of EU or French Law.
[Characteristics of each city]
Authors choses five cities: Lyon; La Rochelle; Tours; Aix en Province; Valenciennes.
Lyon is the second largest city in France. Lyon has ever developed and promoted various innovative mobility means. Recently, Lyon has implemented a demonstration experiment of autonomous mini-bus that is the first case of permanent operation in France. Lyon has a plan for Electrification of Urban transport.
La Rochelle is the birthplace of electric vehicle sharing in France. This city has ever promoted electrification of urban mobility since 1990s. In second PDU (2010-2010), La Rochelle adopted Yélo-Mobility system that is integrated transports system including Bus Network, bicycle, water line and electric vehicle sharing.
Tours is a tourist city along the Loire River, traffic improvement progresses by introducing LRT (Modern Tramway System) in 2013. The PDU established in 2013 incorporates the enhancement of the electric car charging station. Tours city has promoted project of charging infrastructures cooperation with Indre-et-Loire Department.
In Aix-en-Provence, the action plan for electrification of urban mobility is defined in PDU established at 2015. Aix-en-Provence has implemented Car-sharing service of Electric vehicles and development charging infrastructures. And Aix-en-Provence will introduce new electric freight system in City center.
Valenciennes is an industrial city with few elements of tourism in the Nord Department, there is a Toyota factory. Valenciennes set up an e charging infrastructures with PDU established in 2013 and are promoting it as a project under the direct control of Metropole.
From analysis of PDU, authors have found those means, development charging infrastructures for EV or PHV, car-sharing service of EV, subsidy to purchase EV, Parking policy for EV and PHV. About Development charging infrastructures for EV or PHV, all cities have project or plan. So this means is the most popular means for promotion EV and PHV on urban transport Policy in France. Aix en Provence has innovative plan called Telewatt Project that is charge system from street light facilities.
But Car-sharing service of EV is done in only one city, it is La Rochelle (In Lyon, there is an E-Car-sharing in certain area, without PDU). EV sharing trends to decline. EV sharing in La Rochelle has long history about 20 years. If the different PDU analysed in this work did not expose the intention to develop car-sharing services, it is perhaps because the PDU is an intercommunal document that need a consensus between all of the cities. The second part of this study will provide precise informations about the diverse car-sharing development in the agglomeration and the local initiative made by some municipality in complement of the PDU orientations. This question implicate a multi-level analyse of public policies from the municipal to the intercommunal political action. Concerning the charging infrastructure, it should be necessary to add a comparison between national, European and local objectives to understand if the 5 PDU analysed integrates only the European of national aims, or if these agglomeration try to be in advance to its. This comparison should be do with the European directive 94-2014 that command the European objectives about charging infrastructure for all of the member-states. In the same time, this methods necessitate to study if the agglomerations studied made an update of their objectives during a period of 2 years after the

Texte complet:

1, Purpose of This research

The purpose of this research is to elucidate trend, institutional and social background of Electrification of Urban transport and Automobile. We will focus on promotion of electric vehicles (EV) in France. Indeed, France has developed an advanced legal system on Transportation and urban mobility planning system through the decentralization of transportation policy. This paper shows an empirical research on French local level of administration. The aim of this study is to explore some good practice implemented by municipalities concerning the Electrification of Urban transport and Automobile. This report is based on 5 case study (Aix-en-Provence, Lyon, Tours, La Rochelle Valenciennes).

