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Will German Money Help Jump-Start Tesla, VW, BMW EV Sales?

Germany’s electric vehicle population is far below that of the U.S. Will pouring money on the problem help solve it?

Germany will soon be adding up to 4,000 Euros as an incentive to battery electric vehicle buyers. The money will be partly paid by tax revenue and partly from the auto manufacturers (who will boost the prices of cars to compensate). Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle buyers will get 3,000 Euros as an incentive. The country has only 30,000 battery-electric vehicles on the road now, in a population of about 44 million vehicles. That makes BEVs only 0.07% of the cars on German roads. There are also very few German hybrids, on the order of about 130,000 on the road now.
Did you know? - Battery Electric Vehicles Make Up 0.3% of Current U.S. Auto Sales
The bad news for Tesla fans is that the limit on the price of a BEV to qualify is just 60,000 Euros. So the Model S and Model X would seem to be off the list. The Model 3 may qualify, but it is at least two full years away from reaching the German market, perhaps much longer.

BMW’s i3 could qualify as could offerings from VW and Mercedes-Benz. Non-German brands aside from Tesla could also benefit, such as Renault.

Most of the mainstream reporting on this news mistakenly mentions that Germany relies on diesel to reduce its CO2 production. However, diesel vehicles do not output less CO2 per mile than do modern gasoline engines. The myth is perpetuated based on the theory that a diesel engine (with a turbocharger) could possibly produce less CO2 because, in theory, it is a more efficient design. One need only look to EPA’s website, to select a popular mainstream vehicle and compare the CO2 production of diesels to gasoline vehicles. For a comparison of the BMW 5-Series diesel to a gas-powered Mazda6 and a Lexus GS hybrid (gasoline), please see our feature story on the topic.

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EPA’s incredible charges against Volkswagen’s diesel cheaters

Some fact used in this story were obtained or checked at DW.Com