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

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.