2, Social Background

2-1 Transport Policy in France

Transportation Code (Code des Transports) forms the basis of French Transportation policy. Transportation Code was enacted by integrating the traffic law in 2010. The Code includes objectives and missions of transportation policy, responsibilities for central and local level of authority, regulations and authorization of transport, cost burdens and fare policy, safety standards and all other provisions. Transportation rights is one of new social rights. This origin is Orientation law of domestic transport (LOTI, Loi d'Orientation des Transports Intérieurs,) enacted in 1982 . Important provisions are as follows :
-Transport system must satisfy needs of users, guarantee the transportation right of all persons including persons whose mobility is reduced or handicapped, the freedom to choose the means also the transportation of his goods to carry himself or to entrust to organization or enterprise that he chooses. The implementation of this objective is carried out in the most advantageous economic, social and environmental conditions for the community and in the respect of the objectives of limitation or reduction of the risks, accidents, nuisances, in particular noise, emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gas. (Article L1111-1, Code des Transports )
-The progressive implementation of the transportation rights allows the user to travel under reasonable conditions of access, quality, price and cost in particular to use of traffic means that is opened to the public. (Article L1111-2, id.)
-The Transportation Rights includes the right for users to be informed about offered means and method of using. (Article L1111-4, id.)
Environmental sustainability is another priority object defined in the transport policy of France. In particular, measures against climate change is emphasized as an important problem. Grenelle’s Environmental Laws are others important environmental laws concerning transportation policy (approved between 2009 and 2010). These laws are new environmental laws created by the Sarkozy administration in collaboration committee with environmental NGOs, business and industrial organization and labor unions . France adopts decentralization for transportation policy. Urban transportation policy is done by inter-communes organization that is called “Urban Mobility Authority” (AOM, Autorités Organisatrices de la Mobilité).

2-2 PDU (Urban Mobility Plan)

The PDU (Plans de Déplacements Urbains, Urban Mobility Plan) is a plan that sets the standards for urban transport and forms the basis of urban transport policy in France. Development is obligatory with AOM with a population of over 100,000. PDU is a 10-year transportation plan linked to urban planning and land use planning. It is necessary to go through the process of consensus building that is called Enquête Publique (Public Judgment). Formulate the PDU became the obligation at 1996, LOTI revision. Until then, it was non-binding target, and the PDUs in each city were completed since 1996, when it was mandated by LOTI .
The PDU is positioned as an important plan next to SCOT (Schéma de COhérence Territoriale) that is an urban planning master plan enactment of the SRU Act (Loi relative à la Solidarité et au Renouvellement Urbains) at 2000. In addition, PDUs are positioned in the top plan of district plans (PLU, Plan local d'urbanisme) in each city. In other words, by positioning the PDU as an important component in the city planning system centered on SCOT, the system will promote the supply of transportation infrastructure services while integrating with other policies such as land use planning. The ultimate goal of the PDU is to fundamentally change the urban structure. The aim is to create an easy-to-use city for walking, cycling, and public transportation, and to fulfill environmental protection and traffic rights.
The 11 goals to be achieved by the PDU are defined in Article L 1214-2 of the Transportation Code .
1, Equilibrium between the needs of mobility and Sustainability;
2, Strengthen social solidarity and improving accessibility of public transport;
3, Improving safety of all mobility mood;
4, Reducing car traffic;
5, Enhancement of public transportation and clean modes, pedestrian and bicycle;
6, Improving the main road network in the urban area;
7, Diversification of the parking composition, dividing among various use including disability persons or car-sharing vehicle, taxi or public vehicle etc.;
8, Organize the logistic system in urban area;
9, Improving commuter transport, including public transport and car-pool;
10, The organization and integration of public transport fare including Park & Ride;
11, Develop an usefull environment for electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids.
PDU is Comprehensive local transport plan that can define any traffic service level, might be the basis for regulation to private transport operator and must include consensus-building and public participation procedure. This plan is just a vision for sustainable mobility in that region. Local Government must define comprehensive and systematic Local Transport Network by this plan .

3, Case studies

Authors choses five cities: Aix-en-Provence, Lyon, Tours, La Rochelle, Valenciennes. La Rochelle is the birthplace of electric vehicle sharing in France :Yélo-Mobility system that is an integrated transports system. Lyon has ever developed and promoted various innovative mobility means including Electrification of Urban public transport. Tours introduced LRT (Modern Tramway System), traffic improvement progresses by 2013. Valenciennes is an industrial city with Toyota factory which had set up an efficient e-charging infrastructures. Aix-en-Provence, the second city of a large agglomeration lead by Marseille. This last city is important to understand the link between the different local administration about the question of mobility.

