Source: Daimler
Source: Daimler

Germany will extend in its current form for another year a bonus scheme to encourage people to buy electric cars, disappointing some officials who had called for a top-up of support payments.

Economy minister Peter Altmaier said in a press release that existing incentives would be paid until December 2020. The bonus scheme targeting electric vehicles was introduced for three years in 2016.

Altmaier said the bonus had “proven its worth” even if uptake had been “slower than hoped for.” He called on the car industry to improve its line-up of electric cars in order to stir demand.

“Electric cars are not only at the centre of sustainable mobility,” Altmaier said. “Internationally successful e-cars are also decisive for the future success of our car industry and therefore for hundreds of thousands of jobs in Germany.”

Transport minister Andreas Scheuer had called for an increase and longer extension of bonus payments, according to a report in Die Welt.

Buyers get a rebate of 4,000 euros on the price of purely electric vehicles, and 3,000 euros on hybrid vehicles. Half of the rebate is paid by the government and half by carmakers.

The government has earmarked 600 million euros to fund the scheme but has only paid out a fraction of this sum to date. Germany had aimed to have a million electric cars on its roads by 2020, but has pushed this target back to 2022.

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