Germany Reverses Decision To Remove Tesla Model S From Incentives-Eligible Vehicle List

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In December 2017, the German Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Controls (BAFA) removed Tesla’s electric vehicles from a list of models eligible for the country’s relevant purchase incentives. The reason for the removal of Tesla’s offerings was the allegation that the base version of the Model S (and Model X) couldn’t actually be purchased in the country — and thus that the company wasn’t offering a Model S below the €60,000 (~$74,000) price limit of the electric vehicle (EV) incentives program.

Tesla countered these allegations by noting that the company has in fact delivered numerous base model versions of the Model S in Germany, and that customers can buy whatever cars they want from Tesla (as all cars are made to order), so clearly the allegations aren’t accurate.

Given how easy it is to prove that customers in Germany can in fact buy a base-level version of the Tesla Model S if they so desire to, it’s rather surprising to me that it took until March 6 for the authority to put it back on the list.

“The manufacturer proved with an independent assessment that a base version of the Model S is available on the market for less than €60,000,” the German daily Die Welt on Thursday quoted BAFA as reporting.

No kidding.

It appears likely, then, that allegations were nothing but a smear job. Now, whether or not EVs in the €40,000–50,000 price-range should be eligible for incentives at all is its own matter, and certainly up for debate, but you’ll notice that no complaints were made about any local German auto manufacturers.

Reuters provides context: “Germany in 2016 launched the incentive scheme worth about €1 billion, partly financed by the German car industry, to boost electric car usage. A price cap was included to exempt premium models. Under the subsidy scheme, buyers get €4,000 off their all-electric vehicle purchase and €3,000 off plug-in hybrids.”

Is it just me, or do most of the government authorities of the world seem more and more focused on tit-for-tat back rubbing and smear jobs than on actual effective administration?

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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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