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New billions for the auto industry to accelerate change | Free Press

Berlin (dpa) – Additional incentives to buy electric cars until 2025, new funding for cleaner trucks, more charging stations: amid the Corona crisis, the state is giving the German auto industry a new impetus for the shift towards more climate-friendly vehicles.

The federal government promised an additional three billion euros at a high-level meeting between Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and industry representatives on Tuesday night. The branch and IG Metall appreciated the support and are urging a quick implementation in the tense market situation.

The head of the SPD, Norbert Walter-Borjans, told the German Press Agency that it is now crucial that the trend towards clean units is not interrupted because the expansion of the infrastructure does not continue. Charging stations, simple payment systems, and promoting industrial innovation should be “much better.” The industry expectation is now: “Qualify employees for the new age and don’t cut them.” Right now the good training, experience and creativity of the workers is needed.

The president of the Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), Hildegard Müller, welcomed the new commitments as an “important contribution” and help for climate protection and economic strength. “Every week we bring 12,000 new electric cars to the streets of Germany.” These would now also need many new electronic charging stations. IG Metall boss Jörg Hofmann highlighted the heavy commercial vehicle exchange program to support the economy. The tense employment situation, especially among many providers, makes it necessary to implement measures quickly.

Lower Saxony Minister-President Stephan Weil (SPD) said: “The faster a national charging network is created and powered by renewable energy, the more customers will choose electric vehicles.” The plans are “encouraging.” But now you have to make “nails with heads”.

The “Car Summit” commitments at a glance:

Incentives to buy: In order to get more electric cars on the road, the existing buying bonus (environmental bonus) had already been significantly increased by an “innovation bonus”; the sales figures have been increasing since then. This means that car buyers can receive a subsidy of up to 9,000 euros. In return, the federal government doubles its share of the bonus, half of which is paid by manufacturers. This premium increase was originally planned to run through the end of 2021 and should now run through the end of 2025. The federal government is releasing up to an additional € 1 billion.

Until now, all-electric cars and plug-in hybrids that run on electricity and fuel have been subsidized. Environmentalists see this as critical of hybrids, as they are often driven primarily as combustion engines. As the federal government decided, hybrids in the future should only be subsidized “if they have a minimum range of 60 kilometers from 2022 and at least 80 kilometers from 2025.”

Trucks – A new truck scrapping bonus is meant to get old commercial vehicles off the road and increase sales of newer models. The billion that the federal government gives for this are distributed: 500 million euros for companies that change trucks with the Euro 3, 4 and 5 emission standards for trucks that comply with the new Euro 6 standard, and another 500 million euros for public purchases, that is, around the replacement of old fire trucks.

The plans are badly received by environmentalists because they also promote diesel. The Federal Environment Agency had also criticized the proposal. President Dirk Messner warned that the premium is really bad for climate protection, because if you buy a new diesel truck now, you don’t switch to an electric truck soon after. And even if, in theory, all trucks with the older 3 to 5 emissions standards were replaced with those with the newer standard, this would save just 0.7 million tons of CO2 per year. For comparison: Germany’s transport sector emitted more than 163 million tonnes of CO2 in 2019.

Charging Stations – Where electric cars are supposed to drive, they also need to be able to charge. There should also be faster charging points at gas stations. The federal government’s goal: by the end of 2022, fast-charging infrastructure in one of the four service stations, by the end of 2024 in every second, and by the end of 2026 in three out of every four service stations. They want to talk to the industry about a voluntary commitment and pay subsidies by the end of 2022, he says in the newspaper: it does not go fast, it will be regulated by law. The government is sticking to the target of 72,000 public charging points; According to the energy association BDEW, there are currently 33,000. The decision document states: “The federal government expects the auto industry to make a significant contribution to this of the 15,000 publicly accessible charging points promised by the end of 2021.”

“Future Fund”: For medium and long-term plans, a “Future Fund for the Automotive Industry” is envisaged based on subsidies, to which the federal government intends to contribute one billion euros. The aim is a “strategic structural policy orientation” for Germany, but also change strategies, especially in regions with a particularly high number of companies in the automotive industry. “Countries are called to participate,” says the newspaper. The federal government will establish a “committee of experts as representative as possible” to advise the government on the allocation of funds.