German transport minister rejects news about massive e-car support increase
Clean Energy Wire / Der Spiegel / Tagesspiegel
German transport minister Volker Wissing has denied a media report that he plans to massively increase support payments for buyers of electric vehicles, arguing that his aim has been to achieve a turnaround in the transport sector through “market-based incentives” instead. “Neither do I want a scrap bonus [for old combustion engine cars] nor higher purchase premiums for electric cars,” the minister from the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) said on Twitter. A report published before the tweet had said Wissing planned to support electric car purchases with up to 11,000 euros over several years, a measure that an internal analysis found would cost the state more than 70 billion euros over the next years. However, Wissing said he was not aiming for a measure that would run against his party’s key transport policy promises. Other ministries and several NGOs have criticised the reported plans. Tagesspiegel wrote that the Green Party-led economy and climate ministry has objected to the proposal, telling news agency Reuters that it was too expensive and ineffective. The Social Democrats (SPD) said such a move would not be covered by the government’s coalition treaty and no provisions had been made to alter the current support schemes, news magazine Der Spiegel reported.
The transport ministry is under pressure because the notoriously laggard transport sector exceeded the government’s climate targets again last year. As a consequence, the transport ministry must tell the economy and climate ministry how it intends to close the gap. The government agreed in its coalition agreement to phase out all e-car subsidies by 2025, and allotted a total of 5.9 billion euros for the support payments.