Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner wants to abolish purchase premiums for electric cars. “We simply can no longer afford misguided subsidies,” said the FDP boss of the “Welt am Sonntag”: “If it’s up to me, the purchase premiums for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, for example, will be deleted. The cars have been so far sometimes subsidized with up to 20,000 euros over the lifetime, even for top earners. That’s too much. We can save billions that we can use more sensibly.”
The finance minister is insisting that the federal government once again comply with the debt brake suspended in the corona pandemic in 2023. Lindner wants to prioritize projects. At the beginning of July, the cabinet wants to decide on the draft budget.
Loss of premium due to long waiting times
Lindner’s position on promoting e-cars has met with criticism from associations. The ADAC demanded planning security from the federal government. “Against the background of the funding, many consumers have already ordered an electric vehicle,” said Transport President Gerhard Hillebrand at the weekend. “For most models, the delivery times extend well into the next year, so that there is a risk that the planned state subsidy will no longer be available. So far there has been no indication that the federal government will completely stop subsidies for purely battery-electric new cars from next year want.” Lindner’s proposal was unacceptable in view of the politically created expectations.
Car buyers are currently having to put up with months of waiting due to delivery problems and high demand. A cessation of funding in the meantime would mean a nasty surprise. Because the car must already have been delivered and approved for the funding application to the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA).
Trust, climate targets and CO₂ emissions
The Association of International Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (VDIK) said that in order to achieve the climate targets and therefore for good reason, the further development and continuation of the purchase bonus for electric cars until 2025 had been announced. “The manufacturers of e-vehicles and their customers rely on it. An abrupt end to the e-car premium would therefore mean a serious breach of trust,” said VDIK President Reinhard Zirpel, according to a statement from the weekend.
Zirpel warned of a slump in the German market for e-cars and of increasing CO₂ emissions from traffic. “The discussion alone about an end to the purchase premiums for electric vehicles is already leading to massive uncertainty. The federal government should end this speculation immediately,” he said.
So far, the traffic light is planning a reform of government premiums for the purchase of electric cars and plug-in hybrids. According to plans by Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens), the subsidy for plug-in hybrid cars is to be canceled at the end of 2022, earlier than previously planned. Plug-in hybrids combine an electric motor and a combustion engine. According to Habeck’s plans, there should also be less money from the state for pure electric cars in the future.