German Finance Minister and leader of the Free Democratic Party Christian Lindner stated he believed that it was time for Germany to end its subsidization of electric vehicles.
“We simply cannot afford misguided subsidies anymore,” Lindner said in a comment to Welt am Sonntag, citing that the incentives were costing the government “billions.”
Lindner said that he would rather see a more general tax cut that could help Germans during this time of high inflation and sky-high gas prices. In a response via Handelsblatt, the Association of International Motor Vehicle Manufacturers said that the removal of such “depended on subsidies” would be a “severe breach of trust.”
The German government had already planned on removing tax incentives for PHEV and decreasing incentives for EVs by the end of this year. In April, discussions began surrounding the potential removal of incentives While Lindner’s comments don’t currently represent the policy of Germany, it does indicate that EVs may not require the consumer incentives that they once did in order to be competitive with their gas or diesel counterparts. According to CleanTechnica, electrified vehicles already represent a quarter of new vehicle sales in Germany, with EVs representing a lion’s share of that quarter at 14% of the total auto sales market, a number that continues to grow by the month. With current gas costs in Europe being as high as they are, the cost incentive to own an EV likely exists whether the tax incentive exists or not.
German consumers are also flush with choices when looking for an EV. Every brand, from Renault to VW to Honda, offers at least one electric vehicle, and they exist across a wide price continuum. 2020 even saw Tesla be dethroned as the German car of the year by cheaper EV alternatives. With the ramping of Giga Berlin, Germans may soon be advantaged by being so close to the source of yet another large EV producer.
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