3-1 La Rochelle

(1) Policy context about sustainable mobility
La Rochelle implemented two environmental transport policies in 1990s. The first is the promotion of electric vehicle, especially E-car sharing system. The other is one social experimental “Car Free day” . At Car Free day municipality forbids using automobile in city center. The purpose of Car Free Day is that People experience the city or a life without cars. The first event was done at 1997 by only La Rochelle. At 1998 this became national event in France. From 2000, Car Free Day has been the event of EU. EU launched new event “European Mobility Week” . Despite La Rochelle had done two epochal policies, Usage levels of public transport remained low. Example, passengers per resident is only 48.2 . It seems that transport policy of La Rochelle is incoherent. People have not stopped using cars, as the alternatives remain poor level.

(2) Perspective in PDU
From 2010, La Rochelle launched new mobility policy, “Yelo” as an action of PDU. Yelo is new comprehensive brand including public transportation, Bike and E-Car sharing. The relevant action plan in PDU are as follows; Action 41 Develop the Yelomobile service: The aim is to increase the number of cars available in the car sharing service “Yelomobile” by adding electric and hybrid cars. The study to develop request an invest of 10,000 euros; Action 55 Promote the clean engine and alternative to cars: This action has no budget. The question is about education and promotion of the green and clean mobility. Action 56 Study the possibility to deploy public charging infrastructure: The aim is to study about number and location of public charging station. Budget is 140,000 euros, 2012-2014, to study and build these stations.

(3) Electric Car-sharing service
In the PDU of La Rochelle approved in 2012, the issue of public car sharing system is treated by Yelomobile, including urban transport network. Yelomobile has a network of car sharing initially operating from engines. The PDU proposes to start a transition from these engine vehicles to a fleet composed of a mix of engine, hybrid and electric cars. This combination would make it possible to offer vehicles for inner-urban short trips and vehicles for interurban long journeys. This would simultaneously respond to a demand for daily traffic and long distance traffic. Finally, the study commissioned by the agglomeration of La Rochelle for the development of the Yelomobile fleet induces the addition of electric and hybrid cars. Concretely, in 2019, 28 electric cars were integrated into the Yelomobile fleet. The using costs does not vary between the uses of different types of motorization. The monthly packages vary from 10 € / month for less than 3 trips and 1h20 of use, to 250 € / month for 8 long journeys (<8h) or 100 half-hour trips. B. Desveaux (Vice-President of the Agglomeration of La Rochelle) explains that Yelomobile car sharing service is described as very positive in order to promote the experience of EV driving. Indeed, the experience of it would serve as an experiment for people who may wish to find an alternative to the engine. Yelomobile, in addition to offering a service for people who do not want to own a vehicle, offers people who own a conventional motor vehicle the means to test an alternative through the electric.

(4) Public charge stations
In the PDU, the agglomeration proposes to order a study to analyze how and where to increase the number of public charging stations. B. Desveaux explains in an interview that the city of La Rochelle is worried in two ways for the existing network of charging stations. First, the terminals are old and quickly deteriorate. During the observation of these stations, it can be seen that the terminals are rusted, sometimes very degraded both at the terminal and at the level of the signs indicating the terminals. The second point is that of the aging of the charging system, which is no longer compatible with the new EV’s models. For these two reasons, the extension of the network presented in the PDU is limited by the city of La Rochelle to a renovation of the existing terminals. The objective set in the PDU is also constraint by a recent change in the institutional landscape, leading to a reduction in the agglomeration's capacity to act directly in the field of electromobility. In fact, B. Desveaux explains that at the initiative of the Departmental Syndicate of Electrification and Rural Equipment of the Charente-Maritime (SYDEER), all the municipalities of the agglomeration excepted La Rochelle have consented to the transfer of jurisdiction over the charging station network. This means that these municipalities and the inter-communality are no longer able to install terminals without the approval of SYDEER. This union and the city of La Rochelle, however, do not have the same ambitions. The city of La Rochelle wants to build many terminals in and around La Rochelle, but SYDEER does not seem able to pursue the same goal. This shows the difficulty for the agglomeration to implement the PDU, since finally, it is neither Yelomobile nor the municipalities that have the necessary instruments for that.

