Germany announces expanded EV incentive programme

05 November 2019

5 November 2019

Germany is to expand its subsidies programme for electric vehicles (EVs) as the country’s Government addresses concerns it is falling behind in supporting zero-emission technologies.

The measures, agreed as part of a summit meeting focused on the automotive industry, include cash incentives for buyers of electric cars. For battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) costing up to €40,000, the one-off payment will rise from €4,000 to €6,000 and for those costing between €40,000 and €65,000, the incentive is fixed at €5,000.

Plug-in hybrid cars (PHEVs), which run on both petrol and battery power, will benefit from the new subsidy regime as well.

Growing market

The news follows on from the announcement in June that the country had extended the purchase incentives for BEVs, PHEVs and fuel-cell vehicles (FCVs) until 2020.

The cost of the new incentive package will be shared between both the German Government and the automotive industry, with an estimated 650,000-700,000 vehicles covered, significantly boosting the number of EVs on roads in the country.

Registrations of these vehicles have been slow, with just under 220,000 sold in the country by August this year. While the number of model options remains low, Germany is also suffering from poor infrastructure, with many areas of the country unserved.

Germany aims to boost its electric fleet to between seven million and 10 million vehicles by 2030 as part of a broader plan to lower the country’s carbon emissions.

All the country’s carmakers are actively developing a new generation of EV to ensure they can help boost the uptake of the technology. Volkswagen Group (VW) recently started production of its ID.3, the first mass-production EV the company has planned, while Audi’s e-tron is now on sale, alongside Daimler’s EQC. BMW, an early pioneer in electric vehicle technology, has fallen behind, but new CEO Oliver Zipse is tasked with regaining ground.

Charging point

Government and industry representatives also agreed to expand the still-patchy network of charging stations in Germany. There are currently only 21,000 stations across the country. Under the plans agreed, that number will rise by 50,000 over the next two years.

Germany’s automotive association, the VDA, has often called for financial support to build a better infrastructure in Germany, recently quoting a survey conducted by energy industry body BDEW, which shows there are just 20,650 public charging points in the country.

′Without electric mobility, the ambitious goal of sustainable mobility by electrifying the vehicles, as required by European legislation, cannot be reached,’ the group said earlier this year. ′The expansion of charging infrastructure is the most important prerequisite for a successful market ramp-up of e-mobility.’