Authority reports record for electric car purchase bonuses

Most recently, more e-cars were registered in Germany than gasoline-powered vehicles – there is a run on the purchase premium. The subsidy is to be reformed, however, and changes will come into effect at the turn of the year.

The demand for electric cars increased significantly in 2021 – and with it, the number of applications for the state purchase bonus is growing. It more than doubled to a record value of 585,000, as announced by the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control. This year, more than three billion euros in funding for electro mobility were paid out.

In the middle of last year, the purchase premium for pure e-cars and plug-in hybrids as part of the corona aid was doubled . This surcharge, which was previously limited to the end of the year, the so-called innovation bonus, will be extended until the end of 2022, as Economic and Climate Protection Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) announced in mid-December . Buyers of purely electrically powered cars will continue to receive funding of up to 9,000 euros. Plug-in hybrids can cost up to 6750 euros.

According to the Federal Office, around one million applications have been submitted since funding began in 2016. The majority of the premiums had been applied for in the past two years.

Since the funding was increased, the proportion of electric cars has increased significantly. In November of this year, even more battery vehicles – including plug-in hybrids – were registered (around 34 percent market share) than gasoline-powered vehicles (around 33 percent). From January to November of this year, petrol (around 38 percent) were ahead of diesel (20), non-rechargeable hybrids (16), all-electric cars (13) and plug-in hybrids (12). Other alternative drives such as natural gas, on the other hand, were less than one percent.

Buyers of plug-in hybrids should soon go home empty-handed

The traffic light coalition wants to reform funding for the period after 2022. Then only electric vehicles that have been shown to have a climate protection effect should be funded. The benchmark for plug-in hybrids should be a minimum electrical range and the proportion that the car is driven purely electrically.

Plug-in hybrid vehicles that combine an electric drive with a combustion engine are criticized by environmental and climate associations . It is controversial how much they are really driven in purely electric mode. In theory, hybrid vehicles can save fuel and reduce CO₂ emissions.

In fact, the hermaphrodites often combine the worst of both engine worlds: The high weight of the batteries for the electric drive meets climate-damaging internal combustion engines. If you do not charge your plug-in hybrid and drive the battery around as ballast, you will not produce fewer, but more emissions.

There will already be small changes at the turn of the year: From January 2022 onwards, plug-in hybrid vehicles with maximum CO₂ emissions per kilometer driven in excess of 50 grams and with a purely electric range of less than 60 kilometers will no longer be available, according to the Federal Office eligible. So far, the limit value has been an electric range of 40 kilometers.