(5) Brief Summary
The observation of La Rochelle and its surroundings give the feeling of a strong cohesion between the public transport network and the sharing services of bicycles and electric vehicles. The Yelomobile service is used, easily identifiable. This feeling is reinforced by a similar graphic chart to all these services and by a system of counters making it easy to obtain all the information necessary for the use of the different modes of transport. These elements make La Rochelle and its agglomeration a very impressing laboratory of intermodality. It should also note a desire on the part of the town of La Rochelle to promote alternatives to the car. The harbor and the city center are widely thought to give priority to public transport and cyclists. Cars are prohibited.

3-2 Lyon

(1) Policy context about sustainable mobility
The question of the bottlenecks exposes the different limitation that have consequences on the individual mobility. By example, the first bottleneck is the difficulties to made the link between two different mode of transport (bicycle and train, car and tramway….). This limitation is caused by multiples problems, in the first place by the bad information system about multi-modality. Moreover, Lyon have a strong system of public transport and this situation give to the PDU a larger scale than the other. The public transport network is linked to the regional influence of the metropolitan area and the invests should be concentrated on the national and regional train line.

(2) Perspective PDU
Action 1.3.3 Conceive the stations of public transport in the aim to be accessible to all of the mode of transport: The action will study the possibility to integrate the electromobility near to the stations. No objective and no agenda. Action 4.3.2 Reinforce the regulation of parking: Give to electric vehicles specific parking reserved to its. No objective and no agenda. Action 4.4.2 Subsides for professional cars: The agglomeration wants to give subsidies during 2 years to help professional to buy electric vehicles. Action 4.4.3 Promote a energetic mix on vehicles in function to the need of the territory: Until 2022, the agglomeration should build 700 new public charging station (200 in 2017). It should be done with a public private partnership.

(3) Subsides for transition to EV’s
The PDU Lyon Métropole includes many actions in favor of the electrification of urban transport. These actions are particularly focused on the issue of urban road freight. The Métropole of Lyon proposes to subsidize the purchase of electric vehicles by professionals to replace the fleet of diesel vehicles and petrol with electric vehicles (Action 4.4.2). These grants have been in place since the 1st February 2019 for an amount ranging from 5,000 to 10,000 for electric, hydrogen or natural gas vehicles. This campaign of subsidies would be limited to two years (according to the PDU) so as not to weigh on public finances. Another action (7.2.2) proposes to create tools to help carriers acquire and find low-emission vehicles using more efficient or alternative engines. This should be done by a dedicated website (which does not exist yet). These actions put forward in the PDU are accompanied by the creation of a Low Emission Zone on the entire agglomeration limiting the traffic of trucks and utilities to efficient vehicles. Finally, as in many PDUs, the agglomeration proposes to create for urban freight to create an Urban Logistics Space (ELU) to centralize and streamline the distribution

(4) Car sharing
In the Lyon PDU, car sharing system is only mentioned as existing. There is no particular action in this area. There are electric car sharing service without PDU Framework. They are offered by private company (Bollore, Transdev) .

(5) Public charge station
Regarding public charging stations, the PDU Lyon proposes an ambitious target of 700 new terminals: 200 in 2017 and 700 in 2022. This deployment is presented as having to rely on private public partnerships. However, by observing the streets in Lyon, even helped by the Internet, it appears that accessible public terminals are very rare. The indication of their locations is very uneven, with both a visible layout for the fast charging stations and the absence of markers for slow or medium charging stations located in parking lots. At the end of 2018, the Métropole de Lyon signed a contract to build over 600 public charging stations with two companies (Sodetrel and Demeter). This contract should allow the agglomeration to pursue the objectives it had set for itself.

(6) Brief Summary
While the PDU of Lyon is very ambitious in terms of electromobility, the application of the objectives is not yet visible. It should be noted, however, that the Métropole de Lyon has undergone many institutional changes since 2014 and that the electromobility development plan has improve this year with the signing of a major contract with companies, thus respecting the idea issued in the PDU to operate with a public-private partnership. The development of the district of Confluence presented as a model of eco-district, however, reveals the weakness of achievements in terms of electromobility. The built-in rapid charging station is integrated into the planned network to create a Rhone-Channel corridor going from Switzerland to the Mediterranean via Lyon. In this context, electromobility is used as a communication tool before being a tool for the energy transition of mobility.

