By on June 4, 2020

Image: Porsche AG

Germany isn’t fooling around anymore. Electric cars are going to become the norm, and that’s final.

After pledging last year to boost electric vehicle subsidies by 50 percent over the first half of the decade, Germany has doubled down on its EV efforts in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. If you’re in the market for a gas-free car, expect the government to fill your pocket with cash. If you’re the buyer (or the maker) of a gas-guzzling SUV, look out.

Depending on which source you read, EVs made up only 1.8 to 3 percent of the country’s new car registrations in 2019, which is still better than most other countries. EV adoption was on the rise, even as overall new vehicle sales fell. Obviously, the pandemic will fudge 2020’s numbers.

Announced Thursday, Germany will foist a new tax structure on internal combustion vehicles, double the subsidy it hands to EV buyers, and foster the creation of electric vehicle charging stations in as many locales as possible. There’ll be no excuse not to own one, you hear?

It’s all part of a stimulus package worth nearly $146 billion. Per Reuters, vehicles that emit more than 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre will see their motor vehicle tax rise come January 2021. That net captures plenty of vehicles, given that the average per-kilometre emissions of a German vehicle is more than 150 grams. In May, that level rose to nearly 155 grams. While the levels are not yet set in stone, the more a vehicle pollutes, the more it will be penalized.

In a bid to get more buyers into small German-built cars, the country will lower its value added tax on those vehicles from 19 percent to 16 percent. At the same time, government incentives for EVs will rise to more than $6,700 for vehicles costing less than $45,000. That subsidy combines with a manufacturer incentive worth nearly $3,400, pushing EV prices down considerable. Ritzier EVs with higher MSRPs will still see government spiffs, just not as lucrative for the buyer.

The country wants customers to walk into dealerships knowing they can drive away in an EV and plug in anywhere. Otherwise, the whole thing won’t work. Now, Germany has put up money to have all of the country’s gas stations install an EV charging station.

BDEW, the German Association of Energy, estimates that Germany hosted less than 28,000 EV plug-in points in March. To make EV ownership viable for all, there would need to be 70,000, it said. Pushing gas station to add a plug, if not a full-on fast-charge station, would boost that roster by more than 14,000.

Elsewhere in the broad plan are billions set aside to get diesel-powered buses (either privately or publicly owned) off the road.

[Image: Porsche AG]

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34 Comments on “The Only Way Forward? Germany Goes All-in on EVs...”


  • avatar
    DearS

    Battery Prices have fallen from $1100 per KWH to $150 in 10 years. A Nissan Leaf battery went from $44,000 to $6000 in 10 years. under $4000 in 3-5 more years.

    Million mile Camry on the way.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I had a 12 Leaf, and at least mcs here still does. I know the Leaf was a money loser for Nissan, but I don’t recall its battery ever costing $44k. $9k is a number I remember, which would be about $375/kWh – still much higher than today’s costs.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        It was like 9k from the dealer last year when I checked out of curiosity. That is the improved pack. Now back when they first came out, I don’t know…I’m sure they were quite a bit more, but I can’t figure Nissan would have been willing to lose that kind of money on each car if it was 44k.

  • avatar
    Urlik

    Wonder what their electrical generation capacity is.

    • 0 avatar
      Old_WRX

      Do the ecos even have the slightest clue that they’ve completely destroyed their own credibility?

      That’s a hell of a lot of generation capacity that will have to be added and a lot of distribution upgrading. If they ramp up fast it’ll be chaos with all the construction.

      One of the great ironies of battery cars is that now employers will have to foot the bill for charging the cars, because if you want to support the virtue signalling, eco-weenie image of these things, hey, you gotta zap ’em with solar — which only generates power during the day. Maybe the government will decree that the sun shine 24/7.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        1. Obviously you have no idea how little energy it takes to power an EV.

        2. Obviously you have no idea why many people buy EVs (hint: it’s not to save the earth, and it’s not to save a Euro on petrol).

