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Cars Tesla Model S Zurich Germany Subsidies

Published on December 2nd, 2017 | by James Ayre


Germany Removes Tesla Model S From EV Incentive Eligibility List, Says It’s Impossible To Order Just Base Version

December 2nd, 2017 by  

The government body in Germany responsible for regulating the country’s electric vehicle incentives program has removed the Tesla Model S from the list of cars eligible to receive a rebate, the company has revealed.

The reason given is apparently that it’s “not possible” to order the base version of the Tesla Model S without adding extra features — thereby making the base price of the model effectively over €60,000 and thus making the model ineligible for the subsidy program.

Tesla Model S Zurich Germany Subsidies

Tesla of course denies this, helpfully noting at it has delivered just such vehicles to customers in Germany numerous times already.

“This is a completely false accusation. Anyone in Germany can order a Tesla Model S base version without the comfort package, and we have delivered such cars to customers,” a statement from Tesla read.

It’s worth remembering here that the €1 billion subsidy program launched last year in Germany — and regulated by the German Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Controls (BAFA) — is partly financed by the German auto industry. In other words, it’s financed by and intended to benefit German firms — firms which have a close relationship with the country’s economy and thus government, it should be remembered.

It shouldn’t be too surprising to see a quiet reinterpretation of the rules being made to exclude a foreign firm which seems to be benefiting.

To better explain that statement, looking at the electric models available at the time of the subsidy’s creation and the associated pricing, it’s very clear that the line between eligible and ineligible that was chosen was chosen specifically to block the eligibility of the base-level Tesla Model S, and thus to ensure that the subsidy mostly benefits German manufacturers (Tesla is one of the only foreign firms to manage to sell more than a few electric vehicle units a year there).

Getting back to the subject at hand, Tesla’s statement noted that the company would be investigating to make sure that no potential customers were told that they couldn’t buy the base-level Model S without any packages.

“If a sales person told a customer they could not buy the Model S base version without the comfort package, this is not accurate and clearly outside our policies and procedures and we will investigate and take appropriate action as necessary,” the statement read, as quoted by Reuters.

This announcement follows earlier reports from the German magazine Auto Bild that BAFA was investigating reports that the base level version couldn’t be ordered without packages and was considering taking the company off the eligibility list.

The subsidy, as a reminder, offers buyers of all-electric vehicles up to €4,000 and buyers of plug-in hybrids (PHEV) up to €3,000.

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About the Author

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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