3-3 Tours

(1) Policy context about sustainable mobility
Tours agglomeration decides to promote largely the alternative to engine mobilities. It means that the first mission gives to the PDU is to make pedestrians and cycling mobility more comfortable, efficient and attractive for the population. The aim is at the same time to fight the climate change and to have a healthy transport system. In fact, is the first objective enlighten by this document are the alternatives to cars in general, the central point is the development of public transport. Agglomeration begins to develop a tramway network for a decade (opened in 2013). Stations of tramway should be organized with parking for cars and bicycles to promote inter-modal transports. The agglomeration will subside the people who want to buy an electric bicycle. In addition, the municipalities should be invited to decrease the number of public parking for the public transports and alternatives to cars more attractive. The freight is another problem in the city-center. Traffic jam, pollution, noise, comfort, lot of inconvenient that implies to limit it. The agglomeration wants to promote clean and silent trucks by creating a specific park for these vehicles.

(2) Perspective in PDU
Action 47-49: Promotion of silent and clean vehicles; Study the possibility to create an Centre for Urban Freight; Promote alternative to petrol engine for the freight: The aim of the three actions is to re-organized the circulation of goods in the city center, changing the schedule for freight in the aim to decrease the traffic during peak; creation of a specific place to concentrate and diffuse the freight more efficiently, allocation of public charging station for electric trucks need to be studied. Action 54 Deployed public charge infrastructures: The objective is to have 5% of hybrid and EVS since 2020, building 100 charging stations since 2023, the majority of its should be slow charge and some of its fast. Action 55 Promotion of non-carbonized engine, or engine less polluting: The goal is to give subsidies to municipalities in the aim to buy electric vehicles for the public fleet. The second point of this action is concerning Autociti car sharing system, complete the actual fleet by EVs. The agglomeration should experiment hybrid and electric buses.

(3) Electric Car sharing
Tours has a car-sharing service with motor vehicles (Autociti). In the action 55 of the PDU, it is proposed to increase the number of vehicles on the network by EV. However, the PDU remains very limited about electro-mobility, explaining in particular that electric vehicles even if they do not pollute as much during use as conventional vehicles, its participate in traffic congestion and therefore indirectly to pollution. In this question, the PDU finally favors investment in gas buses to reduce air pollution and noise pollution. However, this network is very small (7 parking areas with several spaces each) and only about fifteen vehicles including city cars and family vehicles.

(4) Public charge stations
The aim of the Tours PDU is to increase the number of hybrid and electric vehicles to 5% by 2020. The agglomeration will also have 100 charging stations before 2023, with a few units within fast charge. However, during the field work conducted in March 2019 in Tours, it became apparent that the number of charging stations accessible on roads was zero. Thanks to the internet, it is possible to know the location of terminals in the public and private car parks, but access is limited because of the lack of symbols on the street. In fact, it was only a symbol of EV’s charge station in a front of a hotel near the train station, indicated the presence of it in the park.

(5) Brief Summary
The agglomeration of Tours is certainly the least advanced on electro-mobility compared to other cases studied. The PDU is focused on the development of non-motorized mobility (walking and cycling), and electro-mobility is relegated in the background as an adjustment variable. Thus, the public charging stations are almost inexistent and the information not easy to access. It seems moreover that the local actors are divided between an energetic syndicate with few means and the city of Tours which has no particular ambitions in this sector of mobility.

3-4 Valenciennes

(1) Policy context about sustainable mobility
The particularity of Valenciennes in comparison to the 4 others PDU analyzed are the place of the freight in the regional economy and the low level of traffic jam. Indeed, the city-center is not congesting as in others city because historically, the roads and street are larger and the population of Valenciennes do not had increase quickly during the last decades. Industrialization and first war world produce a city with large street, function of the different activities and destruction the city known. So regulation of car traffic isn’t the same solutions than in others case. Firstly, the City of Valenciennes do not suffer of a low number of parking in surface. The solution proposed by the PDU is to reduce the number of parking in the city to promote new comportment and to improve the traffic of public transport as the tramway lines. Concerning the freight, to different approach need to be underline. Firstly, the PDU do not diagnostic a problem with the freight in the city-center. Moreover, the freight at the regional and European level is considered as an opportunity because of the location of Valenciennes in a node of roads. Agglomeration proposes to make easiest the access to the industrial and commercial areas fort freight companies in the aim to create jobs.

