German EV subsidy fund, which excludes Tesla, is barely being used

BMW i3

A German government program that offers subsidies to EV buyers became the center of controversy over the eligibility of Tesla buyers. Only vehicles with a base price of under 60,000 euros are eligible for the awards. The program was designed in collaboration with German automakers, who are providing part of the funding, and some observers have charged that the price cap was specifically designed to exclude Tesla.

In order to make Model S eligible for the €4,000 incentive, Tesla created a new trim level for Germany, which unbundled a bunch of features that are normally standard, and brought the base price down to €60,000. The Germans cried foul, and some in the media called it a “scandal,” accusing Tesla of gaming the system. In December, the German government clarified that Tesla is not eligible for the subsidy.

Now, Germany’s Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) reveals that the program is hardly being used – a total of 46,897 EV buyers have submitted applications for the subsidy.

“For this program, a total of 600 million euros are available. To date, about 65 million euros are committed,” BAFA President Andreas Obersteller told the German magazine Welt (via Electrek). At this rate, the money allocated for the incentive program may not even be used up by the time the program ends. “Currently, there are some indications that the funds will not be exhausted by the end of the promotion in mid-2019,” Obersteller said.

German automakers are now theoretically committed to electrification, with a selection of new models in the pipeline, but those new EVs are unlikely to become available until late 2019, when the inventive program will be over. One new EV that might just arrive in time? The Tesla Model 3, which is scheduled to reach the German Market in late 2018, at a price well under €60,000.


Source: Welt via Electrek

  • Coley

    The Germans twisting the rules to suit their own carmakers? Who would have thought it? Unbelievable, I’m shocked to the core!

  • Bob

    We should exclude and remove from the market german junks….

    • windbourne

      it has been done by South Korea, Japan, Italy, France, China, etc.
      Think there is a reason why those nations are working to kill tesla sales?

  • James D. Steil

    Good-lord, I think all subsidies should exclude high-end EVs.

    • Joe Jackson

      Agree anyone who can afford a Tesla S can afford to pay the whole sum. Subsidies should be used for lower priced models to encourage the working masses into using EV’s. Tesla S = BMW 7 series equivalent = rich mans car.

    • Gary

      Why? Isn’t the goal to get more EVs on the road?

  • SKPnSF

    Once the M3 makes it to Germany, they will find another excuse to exclude them. More punishment against Tesla for making the German brands look incompetent in the EV market.

  • Ramon A. Cardona

    Well, I would not call almost 47,000 EV registered peanuts nor the funding “hardly used.” Support of EV’s in Germany is recent. Charging stations are just being developed and installed. As to the Tesla ruling, a state a luxury car the government decided, it is their country, not to cover a 75,000 plus luxury EV. The “gaming” as to functions to the lower the price to qualify was perceived as non qualifying since Tesla could, after the sale, restore those functions online, for a price, of course. Their decision was to exclude Tesla. I see nothing wrong with their choice. By the way, I was in Berlin two years ago and I could find one L2 station at a hotel parking garage. I check today and found 8 or 9 DC Fast Chargers. Quite a change in a short time. Berliners ride bikes, subways, trams and buses. Car ownership is low.