Berlin (dpa) – To further push for more electric cars on German roads, an extension of greater buying incentives is emerging in the black-red coalition.
Before Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) held a high-level meeting with industry representatives on Tuesday evening, the Union and the SPD spoke out in favor of continuing the “innovation bonus” which runs until the end 2021. In addition, the national electric car recharging network will be further expanded. There was also a tailwind for an old truck scrapping program.
The increase in financing for electric cars has “caused a remarkable change of opinion among consumers and manufacturers,” said SPD leader Norbert Walter-Borjans of the German press agency. The government now has to ensure continuity by expanding the premium, but also by expanding charging capacities and manufacturing battery cells. CSU chief Markus Söder said a premium extension was a “very important step” that would help jobs and the climate. A bonus for modern combustion cars, which he had asked for in the Corona crisis, is “quite difficult at the moment.” Scrapping premiums for old trucks would result in a “substantial improvement in air quality.”
Federal Economy Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) also called for an extension of the “innovation premium”, whereby car buyers can receive a subsidy of up to 9,000 euros. Until now, pure electric cars, such as plug-in hybrids, which run on both electricity and fuel, have been promoted. Since the existing purchase premium (environmental bonus) was significantly increased through an ‘innovation premium’, the sales figures have increased. By the end of 2021, the federal government will double its share of the environmental bonus, half of which is paid from taxpayers’ money and the other half from manufacturers. This is part of an economic stimulus package that aims to cushion the consequences of the crown crisis.
The ADAC Motoring Club expressed concern. The environmental voucher is valid until 2025 anyway, the additional increase as an innovation voucher should not be paid beyond 2023, said Transportation President Gerhard Hillebrand. In the case of plug-in hybrids, the premium must also depend on electrical usage.
A Foreign Ministry presentation before the high-level meeting, which had not yet been coordinated with all ministries, promised another € 1 billion for the electric car voucher, as well as truck financing, 500 million of which for companies and the same amount for public purchases. . Representatives from industry, various countries, trade unionists, and coalition leaders should participate in the video conference. The “automotive summits” are about the future of the important industry, which is under pressure, on the one hand, in the Corona crisis and, on the other, is supposed to create the shift towards environmentally friendly mobility and the weather.
Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) had called for a program to scrap and replace older trucks. According to the draft, models with new combustion engines that meet certain conditions, such as emitting comparatively few greenhouse gases, will be financed. Walter-Borjans emphasized that electric mobility and CO2-free drives should be “significantly more subsidized.”
Environmentalists criticized the project. An extension of the high incentives for electric vehicles is “unacceptable,” said BUND traffic expert Jens Hilgenberg. This is particularly true for plug-in hybrids. The federal government should help suppliers “break their dependency on automobiles with new products.” Greenpeace expert Tobias Austrup said: “Instead of extending expensive premiums for electric cars until Neverland Day, significant surcharges are needed for cars that damage the weather.” Environmental aid required more rail freight rather than truck premiums.
The leader of the green parliamentary group Anton Hofreiter called the possible extension of the purchase premium, on the other hand, “correct”, but also warned that it should become a “bonus-malus system” that favors clean cars and increases the price of cars that are bad for the climate and the environment. “That is easy on the budget and finally puts the incentives more on protecting the climate,” he told dpa.
SPD MP Sören Bartol warned: “If there are not enough charging stations next year, there will be great frustration.” Responsible federal ministers should drive expansion, especially on highways and in municipalities. “When in doubt, the state should envision faster expansion with supply requirements or, if that doesn’t work out fast enough, build it itself as well.”
In the template for the meeting, a goal is formulated for at least 25 percent of all service stations to be equipped with fast charging infrastructure by the end of 2022, 50 percent by the end of 2024, and then 75 percent. percent by the end of 2026, that is, three out of four. There should be funding for this and, if necessary, a law.
The Automotive Industry Association (VDA) also sees a lot to do. “Today there are already 13 electric cars in a recharging point, according to our forecasts there will be 20 at Easter,” said the president Hildegard Müller of the dpa. “Having goals when it comes to increasing electric mobility is good, but I’m interested in implementation.”
On the other hand, the energy association BDEW had indicated that the number of public access charging points had increased to more than 33,000. This means that more than 5,300 charging points have been added in six months, despite the fact that the installation of a charging station still does not pay for itself with the current number of electric cars.
IG Metall cautioned that it was about setting the course for a leading industry in Germany. “What is now being lost in terms of business and employment can no longer be innovative and cannot be transformed,” said dpa automotive expert Kai Bliesener. Among other things, he reiterated the demand for a participation model for suppliers of internal combustion engines, who are particularly under pressure. The state and manufacturers are required to participate in the fund models.