(2) Perspective in PDU
Action 23 Promote innovative transportation system: The PDU proposes a low ticket price for parking and the promotion of alternative to petrol engine. In the same time, agglomeration have an objective to replace the old buses by clean one, but without precise agenda. The agglomeration proposes to deploy public charging station without precise agenda.

(3) Electric Car Sharing
In the case of Valenciennes, the PDU as well as the interviews we had did not give any idea of the policy in favor of shared vehicles.

(4) Public charge station
Regarding the infrastructure, the PDU indicates a target of 150 terminals installed on the perimeter of the PTU (Perimeter of Urban public Transport) by 2023. This is in addition to the terminals installed by the departmental union (100 on the entire territory of the department before 2013). However, if this objective is modest, it is much more perceptible on the streets than for the other cities studied. Indeed, whether at the exit of the train station or in the other streets of the city center, many charging stations are visible. In an interview with Mr. Marchant, Deputy Mayor of Valenciennes, he highlights the city's policy for electromobility and his belief that future mobility will necessarily be electric. However, he puts forward his feeling that the terminals are not used or very little for the moment. This low usage does not seem to modify the objectives taken when writing the PDU.

(5) Brief Summary
The PDU of Valenciennes is certainly the least ambitious for the development of electro-mobility. However, the city has for several years begun a policy of deployment of charging stations throughout the territory, in the center and around that is very present and visible. This shows that the fact that the PDU does not integrate this ambition, does not mean that local authorities do not engage in this path. By investigating with the municipality, one can observe the conviction on the part of local elected officials that electro-mobility represents the most logical solution for the future of mobility. The main lesson of Valenciennes is to show the importance in the analysis of public policies of separating the operational from the political communication in order to better understand how the policy appropriates urban planning documents.

3-5 Aix en Provence

(1) Policy context about sustainable mobility
The specificities of the case of Aix-en-Provence are numerous. The city of Aix-en-Provence is divided between an urban center very narrow, where only little streets. That point has a strong influence concerning the political orientation. The PDU of Aix-en-Provence have the strong ambition to decrease the traffic inside the old city. This objective is explained by different arguments that are not linked: air pollution, noise, security, and traffic jam, decrease the social cost of cars. This last point is one of the most important ones. PDU explains that “preservation against a risk of social fracture resulting from the rise in individual transport costs implies policies in favor of public transport and alternative mobilities to the car.” Furthermore, the authors of the document did not imagine a city without cars. The question is how to make more efficient the mobility. Firstly, the diminution of the number of cars is a necessity because the urban system of Aix-en-Provence does not have the possibility to support huge traffic. In this way, the diminution is not a disappearance, it is a modal report from car to public transport. At the same time, the authors consider that the cars should be used for the less urbanized areas. For these areas, the traditional petrol engine, need to be replaced step by step by alternatives. To resume, the transition from the actual mobilities that are not sustainable, to a mobility system integrating alternatives, public transport and cars necessitate time. This PDU is written as the first step of the transition. The aims are not only for environmental reason, but also for finance. Infrastructures for car have a huge cost for public authorities. In opposition to the development of cars, the choice is made to increase the invests on the public transport network. Public transport need more comfortable vehicles, a better system of information and new infrastructures. Likewise, fighting traffic jam is crucial to have a more efficient bus service. Finally, the other objectives of the PDU are linked to the question of traffic jam that is the heart of the argumentation against cars.

