North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany) Environment Minister Now Drives A Tesla Model S

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We’ve covered the bizarre drama that accompanies Tesla’s relationship with the German auto industry (and collective ego) for some time now, providing a number of interesting data points for those who note that observing “human nature” is similar to taking a trip to the zoo …

And now we have a new one for our readers: the environment minister of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Johannes Remmel, recently took delivery of a Tesla Model S … and apparently invited the criticism of many Germans for doing so.

Not Remmel’s Tesla.

Remmel has apparently responded by sensibly noting that he had no choice, as there were no German-made electric cars with the range to meet his needs. That’s likely true for a large number of people in the country.

Why criticize an environment minister (of all people) for buying an all-electric car that was made elsewhere when there are no comparable offerings made within the country? Shouldn’t those criticizing Remmel instead be criticizing the German auto manufacturers for not offering a decent electric car?

I suppose that would be too sensible for some people.

Green Car Reports provides more:

This is partly due to the expectation that government officials drive German cars, but Remmel indicated that no domestic manufacturers offered a car that met his needs.

Remmel wanted an electric car, and said the Model S was the only one with enough range to allow him to travel around the state of North Rhine-Westphalia easily.

His decision was also criticized because of the high purchase price of the Model S –reported at €110,430 ($115,000).

That price indicates Remmel purchased a higher-end model, as Tesla recently tweaked its German pricing to ensure at least some versions of the Model S started below €60,000 ($64,000).

That’s because electric-car incentives introduced by Germany last year don’t apply to cars costing more than that amount.

Buyers of lower-priced electric cars can qualify for a €4,000 ($4,280) rebate under the incentive program.

Interesting, but I don’t quite understand why people would criticize him for purchasing a more expensive electric car when that means that he doesn’t qualify for incentives as a result. Shouldn’t that be applauded? It means he didn’t utilize government funds for a luxury car purchase. Regardless, though, who are the critics kidding — the Mercedes and Audis driven by ministers there aren’t the relatively “cheap” ones either; they’re the expensive ones.

Photo by Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica


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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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