        3. Obviously you have no idea where most EV charging takes place (hint: it’s not at the office).

        But stereotypes are fun, so enjoy it.

        • 0 avatar
          Old_WRX

          Gee, thanks:-)….You forgot to mention that I have no idea about how the sun works…

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            “I have no idea about how the sun works…”

            Maybe replace the word “sun” with “renewable energy systems”.

            Solar and wind energy is stored with batteries, pumped storage, or other storage systems. Storage systems can also smooth out power demand by storing it during off peak hours and releasing it during peak demand.

            https://www.dena.de/en/topics-projects/energy-systems/flexibility-and-storage/pumped-storage/

            Don’t know WTF is up with the eco-weenie thing. Almost every EV owner I know including myself prefers them for the lower maintenance, torque, and quiet. I’m more interested in my next EV getting me 0-60 in 3.1 seconds than saving the planet.

            BTW, my EV is barely a blip on my electric bill. GPU packed workstations + a big house.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @mcs: +1

            I wasn’t much of a fan of EVS until I drove a Tesla Model 3. That thing is an absolute ball to drive, and the instant-on torque is addictive. If not for that stupid touchscreen dashboard, I’d buy one.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            @MCS I’ll simply throw out the “why do you need…” Argument that truck owners get here if they dare have their bed empty with respect to the sub 4 second 0-60 time and insert the obligatory comment about you compensating if you need that much power.

            I’m just being tongue in cheek by the way…I am an EV fan actually and yes, the 1080ti’s individuals Ryzen 7 and 9’s I have about the house likely spin my Electric meter far more than the Leaf. I only noticed it on the electric bill when my kid was having it turn on and heat up an hour before he left for school, which I remedied.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          2. many people do buy EVs to save the earth and to same money, the later especially because of 3.

          3. Yeah most EV owners charge their cars at home until the company they work for installs chargers and then they do all most, if not all charging at work.

          I have a friend who has had 3 EVs, yet has never owned a “charging station” using the 110v cord at home only occasionally.

          The reason for that? Because the owner of the company thinks that EVs will save the planet and told his employees that if they buy an electric car they would have a spot to charge it at the office. So he traded in his Jetta diesel (purchased to save money on fuel) for a Volt. His commute was such that a full charge at work would get him home and back to work. So on the weekends he would use the convience cord. That was followed by another Volt lease and then an i3. With the i3 he makes sure he charges leaves work on Fri with a full battery and that gets him through the weekend and back to work on Monday with range to spare.

          I also did a presentation at a well known tech company a few years ago. Their parking garage had charging stations at over 1/3 of the spaces on the 3 floors of the garage. They were mostly full. I’m certain most of those people also do the majority of their charging at work and like my friend may not even bother with anything other than the 110v cord at home.

          • 0 avatar
            Old_WRX

            “I’m certain most of those people also do the majority of their charging at work…” And, the bill for this is (indirectly) footed by the rest of us. This sort of freebie will inevitably disappear if the EV becomes mainstream.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @Old WRX:

            I’d be curious to know if your back is similarly arched over employer freebies that have nothing to do with free EV charging – stuff like paid time off, or other employer-paid benefits. Heck, they even treat the employees to lunch from time to time.

            After all, the bills for all that kind of stuff are also “(indirectly) footed by the rest of us.” Correct?

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          1. Obviously you have no idea where electricity comes from.
          2. Obviously you don’t know Germany already has the highest electricity prices in Europe.
          3. Obviously, you don’t know Germany shut down its nuclear generation plants and is now burning dirty brown coal.
          4. Obviously, you think Germany will get a stable, uninterrupted supply of natural gas from Russia, with no strings attached.
          5. Obviously, you don’t think a sharp turn to the neo-nazi right in Germany can’t happen.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @Lorenzo:

            Valid concerns, all, but they’re all based on the assumption that the sources of electrical generation will stay as they are in the coming years. I don’t think that’s going to be the case.

