Europe: Germany could expand support offered to electric vehicles image

According to Chancellor Angela Merkel, the German government is currently discussion the possibility to increase the support offered to electric cars, aiming for a decision by the end of the year.

The expanding support would come as the country, the largest European auto market, has failed so far to gain enough traction towards its green goal of putting one million electric vehicles onto German highways before the start of the next decade. The government has until now refrained from delivering major sales subsidies or other incentives to electric cars – the measures so far include tax cuts for the purchase of emission-free vehicles and around 1.5 billion euros ($1.69 billion) in related research project funding. “Germany will have no choice but to offer further support (for EVs) although we’ve already done some things,” commented Merkel during a conference pushing electric car technology in Berlin. “We will once again study all the instruments of support that are also available internationally,” she added.

Other European countries, including Norway or the Netherlands have introduced numerous incentives to lift customer demand across the electric vehicle market – while in Germany the main deterrents are the high acquisition costs, underdeveloped recharging infrastructure and lower oil prices that have diverted customers back to gas guzzling models. According to a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers released this week, German electric vehicle sales reached a total of less than 20,000 units last year and drivers expect higher incentives to help them pay the cost difference between the green cars and conventional models.

Via Automotive News Europe