Austria to extend EV and PHEV subsidies beyond the end of 2018

12 December 2018

12 December 2018

Austria has extended its subsidy plan for electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) beyond the end of 2018.

The country’s government has announced that a new date for the expiration of offers to drivers taking up the latest propulsion technologies will be published before Christmas. The subsidy was originally supposed to end on 31 December.

Since November 2016, companies in the country have received €3,000, with private individuals taking up to €4,000 for the purchase of new EVs and PHEVs. This subsidisation is supported by both the federal government and car importers, with the country aiming to move drivers away from petrol and diesel technology. By March of last year, the incentive had already passed 1,000 applications.

The Austrian Federal Association for Electric Mobility (BEÖ) says that the funding programme has made a significant impact, with 20,000 purely electric cars now registered in Austria.

According to the organisation, by the end of November 2018, 6,182 fully electric e-cars had been added to Austrian roads this year, which is 24.8% more than in the same period of 2017. Last year, 5,433 electric cars were newly registered. Currently, 1.9% of all new registrations are EVs.

′This promotion is successful and must be continued and expanded in 2019. A tax exemption can also be an effective incentive and partially offset the price differences currently existing. This has been shown in Norway, ′says Roland Ziegler, speaker BEÖ – Federal Association of Electromobility Austria. ′An e-car may not cost more than a comparable petrol or diesel vehicle.’

It is not yet clear whether the current subsidies will continue when they are extended. The government could look to adopt a broader range of incentives, with the BEÖ suggesting the introduction of a tax exemption for EVs in addition to purchasing support, as is the case in Norway. Also, they are of the opinion that the expansion of the private charging infrastructure should be accelerated by making changes to the housing law.

′To make the private charging of an e-vehicle easier, legal obstacles to housing law have to be eliminated. Specifically, it involves the installation of wall boxes (e-charging stations) in multi-party buildings. This applies to the Housing Property Act (WEG), the Tenancy Law (MRG) and the Housing Benefit Act (WGG),’ according to Ziegler, ′both tenants and owners must have the right to charge their e-car at home, as well as create their own charging options.’

The leading Austrian energy companies have created a nationwide, public and roaming-capable charging network for e-vehicles in recent years. ‘Millions have been invested in infrastructure, digitisation and charging stations,’ says Ziegler. ‘With almost 3,000 public charging points, this network is already Austria’s largest charging network today and will be expanded even further next year,’