06 Feb 2023, 13:20
Benjamin Wehrmann

E-car sales plummet in Germany following subsidy cut

Clean Energy Wire

Registrations of new electric vehicles collapsed in Germany following cuts in buyers’ premiums at the beginning of the year. Registrations for battery electric vehicles dropped about 83 percent to 18,100 in January from 104,300 in December, when many people rushed to receive the full subsidy, according to the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA). The share of e-cars fell to 15 percent in January from more than 55 percent in December, while total car registrations dropped three percent, car industry association VDA said.

The government decided in mid-2022 to reduce support payments for new e-cars, arguing they had become increasingly attractive for buyers even without support payments. Last year, e-car buyers received up 6,000 euros from the state when buying a new vehicle, plus up to 3,000 euros from the car manufacturers themselves. At the start of this year, support for battery electric or fuel cell cars dropped to 3,000-4,500 euros.

The lower support rates are likely to dampen e-car sales throughout the year, VDA said. In total, it expects sales of about 510,000 battery electric vehicles in 2023, eight percent more than last year; and sales of about 250,000 plug-in hybrid cars, a drop of 30 percent compared to 2022. On balance, total EV sales will fall by eight percent this year, the lobby group estimated. Given the lower support payments, “it’s important to strengthen people’s trust in e-mobility in different ways” to keep e-car sales up, VDA head Hildegard Müller said. Customers still can’t rely on easy charging options anytime and everywhere, Müller argued, which should be remedied quickly to ensure EVs are attractive to buyers even without a premium.

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