Retrofit: the conversion of thermal cars to electric is legalized

After obtaining the blank check from the European Commission, the decree authorizing the practice of electric retrofitting in France has just been published in  the Official Journal . It paves the way for the transformation of thermal vehicles (individuals, utility vehicles, 2 and 3 wheels) into electric battery or fuel cell motorization.

The National Federation of Automotive Crafts (FNA) welcomes the possibility of finally being able to convert any thermal vehicle less than 5 years old to electric . A new decree (of March 13), published in  the Official Journal this Friday, April 3, authorizes this advance in terms of ecological transition.

The phenomenon of “electric retrofit” which consists in electrifying your car, originally powered by a heat engine, is thus legislated. This concerns all thermal vehicles over 5 years old, whether cars of course, but also trucks, buses or various utilities as well as motorized 2 and 3 wheels over 3 years old . The idea is to be able to have the same vehicle, seen from the outside, but without rejecting CO 2 , all powered by a battery or a fuel cell .

The retrofit will be carried out by an approved installer

The decree stipulates that this operation can only be carried out by an installer present on French territory and authorized by the manufacturer. This authorization must be renewed every two years.

Until now confidential, this practice now has a legal framework, which will allow professionals to offer conversion offers. For the time being, these remain terribly expensive, up to 10,000 euros to convert an all-electric vehicle to an electric vehicle. This phenomenon is also of direct interest to manufacturers, such as Volkswagen, which launched in 2019 a program to convert old Beetles and a VW combi with its partner eClassics.