Germany's new EV incentives move 1,800 plug-ins in first month

BMW leads automakers, while Renault Zoe leads models among new plug-ins.

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New financial incentives were launched in Germany on July 1 to encourage more people to buy plug-in vehicles has spurred sales of about 1,800 electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, say government authorities. According to Germany's BAFA (Bundesamt für Wirtschaft und Ausfuhrkontrolle), the automaker that received the most plug-in orders is BMW and the best-selling model is the Renault Zoe.

BMW and Renault accounted for about 32 percent and 25 percent of the new plug-in vehicle purchases, respectively. Volkswagen attracted nine percent of new plug-in buyers, while Nissan accounted for about seven percent. Just about all of Renault's new plug-in vehicle purchases were the Zoe, while BMW's sales were split between the i3, 225xe, and 330e. You can see the full list here (PDF).

The sales figures are the first to show how the plug-in vehicle incentive program the Germany government announced this spring is impacting vehicle demand. Germany said about $1.4 billion worth of perks would flow to new plug-in vehicle buyers, with about half that amount coming from the German automakers and the other half from the government. Buyers of new EVs receive about $4,500 in perks, while plug-in hybrid owners get about $3,400 each. As a result, about two thirds of the plug-in vehicles acquired in Germany during the past month are of the pure battery-electric variety. Additionally, Germany is setting aside about $340 million to deploy as many as 15,000 charging stations throughout the country.

When the perk program was announced, Germany had 30,000 EVs on its roads. In 2009, German Chancellor Angela Merkel set a goal to have at least 1 million electric vehicles on the country's roads by 2020. There's still a long ways to go.

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