Doubled electric car subsidy costs the federal government almost 2 billion


With the doubling a year ago, the electric car subsidies ignited. In the course of twelve months, over half a million vehicles with purely electric or plug-in hybrid engines have been newly registered – more than in all previous years combined.

The state-fueled boom emerges from the data from the Federal Motor Vehicle Office. This means that the goal of one million electric cars on German roads is within reach, which the bonus should one day give a boost. Accordingly skyrocketed Since then, the costs of the subsidies have also been: These add up to a good 1.9 billion euros from the beginning of June 2020 to the end of June 2021, as the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (Bafa) in Eschborn, which is responsible for paying out the subsidies, announced on request.

Electric cars are no longer a niche product. According to a new survey on behalf of the Verivox portal, 14.6 percent of potential car buyers between the ages of 18 and 69 say their next car should be a purely electric car. 7.7 percent prefer a plug-in hybrid, so more than a fifth together.



The popularity of e-cars is increasing

So are the Electric cars in popularity Although still a long way behind gasoline engines, which are preferred by almost 38 percent, but ahead of diesel with twelve percent. For the representative online survey, the market research institute Innofact asked 1,000 people in June.

A year ago, the Federal Cabinet resolved to double the purchase subsidy, with retroactive effect to June 3, for the “innovation premium”. The number of registrations – and the associated expenses – skyrocketed almost overnight: from the beginning of June 2020 to the end of May 2021, over 567,000 new electric cars were registered, and another 65,000 were added in June. For comparison: in the previous four years from 2016 to 2019 there had been a total of only 256,000 electric vehicles, before that even fewer. Hybrid motors without an externally chargeable battery are not counted.

Meanwhile, the number of electric cars and Plug-in hybrids on German roads including the target of one million set by the federal government, which should actually have been achieved last year. Including light commercial vehicles, Economics Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) hopes to achieve this in July. Even with cars alone, given the current figures, it should be so far in the coming months.

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For the state treasury, the subsidies are associated with rapidly increasing expenditure: In the first half of 2020, 77.6 million euros were paid out to car buyers “for the switch to climate-friendly mobility”, as reported by Bafa. After doubling the grant, it was already 575 million in the second half of the year, a seven-fold increase. And this year it was already 1.33 billion euros by the end of June. The purchase and leasing of pure battery cars and plug-in hybrids with rechargeable batteries are funded. Cars with fuel cell engines are also subsidized, although only minimal numbers of these are permitted.

The higher subsidies are intended to help the German auto industry on the one hand and to reduce CO2 emissions on the other. Some experts and associations reject the high subsidies, including the taxpayers’ association.



German manufacturers benefit from grants

One point of criticism did not come true: that the subsidies would mainly benefit foreign manufacturers. In terms of sales of battery and plug-in hybrid cars, four German manufacturers are in the first four places this year: VW – the brand, not the group – was ahead with a good 59,000 cars in the first half of the year, followed by Mercedes , BMW and Audi. As the first foreign manufacturer, Renault was in 5th place. Tesla was also in 2nd place behind VW for purely battery-powered cars.

According to the Verivox survey, private customers prefer all-electric cars, while plug-in hybrids are more preferred than company vehicles. “The market share of purely electric vehicles is likely to increase further in the coming months due to customer interest,” said Wolfgang Schütz, managing director of Verivox insurance comparison.

Almost a third of those surveyed believe that all-electric cars will gain the most market share in the next ten years. The most frequent argument against an electric car is still the insufficient range, which was mentioned by 46.7 percent of those surveyed.

In the medium term, however, the electric car boom could also reach its limits. Industry expert Ferdinand Dudenhöffer expects that in a few years the demand for batteries will exceed the supply, which could slow down production. dpa

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