High subsidies suddenly make electric cars big sellers | Free Press

Berlin / Munich / Frankfurt (dpa) – Apparently it was mainly due to price and not fear of reach or lack of infrastructure: thanks to high premiums, electric cars and plug-in hybrids suddenly take off.

At least on paper, this also clearly shows the CO2 emissions from the new records. Now the federal government and the auto industry want to think about more subsidies and the expansion of charging infrastructure, which are clearly lagging behind the boom, in a new “Auto Summit” this Tuesday (November 17).

With the Federal Minister of Economy Peter Altmaier (CDU) and the Prime Minister of Bavaria, Markus Söder (CSU), two heavyweights of the Union have already spoken in favor of extending the “innovation bonus”, which actually It will expire next year, until 2025. It now says in a proposal for a resolution of the Chancellery for the maximum meeting, which is at the disposal of the German Press Agency: “The funding guidelines originally valid until the end of 2021 should be extended until 2025.” . A decreasing subsidy is planned in two stages. For this, an additional one billion euros are estimated.

The federal government increased funding twice this year: in February the maximum rate went from 4,000 to 6,000 euros. Since June it has been 9,000 euros including the manufacturer’s fee.

Both changes were immediately reflected in the new registrations and funding requests: In March, they both gained significantly before Corona stopped them. But things really got going after the second increase: in October, the current record was reached with requests for a good 34,200 cars in a month. A year ago there were 10,100. The number of new registrations is even higher: 48,017 all-electric cars and plug-in hybrids hit the streets in October. That’s 17.5 percent of new registrations, after less than 7 percent at the beginning of the year.

Auto expert Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, however, considers high subsidies to be a dangerous poison and unaffordable in the long run. According to its regular discount study, the price reduction for new all-electric cars averaged 36.9 percent in October, about double that of combustion engines. And after the party, manufacturers are threatened with a strong hangover, not only because of the low residual values ​​of used cars: “The pure electronics business will collapse significantly and with hybrids, automakers will have to establish their own incentives. They cannot get rid of them without subsidies, ”says Dudenhöffer. The consumer is already learning that buying an electronic vehicle is a risky investment that must be cushioned with high additional payments.

Plug-in hybrids are particularly popular as company cars because of the tax advantages for private use. At 24 percent, the share of private customers is significantly lower than fully electric customers at 47 percent, says Dudenhöffer. Consider the fastest growing unit type to be a “dummy package.” No one knows how often the mostly heavy hybrids are actually charged with electricity or hit the road as pure combustion engines.

However, on paper at least, the current boom clearly shows the average CO2 emissions of new cars registered in Germany. In the first half of the year it was still around 150 grams per kilometer. Then it was downhill. According to the Federal Motor Transportation Authority, it was 131.4 grams in October.

There’s a lot of “steam” on the electric car issue right now thanks to the bonus, says Thomas Peckruhn, vice president of the Central Association of the German Motor Vehicle Industry (ZDK). Due to long lead times, some customers have so far been concerned that they will get a car in time to benefit from the bonus.

However, the energy industry does not want to be rushed. Due to the still comparatively low number of around 440,000 electric cars today, the 33,100 charging stations are still not working, the industry association BDEW emphasized on Monday. Industry expert Stefan Bratzel complains that infrastructure problems have been known for a long time. It should be clarified, for example, how drivers are authenticated at charging stations, how the charging process is billed and how it is ensured that charging stations are not blocked by fully charged vehicles. “It is not just about quantity, but also about ensuring that the charging infrastructure is operated and functions reliably.”

The downturn caused by the crisis in the Crown was more than offset by the intervention in the premium, according to experts from the consulting firm Deloitte. The target of 10 million electric cars on German roads by 2030, set by the federal government, remains unrealistic. In fact, Deloitte consultants also recommend an extended bonus and, much less popular, a 30-cent higher price for every liter of diesel and gasoline. The much-vaunted end of the combustion engine will continue to drag on, probably until 2040.