Germany wants more incentives for EVs

German Chancellor Angela Merkel continues to push towards her goal of getting one million battery electric vehicles on the road there by 2020. Of course, getting so many BEVs buzzing on the Autobahn from Bavaria to Berlin is a huge challenge, and it seems that Merkel might finally be accepting direct incentives as means of achieving the sales target.

"Germany will have no choice but to offer further support, although we've already done some things," Chancellor Merkel said at a conference yesterday in Berlin, according to Reuters. "We will once again study all instruments of support that are also available internationally." A exact decision on the next step is expected before the end of the year.

Merkel's million-car goal dates all the way back to 2009, but with estimates of the number of EVs in Germany last year ranging between 21,000 and 24,000, the country hasn't even made it half way. There's a belief that "German angst" for electric vehicles might be holding things back. The government has certainly tried to spur demand, though, including offering incentives like tax breaks, free parking, and building charging stations to jumpstart things. There was even a proposed plan for a gas tax for raising money to fund even more.

Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche doesn't think the German goal is possible without government help and is suggesting temporary incentives on BEVs as a way to electrify the market. "We need some of the tools as accompanying measures by the government if we want to have a chance to achieve the 1 million goal," Zetsche said, according to Reuters. Another suggestion from the auto industry was to let buyers write off a significant part of the cost for electric company cars.

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