          • 0 avatar
            Old_WRX

            @Lorenzo: +1

            This is what I really don’t like about the way EV’s are being touted. The whole thing smacks of totalitarianism all tarted up pretending to be great virtue. And the giveaway for this is that there isn’t any real discussion about what the pros and CONS of EVification are in the MSM.

          • 0 avatar

            “uninterrupted supply of natural gas from Russia, with no strings attached.”

            Russia needs Germany more than Germany needs Russia. Do forget that Russia is not the only supplier of NG. There is also Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211467X20300183

            And then Germany is the leader in developing renewable sources of energy.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          I do like the way EVs drive, but in fairness I have quite a few friends that did buy them specifically because they don’t use gas or pollute. Also have a friend that takes his Tesla to the strip. Can’t really put those buyers in a box.

      • 0 avatar
        ScarecrowRepair

        Google for Bastiat’s petition to the government from candlestick makers.

    • 0 avatar
      Old_WRX

      @FreedMike:

      The other bennies you mention are distributed more equably to employees. If they want to supply fuel to some employees, why not supply it to all? Have some charging stations and a gas pump…

      • 0 avatar
        HotPotato

        @Old_WRX:”

        We don’t supply gas pumps at my work because a) unlike charging stations, there are already plenty of gas pumps around; and b) unlike gasoline, electric-powered vehicles reduce pollution, and that benefits everybody. And not just a little: to the tune of $10,000 Canadian worth of health benefit per EV in a densely populated city, per a study just released.

        Pretty simple principle. Reinforce things that are beneficial, not things that are harmful. Same reason we now have an on-site health clinic at work instead of cigarette vending machines.

        • 0 avatar
          Old_WRX

          @HotPotato:

          To paraphrase: they came for the smokers and I didn’t care because I wasn’t a smoker; they came for the ICE cars and I didn’t care because I was electrified;…

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Well everyone is free to buy an EV if they want free charging. Not sure about the two companies I mentioned but others will spend more money per month to give free bus passes to their employees. Around here a couple have their own fleet of buses that their employees can ride for free if they choose.

        • 0 avatar
          Old_WRX

          Sound good. Public trans is probably the best when it comes to conservation. Very difficult with our spread out ‘burbs, though.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Well that is one of the reasons that those companies I spoke of provide their own buses so they can go where the employees live, in a timely manner, w/o a bunch of transfers ect.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Ah, so giving away electricity is bad because that gets passed along to the company’s customers, but giving away gas, which costs a LOT more, isn’t an issue. Got it.

        Sorry, silly argument. So is the “this whole thing reeks of authoritarianism.” People who say that generally have no idea what real authoritarianism is. You might as well complain that the big bad gubmint doesn’t allow you to drive your top fuel funny car to the grocery store.

  • avatar
    aajax

    This would seem to penalize apartment dwellers who aren’t going to have practical access to charging.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      seems that this is being addressed…from the story:

      “Now, Germany has put up money to have all of the country’s gas stations install an EV charging station.”

      The better question is probably how long it’ll take those apartment dwellers to charge up, but there you have it.

  • avatar
    Steverino

    This is a good start. A person exhales about 1kg per day of CO2. Tax everyone not walking 11 kilometers a day and let the virtue signaling really kick in!

  • avatar
    subuclayton

    The subsidies for EV’s in Germany will be eternal with no expiration date regardless of sales. I have no doubt it is coming the to U.S. Difference is we sell oil and gas and Germany doesn’t. Total perversion.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    Total perversion, indeed. Like Ethanol for vehicle fuel.

    • 0 avatar
      Old_WRX

      I’ll bet the whole time during this CV19 pan(dem)ic todo when you couldn’t by isopropanol (or hand sanitizer) for sanitizing things ethanol (an excellent substitute) was being dumped in gasoline by the millions of gallons.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    I just surprised there isn’t a huge argument going on about government skewing ‘the market.’

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