Electric cars: How dealers cheat German taxpayers

Deepak Gupta February 18, 2022
Updated 2022/02/18 at 11:56 AM

The funding was originally for electric cars intended to make buying a Stromer more attractive. In and of itself, this has been partially successful. But there are quite a few who exploit the weaknesses of the bonus and make their own profit from it – at the expense of taxpayers.

Electric cars as an “attractive entry option”

“We want to promote the switch to clean mobility,” Der Spiegel quotes the Federal Ministry of Economics as saying. “To this end, we have initially extended the current innovation bonus for electric vehicles by one year. At the same time, we are working on the new concept for funding for 2023.”

There is also a need for a used market for electric cars. In this way, e-mobility can be further helped to achieve a breakthrough. “Used e-cars can represent an attractive entry point into electromobility, especially for buyers with lower incomes,” it continues.

The problem with promotion

The Ministry of Economics has recognized that the purpose of the funding is not to sell electric cars profitably in other European countries. This scam has been known for a few years and so far hardly anything has been done about it. Various retailers even advertise it.

They rent out their vehicles for periods of at least three months, benefit from the subsidy and then sell the cars in neighboring countries. The ministry is therefore considering the “topic of the minimum holding period”.

The Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Robert Habeck (Greens), already has a concrete plan. “Anyone who wanted to sell their subsidized e-car after less than a year would then have to pay back the subsidy.”

30,000 electric cars lost

Between January and September 2021 alone, more than 30,000 electric cars were sold to other European countries. This emerges from a calculation by the Center of Automotive Management (CAM), which is available to Wirtschaftswoche.

“With the current funding practice for electric cars, we are subsidizing the purchase of electric vehicles abroad with a three-digit million amount. That cannot be in the interests of the German taxpayer.”

CAM Director Stefan Bratzel (via Spiegel)

Source: Mirror; business week

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