Germany Considers $5,500 EV Incentive

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Originally published on Gas2.

EV incentives in Europe are a hodgepodge. Norway and Sweden share the same peninsula. Norway has generous EV incentives and lots of electric cars. More than 20% of all new cars sold in Norway are EVs according to the latest data. Neighboring Sweden has few incentives. Not surprisingly, it has few electric cars.

espresso-500x348European Union regulators have created some of the most rigorous emissions standards in the world, which are set to kick in starting in 2021. Every country in Europe supports those standards, but the question is, how much should tax payers or companies be expected to contribute to make those goals a reality?

So far, Germany has provided almost no incentives to its citizens to buy electric cars. It says it wants 1,000,000 EVs on the road by 2020 but it has a long way to go to get there. As of the end of 2015, there were only 23,500 EVs registered in Germany. Of those, 12,300 were pure electric cars, according to Automotive News. The problem in Germany, as it is in most other countries, is that conventional cars cost much less to buy than plug-ins or electric cars do.

To reach its goal, German politicians and auto executives are discussing the creation of incentives worth up to $5,500 to boost sales of electric and plug-in hybrid cars, says Horst Seehofer, a senior adviser to Chancellor Angela Merkel. He said the government is looking into whether automakers could help finance the new incentives. If that idea seems feasible, Chancellor Merkel will take the matter up with company executives.

“Bavaria is very much in favor of the buyer’s premium.” Seehofer says. He is the premier of Bavaria, the southern German state where BMW and Audi are have their headquarters. A spokeswoman for Germany’s Economy ministry said: “Talks within the German government are constructive. We are counting on arriving at a good solution to help achieve our goals.”

The Obama administration wanted to have 1,000,000 EVs on the road by the end of 2015. It missed the target by 70%. Everybody likes the theory of electric cars, but nobody wants to pay more to get one. Germany is just the latest country to struggle with that reality.

Reprinted with permission.

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Steve Hanley

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."

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