In recent months, we’ve reported a couple of times on what was rumored to become a new incentive program for electric vehicles in Germany. The federal government this week announced that the program plan and budget is finalized.
Electric Vehicle Purchase Incentives (The Details)
As we noted less than a month ago, under the new plan, purchasing a 100% electric car provides the option to get a €4,000 rebate, while purchasing a plug-in hybrid provides the option to get a €3,000 rebate. Well, it seems that it’s a rebate, but it’s not 100% clear from the two government press releases. (Notably, the electric vehicles have to cost less than €60,000, which quite blatantly excludes the Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X.)
In addition to the straight cash incentive, people who buy 100% electric cars don’t have to pay tax on those cars for 10 years. (I assume that still excludes cars that cost more than €60,000, but that’s not explicit from the translation of the press releases I received from Google.)
€600 million has been set aside for this vehicle-purchasing part of the EV incentives program. However, the incentives are being split between the German government and automakers, and that €600 million is just on the government side. The program will end once the government’s required share of the subsidies (€600 million) is reached or in 2019, whichever comes sooner. (I’m not really sure why they put a deadline on it when there’s a total subsidy limit in place — seems counterproductive, especially considering Germany’s “aim” to have 1 million electric cars on the road by 2020.)
To get a rebate on an electric car purchase, it seems residents must go to the Bundesamt für Wirtschaft und Ausfuhrkontrolle (BAFA) website.
EV Charging Incentives, Too
In addition to the €600 million, another €300 million has been set aside for EV charging infrastructure — since Germany doesn’t yet have charging stations on every other corner, and that would be quite helpful for stimulating a transition to clean, domestically “fueled” electric cars. It seems that this incentive is for both Level 2 charging stations and fast-charging stations, but it’s not clear what the maximum power of the fast-charging stations is actually expected to be. Also, it’s not clear if there’s a specific plan for how the charging stations will be distributed, what percentage will be Level 2 vs Level 3, etc.
There’s also something in the program to incentivize workplace EV charging stations, but I am not deciphering the exact incentive from the Google translation. I know we have many German readers, so I hope one of you can provide a good translation of this segment: “Wer sein Elektroauto im Betrieb des Arbeitgeber aufladen darf, kann sich künftig freuen: Dieser Vorteil ist für ihn steuerfrei. Auch wenn hier Stromkosten gespart werden, die “Tankfüllung” wird nicht als geldwerter Vorteil versteuert. Anders als bei andere Arbeitgeber-Vergünstigungen, etwa Dienstwagen oder Essensgutscheinen.” (Update: This apparently means that, if you have free workplace charging, that cannot be taxed. Thanks to the readers who clarified that.)
Overall, it’s great to see Germany finally joining many other countries and offering significant electric car incentives for the public. Let’s hope the market takes off following this decision!
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