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Germany May Increase Support for Electric Cars

17 Juin 2015 - Automotive News

Germany May Increase Support for Electric Cars

Chancellor Angela Merkel said her government is examining further support to help bring one million electric cars onto German roads by the end of the decade and aims to make a decision by the end of the year.

Germany has so far refused to provide generous sales incentives for EVs and the government's measures taken to date include tax breaks for owners of emission-free cars and about 1.5 billion euros ($1.69 billion) of funds for related research projects.

European countries such as Norway and the Netherlands have created incentives to spur customer demand for EVs which in Germany continues to suffer from high costs, poor recharging infrastructure and falling oil prices.

"Germany will have no choice but to offer further support (for EVs) although we've already done some things," Merkel told a conference to promote electric car technology on Monday in Berlin. "We will once again study all the instruments of support that are also available internationally," she said.

Once promoted as a technology that would crowd out conventionally-powered cars, sales of EVs continue to fall short of expectations. A survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers on Monday showed drivers need financial incentives to help pay the extra costs of buying EVs, whose sales in Germany were about 19,000 last year.

Emission targets

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said industry representatives again told Merkel on Monday that European Union demands to cut average vehicle fleet emissions to 95 grams per km by 2021 cannot be met without a "considerable" share of EVs in overall auto sales.

The government should consider temporary start-up funding of EV sales to help get demand off the ground, Zetsche said. An industry official also called for special write-downs on electric company cars.

"We need some of the tools as accompanying measures by the government if we want to have a chance to achieve the 1 million (sales) goal," Zetsche said.

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