Pierre Suu | Getty Images
The car that smashed a police van is seen at Avenue Des Champs Elysees on June 19, 2017 in Paris, France.
“It appears to have been a deliberate act on the part of the individual,” said Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet.
Brandet told reporters the driver, who was armed, was “most likely dead”, adding that it was difficult to say for sure while the area where he was lying was being checked for explosives.
A report on France’s BFM TV said the man was known to security services and had been carrying a gas bottle in the car.
France has been on high security alert following a series of militant Islamist attacks in recent years, including the shooting of a policeman in an Islamic State-claimed attack on a police bus on the Champs Elysees in April.