(2) Perspective in PDU
Action 11 A public policy to develop the electromobility: Before the PDU, the urban mobility authority that is called CPA, has deployed 45 charging stations in different part of the city. In 2014, 11 communes of the CPA signed a public market to buy public charge station. At the same time, the CPA and different public actor bought an electric vehicle for service (a dozen). Adding to these stations, private companies like IKEA or Carrefour, build public stations around their facilities for the consumers. The CPA have a plan to buy 4 or 6 electric vehicles by year, that is more ambitious than the departmental plan for air and climate protection (PPA – Plan de Protection de l’Air des Bouches-du-Rhônes). Moreover, the CPA helps the different commune of the agglomeration by giving a subside to buy electric vehicles and to install a charging station in the technical centre. 1. Subsidies to buy electric car (limited to 10% of the cost, or 1000 euros by people). 2. Installation of 20 public charge station by year (the aim is to have one charging station by 3000 inhabitants). In terms of public finance, this action would cost 200 000 euros (20 000 by year). 3. Projet Téléwatt (Téléwatt project). In 2015, the CPA have initiated a project to experiment a system of charging for electric vehicle through the public light infrastructure. 4. Diminution of the cost of a residential licence for park in the city for hybrids. Free parking for EVs.

(3) Car sharing
The agglomeration of Aix-en-Provence has no car sharing service. The PDU recently voted, also has no ambitions about it. The only singular point is the desire to ask real estate developers and municipalities to provide reserved parking spaces for carsharing cars owned by several private persons simultaneously.

(4) Public charge station
The charging stations are rare in Aix-en-Provence. In the streets, none are visible. The public terminals are installed in the car parks which are very frequented because of the prohibition to circulate in the hyper center of the city. In this context, the car parks have some spaces reserved for electric vehicles with charging stations accessible by subscription. In the PDU, the goal is quite small. It would involve installing 20 charging stations by years with the long-term objective of a public terminal for 3000 inhabitants. The establishment of these terminals is subsidized up to 1000 euros per station in the limit of 20,000 euros per year and 200,000 euros for the entire exercise of the PDU.

(5) Brief Summary The PDU of Aix-en-Provence must be understood from a particular geographical situation. Indeed, Aix-en-Provence is not the center of the urban area to which the city belongs and which is largely dominated by Marseille. As a result, the Aix-en-Provence PDU is part of a group of six cities that are today part of the Marseille metropolitan area. Electromobility holds a very weak place in the ambitions of the politicians of Aix-en-Provence and Marseille, first and foremost because these cities are composed with narrow and largely pedestrian streets in which the car in general is not welcome. Thus, the development of public charging stations is limited to the only development of terminals in parking lots. Information is missing and finally, electromobility is also almost absent.


4, Comparison Analysis among 5 cities

4-1 comparison of Action Plan in PDU

About Development charging infrastructures for electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids, all cities have project or plan. So this approach is the most popular about electrification of urban transport in France. But Car-sharing service of Electric vehicles is done in only one city, it is La Rochelle (In Lyon, there is an E-Car-sharing in certain area, without PDU framework). See Table 1.
If the different PDU analyzed in this work did not expose the intention to develop car-sharing services, it is perhaps because the PDU is an intercommunal document that need a consensus between all of the cities. The second part of this study will provide precise information about the diverse car-sharing development in the agglomeration and the local initiative made by some municipality in complement of the PDU orientations. This question implicates a multi-level analyses of public policies from the municipal to the intercommunal political action.
 Concerning the charging infrastructure, it should be necessary to add a comparison between national, European and local objectives to understand if the 5 PDU analyzed integrates only the European of national aims, or if these agglomerations try to be in advance to its. This comparison should be doing with the European directive 94-2014 that command the European objectives about charging infrastructure for all of the member-states. In the same time, this method necessitate to study if the agglomerations studied made an update of their objectives during a period of 2 years after the transposition of the European directive in the national legislation, that is the legal time to be in conformity with it.

Table 1 Comparison of PDU actions for EV promotion in each city




La Rochelle



Development of public charge infrastructures for EV / PHV






Telewatt Project (Charge by Street light)



