27 Mar 2019, 12:29
Julian Wettengel

German finance minister wants to extend electric car incentives

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung / Reuters

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said he wants to extend tax incentives for buyers of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids for another decade, news agency Reuters reports, based on an interview in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Scholz told the newspaper German carmakers had invested billions of euros in electric mobility. “We must accompany that with an expansion of charging infrastructure and tax measures. I think it is important in terms of industrial policy that we extend our support program for electric battery vehicles and plug-in hybrids -- which are currently limited to 2021 -- for the whole of the next decade,” he said.
Scholz also said that an increasing range should become obligatory for plug-in hybrids.
Green transport NGO umbrella group Transport & Environment warned in a report that new EU CO₂ limits on cars could trigger an invasion of “fake electric vehicles”. Plug-in hybrids are often big SUVs and rarely charged because of their limited range, and they emit as much, or more, CO₂ as diesel or petrol cars, the group writes.

Germany had aimed to have a million electric cars on its roads by 2020, but has pushed this target back to 2022. Government subsidy schemes have helped lift sales but electric cars accounted for only around 1 percent of new car registrations in 2018, according to Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA). Volkswagen recently announced it would drastically speed up plans to transform the company into a leading e-car manufacturer and produce more than 20 million electric cars over the next decade. The German commission charged with proposing emissions cuts for the transport sector is to recommend a target of up to 10 million electric cars on German roads by 2030.

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