The French Government has announced plans to invest €1.5 billion ($au 2.5 billion) in infrastructure for the two million electric and hybrid cars it wants on the road by 2020.

The plan includes industrial research, making batteries, producing clean cars and building a nation-wide network of battery-charging stations.

Under the plan, a million battery-charging points will be built by 2015. From 2012 all new apartment blocks with parking lots will have to include charging stations. The network will grow to a total of four million points by 2020.

Funds will also be provided for the development of elecric cars by Renault, Peugeot/Citroen and Daimler’s Smart Car division. The French manufacturers presented their plans for electric and hybrid cars at the recent Frankfurt Motor Show. (See http://www.greenbizcafe.com/?p=661).

The electric car announcement comes just two weeks after the French Government announced that it would invest more than €7 billion ($au12 billion dollars) to develop freight transport by rail to reduce road traffic. The French Government also announced last month that a carbon tax would be introduced from next year to help cut fossil fuel consumption.