Subsidy to purchase EV for individual



Subsidy to purchase EV for professional use




Reduction of Parking Fare for EV/HV




Priolity Parking for EV




Car-sharing service of Electric vehicles






FS: Only Feasibility Study


4-2 Analysis from empirical study

The authors conducted an interview survey and a field survey for each 5 cities. The following trends were found by comparing the results presented in the PDU with the results of the field survey. There is a gap between goals and results. Example, Valenciennes has the less ambitious project in PDU, but finally, in the field observation, it seems that it is the most advanced city about public charge station. Lyon has a very ambitious PDU, but achievement is poor about public charge station, particularly concerning the access to the information that is at a very poor level. One could only observe a fast station, even with the help of internet. In general, there are never signboard indicating the charging stations, with the exception of terminals that are linked to a shared vehicle service (for example Yelomobile, La Rochelle or Bluely, Lyon). An important fact is the almost total absence of signaling of the terminals on the parking lots even though these parks often have terminals and places reserved. By asking for information in each of the cities at the tourist offices, the town hall or public transport counters, we have never obtained a map, leaflet or information on the charging stations. In general, in each case, there appears to be competition between the municipalities and the departmental energy cooperative (Syndicat in French) for competence regarding the charging stations. In most cases except in Lyon, suburban municipalities transferred jurisdiction to a SIVU / SIVOM (Syndicate inter municipalities for public utilities in France) while the city center has retained jurisdiction. Except La Rochelle, intermodal does not include electric cars. It is however noteworthy that in the case of Valenciennes, the public transport ticket can also be used to charge its electric vehicle on the public terminals available on the road. In general, all PDUs have a goal of building charging stations, but it is very sparse. We do not know if it is public or private (except in the case of Lyon or it is a PPP), and we do not know the situation of the terminal (in a parking lot, on the road, at no modal and so on).
 Authors find the four challenging points to social implementation of electric vehicle. The first point is poor information about public charge station. The map or leaflet in not published. Tourist offices don’t have any information about public charge station. One can’t find station without internet information service developed by third parties. There are not signboard or only small signboard by the charge station. The second point is sectionalism. PDU is established by AOM (Municipality level), but public charge stations are sometimes managed by electricity syndicate of prefectures level in many cities. The third point is the difficulties for including electric vehicle into intermodal project. Only Project of electric vehicle in La Rochelle is including Yelo system that is comprehensive mobility service with public transport and bike sharing and so on. In other cities, intermodal project does not include electric vehicle. The fourth point is the low level of statistics data  about public charge station. It is difficult to know the degree of achievement of the goals indicated in the PDU.
 As a result of the survey of five cities, the progress of promotion electric vehicles indicated in PDU is different. It can be said that the spread of electric vehicles in France is still at an early stage. At the moment, it is difficult to use an electric car like an engine car. In order to promote electric vehicles, it is necessary to overcome the 4 challenging points found by the authors in this section.

5, Conclusion

From analysis of PDU, authors have found those means, development charging infrastructures for EV or PHV, car-sharing service of EV, subsidy to purchase EV, Parking policy for EV and PHV. About Development charging infrastructures for EV or PHV, all cities have project or plan. So this means is the most important means for promotion EV and PHV on urban transport Policy in France. The difference observed between the ambitions written in the PDU and the reality revealed how politicians consider electromobility. In general, EVs are used for political communication, to show how the city is innovative. The ambition about mobility enlighten the capacity of the cities to lead the sustainable actions. It is possible to analyze this point by a critical approach of the “greenwashing”. In another approach, it appears that the specialization of the different level of administration and the high number of player in this field, create lot of constraints. Both approaches explain why in all of the case, the PDU focus initially to promote public charge stations. This action is the easiest one. But in the same time, both approaches can explain why there is few public charge stations: it is primarily a communication tool and secondly an expensive action that concern today very few number of citizens. Beyond the public charge stations program, each city have different approaches, that show a diversity of solutions. The PDU approved during the last five years express a strong will for experimentation as low resources allowed for its. Cities seems to have the abilities to try new mobility. Simultaneously, it seems cities are waiting for a regional, national or European orientation in order to have a coherent plan to organize the transition to electric transportation system.


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List of Interview
Guy Marchant, deputy-mayor of Valenciennes, 13/05/2019
Brigitte Desveaux, councilor of La Rochelle and Vice-President of the Agglomeration of La Rochelle in charge of Transport and Mobility, 10/05/2019.
Olivier SCHAMPION, Agence d'urbanisme de l'agglomération de Tours, 07/03/2019.
Emeric Debouchage, Departemental Syndicat of Electrification (SIEIL), Tours, 06/03/2019.

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