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Consumer advice centers are calling for a “more social” purchase premium for electric cars


There is no question that electromobility in Germany has made a big step forward with the purchase premium for e-cars, which was expanded as part of the Corona economic program. However, electric cars are still something for high earners. That is also the reason why the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (vzbv) is calling for the environmental bonus to be adjusted these days. More precisely, the vzbv wants this type of promotion to be better taken into account for the social component of people (via Caschy). The aim of the whole thing is of course to make electric cars interesting for those who have not been able to avoid the combustion engine for financial reasons.

Premium makes sense, but is not sustainable in the long term

The whole thing is based on a study by Element Energy on behalf of the European consumer protection organization BEUC and the vzbv (PDF). This came to the conclusion that electrically powered cars in Germany are already the cheapest drive for vehicle buyers in terms of total cost of ownership, taking into account purchase incentives and tax breaks. Bonuses are important in the short term to promote dissemination, but in the long term they do not make sense from the taxpayer’s point of view.

According to consumer advocates, it is therefore a good thing that the innovation premium for e-cars should expire at the end of 2025, and they also want all purchase premiums to end at this point in time. But that does not mean that there should not be any financial relief in the future. But: The vzbv calls for a social component to be introduced by then that links e-car subsidies to income. On the one hand, only households with an annual income of less than 100,000 euros, on the other hand, only vehicles with a base list price of less than 40,000 euros are to be subsidized. So the goal is clear: there should still be funding, but only for those who really need it. Further demands are an adjustment of the purchase premium for plug-in hybrids, more precisely the minimum range and the electric driving share should be weighted more strongly. In addition, the used car market is to be strengthened.

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