Plug-in hybrid at the charging station
Photo: Christoph Soeder / picture alliance / dpa
Cars with internal combustion engines and additional electric motors are booming.
More than half of the vehicles with electric drive registered in the first half of the year were so-called plug-in hybrids.
Whether they are climate-friendly or not depends on individual use: those who charge the battery and drive a lot on electricity save gasoline and reduce emissions.
The technology is controversial because, above all, plug-in company cars are often not charged and driven electrically, as various studies have shown.
The cars then emit even more CO₂ because of their high weight.
The traffic light coalition therefore wants to reform funding and make tax discounts subject to the condition that the electric motor is actually used.
Plug-in hybrids are often particularly large and heavy SUVs.
For climate protectors, however, the traffic light plans do not go far enough because the adjustments are not expected to come until 2023.
"The fact that the purchase of plug-in hybrids is to be subsidized without any specifications until the end of next year is a mistake in climate policy," said Jens Hilgenberg, Head of Transport Policy at the Federation for the Environment and Nature Conservation Germany (BUND).
"Any kind of purchase subsidies and tax advantages for plug-in hybrids must be reduced to zero," said Hilgenberg.
In the case of an intended limitation of funding for vehicles that have been shown to have a “positive climate protection effect”, there is also reason to fear that electric cars will be assessed across the board: “This requires specifications on size, power and resource consumption,” says Hilgenberg.
Purchase premiums for e-cars should fall
The coalition agreement between the SPD, the Greens and the FDP states that the state innovation bonus should continue unchanged according to the previous regulation until the end of 2022, in particular because of existing delivery difficulties for the manufacturers of plug-in hybrids that have been ordered.
Due to the lack of chips in the pandemic, the carmakers have reduced production in some cases significantly.
The innovation bonus is 3000 euros for purely electric cars and 2250 euros for plug-in hybrids if the net list price is below 40,000 euros in each case. There is also the so-called environmental bonus. It is paid in the same amount, plus binding manufacturer discounts also in the same amount. Together, buyers get up to 9,000 euros net. The subsidy is reduced for more expensive cars. The state share is only granted for electrically powered vehicles if their net list price of the basic model in Germany does not exceed 65,000 euros.
From 2023, the innovation bonus for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids will then decrease and be fundamentally reformed in such a way that from 2023 it will only be issued for vehicles that have "demonstrably a positive climate protection effect", according to the coalition agreement.
So the subsidies should decrease.
The innovation bonus is set to expire at the end of 2025.
However, it is still unclear whether the environmental bonus will be available beyond 2025.
In the middle of last year, the innovation bonus was doubled, limited to the end of 2021. This had led to a sharp rise in new registrations for electric cars.
According to the coalition agreement, the tax rebate for plug-in hybrids for company cars is only to be granted in the future if the cars are predominantly (more than 50 percent) powered by a purely electric drive, according to the coalition agreement.
If that is not the case, they should be taxed in the same way as pure combustion vehicles.
fww / dpa