At the beginning of 2023, the German Ministry of Economy decided to reduce incentives for the purchase of eVehicles and completely eliminate subsidies for plug-in hybrids.
Minister Robert Habeck cited the reason that low-emission cars are already marketable.
However, there has been a decline in registrations this year compared to the previous one.
In this context, Marc Voß, Director at the German Federation for Motor Trades and Repairs (ZDK), assures Mobility Portal Europe: “We definitely need to keep going with incentives.”
It’s worth noting that, since September, only those who use electric autos exclusively for private purposes can apply for the environmental bonus.
This means that commercial purchase, leasing, or leasing for employees is no longer possible. And, companies will no longer receive the subsidie.
Furthermore, the federal government plans to gradually continue phasing out its benefits for eCars in 2024.
This is causing concern in the industry and trade, fearing negative effects on the electromobility market, especially for used autos.
This was clearly reflected in this year’s registrations.
According to figures published by the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), electric vehicle sales in November were 22% lower than in the same month of 2022, with a market share of 18.3%.
In this context Voß emphasizes: “If nobody buys the car, there is not really a need to produce them.”
A clear example of this is Volkswagen.
In recent months, it was revealed that the company would reduce its workforce at the Zwickau plant due to falling eVehicle sales.
Contracts for 269 employees have already expired this year, and apparently, job cuts will continue in 2024.
At the beginning of 2023, orders for this factory amounted to almost 300,000 cars, but now the figure has been reduced to less than half.
Furthermore, VW has announced that production of the ID.3 and the Cupra Born at its headquarters in Zwickau and Dresden will be suspended until the end of the year due to low demand.
Therefore, the Director of ZDK argues that it is necessary to continue promoting the transition to sustainable mobility with incentives that ensure affordable prices.
“As for business opportunities for dealers, we are trying to do it with as less bureaucracy as possible,” he emphasizes.
The second reason, according to Voß, why EVs are not being purchased is the shortage of charging points, despite the country being one of the European leaders in this aspect.
“43% of all public stations are located in Germany and the Netherlands” he points out.
“And yet, people are not willing to buy electric vehicles,” he adds.
Currently, the country has 91,149 chargers, while its objective for 2030 is one million.
From the VDA’s perspective, the growth is still too slow, and it would be necessary to triple the expansion rate to reach the goal.
Additionally, the infrastructure needs to be distributed evenly, as in about half of all communities, there are still none.
Therefore, the German Federation for Motor Trades and Repairs is trying to promote the strengthening of public charging points.
The third and final reason articulated by citizens for not transitioning to electric cars is the perceived lack of speed and autonomy compared to combustion ones.
About German Federation for Motor Trades and Repairs
The Federation in Bonn, Berlin, and Brussels represents the professional interests of motor vehicle businesses, including 36,420 car dealerships and repair shops with 434,000 employees.
In addition, there are 3,200 specialized in bodywork, construction, and painting, with around 40,000 workers, all integrated into the Central Association for Body Technology and Vehicle Construction (ZKF in German).
In 2022, the 36,420 automotive repair businesses organized in the ZDK generated a turnover of approximately 185 billion euros.
This was thanks to the sale of new and used cars, as well as maintenance, repair, and customer service.
Furthermore, there were revenues worth 4.1 billion euros in businesses organized in the ZKF.
In terms of training, both the ZDK and the ZKF lead the artisanal sector, with over 90,200 apprentices.