The Federation of Automotive Distribution demands the postponement of the ZFE in Toulouse

The ZFE, a low-emission zone launched last March, will become concrete for individuals in Toulouse in January. Until then, only heavy trucks and utility vehicles were concerned. But in less than two months, at the beginning of January 2023, all diesel cars with Crit’air 4 stickers will no longer be able to enter Toulouse. And in a year, it will be the turn of Crit’air 3 vignettes (that is, all diesel cars purchased before 2011).

Mathieu Seguran, chief representative of FEDA (automotive distribution federation), was a guest of French Bleu Occitanie on November 7.

What cars does Crit’air 4 apply to?

Cars that are not so old, from the 2000s, fully functional, used by the majority of our fellow citizens, and for which we will definitely have to change vehicles.

What proportion of cars does this represent in France?

About 35% of cars.

After the Crit’air 4 cars, the Crit’air 3 will be banned from the Toulouse ZFE from 2024. Does it bother many people there too, or even more people?

It is indeed a real disaster for Toulouse, as Metropolis has reported 45,000 vehicles, i.e. 16% of the rolling stock, will be affected in 2024. In addition, this figure is largely underestimated, as it does not correspond to the official data of the Ministry of Ecological Transition. In fact, it represents the respective vehicles 35% of the Toulouse metro traffic, i.e. 144,000 vehicles. These are ministry sources. If we take into account neighboring inter-municipal areas less than 20 kilometers from the ZFE, this number increases to 199,000 vehicles.

We’re still talking about global warming… Are you saying it’s a disaster in driver support?

Automotive professionals and road users are well aware of the importance of fighting against global warming. The problem is the brutality of the implementation of this aid. ZFEs that are not generally agreed with the first stakeholders, i.e. motorists. I’m not just talking about Toulouse ZFE here. But by 2024, potentially 75% of the fleet will no longer be able to drive. How do we deal with 66,000 electrical terminals in France?

Can you still hope to sell your ZFE banned cars when you are a motorist?

It will be very difficult. How would you like to change transportation for people who can’t afford it? I remind you that according to a study published in February 2022, one out of every two drivers will not be able to change their vehicle. What we know, what we say and what we recommend is a transition so that the state aid is really there, so that they are not satisfied with 6,000 or 7,000 euros.

In Toulouse, the subsidy given by the metropolis for a new light car is between €4,000 and €6,000. That’s a lot of money. The problem is that it is more than 20,000 euros for household financing, which is closer to 200 or 300 euros every month. It is difficult.

Are you saying OK for an environmental transition in your federation, but there should be a delay in the implementation of ZFEs?

What we want is a five-year delay so that people can charge their cars so that we have enough charging stations. I don’t know if you remember this summer, but there were huge traffic jams on the northbound highway as people waited to fill up their cars.

This measure should then be understood, because in a few months some of your listeners will not be able to access Toulouse. They will also be fined at entry and exit. It is 38 euros each time.

Can you still imagine reselling your car in areas away from the ZFE?

The problem is that France will have 45 ZFE. Drivers can always try to sell their vehicles to people who won’t go to Toulouse, Colomiers or Tournefeuille, but that seems too complicated. Thus, the market value of their car will drop significantly. And then those with low purchasing power: what will they do after selling their car? Trying to buy a more expensive car? When they can’t afford it…

Will the car market be able to accommodate all the demand that will come in the coming months for those who can afford a less polluting vehicle?

Of course, yes, there are second-hand vehicles that can be driven. But supply will be limited mechanically, especially by increasingly restrictive standards. And then supported to jump better, if I may say so. The problem is cruelty. These low emission zones are actually high exclusion zones. And that’s exactly what we want to avoid.

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