05 Nov 2019, 13:49
Benjamin Wehrmann

Germany lifts e-car buyer's premium to boost sales of carmakers' new electric fleets

Clean Energy Wire

The buyer's premium for e-cars in Germany will be increased and prolonged in a bid to boost the sales of a whole range of new electric vehicles built by the country's car companies. The premium will be increased by 50 percent to 6,000 euros for cars costing less than 40,000 euros, and by 25 percent for more expensive cars costing up to 65,000 euros, the government announced after a meeting between industry and government representatives in Angela Merkel's Chancellery. The money available will be sufficient for another 700,000 e-cars, according to the government. Moreover, the government is assessing possibilities to extend the buyer's premium to the used car market for cars that have not received support when they were originally purchased. "The decisive market introduction of electric mobility starts now. The industry has announced a mass rollout of new models," the government said. It also vowed to create 50,000 publicly accessible charging points over the next two years and the carmakers promised to contribute another 15,000 by 2022. Ahead of the meeting, Merkel said that a total of one million charging points will be built by 2030. The government said that hydrogen as well as autonomous driving would also play an important role in the future of mobility and promised to assist companies in mastering the technology shift in the sector.
The new head of energy industry lobby group BDEW, Kerstin Andreae, told Handelsblatt that the government's plans for charging infrastructure would "overshoot the mark" and foresee too many new charging points. According to BDEW calculations, about 350,000 points would be "perfectly sufficient" for ten million e-cars, as 85 percent of all charging took place at private charging points. 

A successful transformation of the car sector is seen as a crucial challenge for Germany, both with respect to cutting national emissions and to maintain its position as a technologic leader in an industry that employs hundreds of thousands of people in the country. The government originally planned to bring one million e-cars on the road by 2020 but, as of early 2019, there were only about 83,000 purely electric and 341,000 hybrid cars registered. In order to comply with EU emissions targets, the government now plans to have up to ten million e-cars on the road by the end of the next decade.

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