Germany is proposing new EV incentives to encourage the adoption of electric cars. Regulators for the European Union have put some of the most stringent emissions standards in place for automobiles to be found anywhere in the world. Everyone agrees the only hope car makers have of complying with those standards is to use plug-in hybrid and electric cars. So far, national governments have been doing little to promote the transition from conventional cars to cars with plugs, however.
Germany wants 1,000,000 electrics on the road by 2020, but critics point out Germans will have to purchase 940,000 thousand of them over the next four years to reach the goal. Last week, German economy minister Sigmar Gabriel announced a plan to provide more than $2 billion to encourage drivers to switch to electric cars. The plan was reported in Germany’s Die Zeit newspaper and was picked up by Reuters. The proposal will be funded under the current German budget without tax increases, Gabriel said.
Specifics are few, at this point. Some of the money would be used for direct cash incentives and some for expanding the electric car infrastructure in Germany. Some might also be used to buy more electric vehicles for German government. At present, Germany has 2,400 operational AC charging sites and about 100 DC fast charging sites, according to CleanTechnica.
Having 1,000,000 electric cars on the road would have many advantages for Germany, a nation that is already a leader in making electricity from renewable sources such as wind and solar power. More electric cars lead to more clean electric power, lower emissions in crowded cities,and the growth of the German auto industry, which is already well along on the road to building more plug-in hybrid and electric cars.
Everybody wants lower emissions and better health for all citizens, but typically nobody wants to pay the cost for such benefits. The German initiative is a step in the right direction, but more will be needed before electric cars become the norm.