By Ruppert Mayr and Andreas Hoenig, dpa
Berlin (dpa) – The German government and the car industry have agreed to continue joint subsidies for the purchase of electric cars, government sources at a meeting of officials from both sides in Berlin told dpa.
The industry-wide subsidy is to be increased and the scheme extended to the end of 2025. The purchasing premium introduced more than three years ago is currently limited until the end of 2020.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, several federal ministers and state premiers, as well as the bosses of the automobile association VDA and of car manufacturers, suppliers and unions took part in the so-called “car summit” aimed at bringing electric vehicles to the mass market.
Consumer grants for electric cars costing less than 40,000 euros (44,500 dollars) are to rise to 6,000 euros from 4,000 euros under the plan. For plug-in hybrids in this price range buyers would be given a subsidy of 4,500 euros rather than 3,000 euros.
Under the plan seen by dpa, Berlin and the auto industry would continue to evenly split the costs of the electric car subsidy.
Ahead of the summit, it was not clear if both sides would continue the scheme. Late Monday, Volkswagen signalled its willingness to continue its 50-per-cent contribution to the rebate programme, sources connected to meeting participants told dpa.
The German government and manufacturers each contributed 600 million euros to the existing subsidy plan.
In addition to the consumer rebate for electric vehicles, the meeting’s agenda included ways to accelerate the construction of a nationwide network of electric car charging stations – considered a key factor in the future success of electric vehicles.
Germany currently has around 21,000 charging stations for electric vehicles – a far cry from the 1 million stations that Merkel said Germany should build over the next decade.
Prior to the car summit, the chancellor attended the production launch of Volkswagen’s ID.3 – the German carmaker’s first electric vehicle to be mass produced – in Zwickau.
There, Merkel pledged that “substantial efforts” would be made by the government to expand the charging infrastructure for electric cars in Germany.