Berlin seeks to spark e-mobility with €5,000 incentive

Beyond its environmental impact, Gabriel highlighted the benefits the scheme could have on the German car industry, which has already started to embrace e-mobility. [Shelby Asistio/Flickr]

The German government has floated the idea of providing incentives for people to buy electric cars. Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Sigmar Gabriel has proposed the initiative so that companies warm to the idea of buying electric car fleets. EURACTIV Germany reports.

Gabriel said that the state should prioritise promoting electric cars and use the financial aspect as a selling point.

“I can envisage a buyer’s premium of €5,000 per car,” he told the Funke Mediengruppe. Without an attractive incentive, Berlin is unlikely to meet its target of having more than one million electric cars on the roads by 2020. Currently, there are only 30,000.

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Gabriel renewed his call for a package of support measures that would fund procurement programs at federal, regional and municipal levels. In addition, he highlighted the need to develop an adequate infrastructure of charging points. In order to get more electric cars on the road, an additional €2.5 billion needs to be invested before 2020. “This would also significantly support the German car industry,” he added.

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A spokesperson confirmed that the issue was being hashed out by a number of ministries, with Minister for the Environment Barbara Hendricks involved as well. The biggest hurdle would appear to the Minister of Finance, Wolfgang Schäuble, who has repeatedly cast doubts on the possibility of a buyer’s premium.

Electricity as an energy option for vehicles offers the possibility to substitute oil with a wide diversity of primary energy sources.

This could ensure security of energy supply and a broad use of renewable and carbon-free energy sources in the transport sector which could help European Union targets on CO2 emissions reductions. 

Electrification of transport (electromobility) has been identified as a priority in the EU's research programme, Horizon 2020.

The EU is also supporting a Europe-wide electromobility initiative, Green eMotion, worth €41.8 million, in partnership with 42 partners from industry, utilities, electric car manufacturers, municipalities, universities and technology and research institutions.

The Energy Union is part of the political response to the threat to EU gas supplies.

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