The German government takes electric cars seriously. Which is why it’s now offering them for free, via generous government incentives…
Generous Incentives In Germany
As the UK government is slammed for failing to support the automotive industry post-coronavirus, the German government has opted for a different approach. It’s offering drivers the opportunity to bag a brand new Renault Zoe without having to fork out a single Euro. To encourage the adoption of EVs, and to stimulate the economy, authorities in the country are providing drivers with €6,000 towards zero-emission cars. And, unlike the UK’s £3,000 plug-in grant, Germans can spread out their grants across monthly leasing repayments.
Autohaus Koenig, a dealer group in Germany with over 50 showrooms, has a particularly attractive offering. It’s advertising Renault Zoes on a two-year lease; for a total cost of just €6,000 over the period of the contract. The monthly fees are entirely picked up by German taxpayers. The company has claimed that it’s receiving around 150 enquiries a day since going live with the generous offer. Wolfgang Huber, a spokesman for the company, said he’d been taken aback by the level of interest expressed. He said, “if we had more sales staff, we would have sold even more. We did expect an increase in sales with the subsidies, but this run really struck us”.
Vexing Times For British Manufacturers
The success of the EV offer in Germany, combined with other extensive government programmes on the continent, will no doubt vex the British automotive industry. It’s repeatedly called on the government to offer support in the form of grants, tax cuts and scrappage schemes; none of which, as of yet, have been forthcoming. Given that the government is, according to its own statements, committed to the electrification of motor vehicles and carbon neutrality, its silence is difficult to comprehend.
All-electric vehicles make up less than 3% of the market share in the UK. Consider that the government intends to ban the sale of new diesel, petrol and hybrid cars by 2035 (perhaps earlier). It also aims for carbon neutrality by 2050. More immediately, car manufacturers throughout the country are cutting jobs – with one in six being at risk. Only time will tell whether success stories in Europe will encourage action in the UK.
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