German drivers to get up to €6,000 discount on electric cars

Jill Petzinger
Jill Petzinger, Germany Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
Angela Merkel speaks during a ceremony marking start of the production of a new electric Volkswagen model ID.3 in Zwickau, Germany, November 4, 2019. Credit: Reuters/Matthias Rietschel

Germany is ramping up its efforts to get people to buy electric and hybrid-electric cars by boosting subsidies. In the wake of a government meeting with automotive industry leaders on Monday night, it was announced that existing subsidies, which were due to end in 2020, will stay in place until 2025.

From now on, subsidy on fully-electric cars costing up to €40,000 ((£37,517, $44,518 ), will climb to €6,000, from €4,000 per car. Hybrid vehicles will get a €4,000 subsidy. Electric cars costing between €40,000 and €60,000 can expect €5,000 off the list price. People spending over €65,000 on their e-car in the future will not get any discount—that ceiling has been raised from €60,000.

The UK government offers a subsidy of £3,500 on an approved list of pure-electric vehicles, and was slammed this summer for reducing that subsidy from its previous mount of £4,500, and axing the plug-in hybrid subsidy altogether.

The German government, i.e. the taxpayers, and automotive companies will foot the bill jointly, as both parties have a vested interest in encouraging people to choose less polluting cars; the government needs to take steps to hit the country’s CO2 goals, car companies need to lower fleet emissions to comply with the new EU regulations or face big fines.

READ MORE: Angela Merkel wants one million car-charging points in Germany by 2030

Chancellor Angela Merkel said in her weekly podcast on Sunday that she wanted to see 1 million charging points across Germany by 2030—currently there are about 21,000 points. People have been slow to consider electric vehicles, mainly due to an off-putting combination of range anxiety, lack of charging stations, and the generally higher prices compared to petrol or diesel cars.

At the “car summit” in Berlin last night, they set the goal of building 50,000 new charging stations in Germany by 2022, with the car industry contributing 15,000 public charging points. The government will invest more than €3bn in the charging infrastructure in the coming years.

On Monday, Merkel attended the production start of Volkswagen’s new electric ID.3 car at its plant in Zwickau. VW presented the production version car at the Frankfurt Auto Show this year, which it believes could become a mass-market icon like the Golf and the Beetle before it.

READ MORE: Volkswagen rebrands and wheels out its new mass-market car