Remote traffic light partner: criticism of Wissing’s plans for e-cars

Status: 09.05.2022 21:16

Transport Minister Wesing’s proposal to extend the premium for buying electric cars has met with criticism. Not only the Ministry of Economic Affairs, led by the Green Party, the Social Democratic Party distanced themselves.

Federal Transport Minister Volker Wessing’s FDP plans to expand and extend premiums for electric car purchases have met with criticism in the Traffic Light Coalition as well as by environmental groups. After the plans became known, the Federal Ministry of Economics, headed by green politician Robert Habeck, confirmed that the immediate climate protection program with individual measures from all departments as well as expert assessment of the impacts of climate protection are currently under inter-ministerial coordination. So there are no final proposals yet.” One thing is clear: “We have some catch-up across the board in order to achieve our climate protection goals.”

The third partner in the coalition, the Social Democratic Party, distanced itself further. The deputy head of the SPD’s parliamentary group, Detlev Müller, criticized Wessing’s proposals as “half-baked”. Instead, Muller called for more investment in railroads. He said in statements to “Spiegel” that Wesing’s proposals “were not covered by the coalition agreement, and there were no discussions about deviating from the agreements reached so far.”

Criticism of the “FDP Customer Policy”

Several environmental organizations opposed the Wissing initiative. BUND chief Olaf Bundt criticized the plans for the German editorial network, calling them “the policy of FDP agents”. He explained that rather than promoting car purchases, it would be better to “invest in new mobility with fewer cars”. Greenpeace traffic expert Tobias Ostrup described the plans as an “expensive gift to the auto industry”. On the other hand, in order to protect the climate, they will not bring “almost anything”.

The Federal Director of German Environmental Assistance (DUH), Jürgen Resch, described the plans as “ridiculous”. The project will only save about four million tons of carbon dioxide per year. On the other hand, a speed limit of 100 kilometers per hour on the highway can save 9.2 million tons of carbon dioxide.

Plan a new scrapbooking chart

“Handelsblatt” previously reported that Wissing had a draft of an immediate climate protection program evaluated by several research institutes in a report. It plans to extend the purchase premium for battery electric or fuel cell electric vehicles until 2027.

According to the plans, anyone who buys a car with a maximum purchase price of 40,000 euros should receive a subsidy of 10,800 euros instead of the previous 6,000 euros. In addition, there is a subsidy from manufacturers of 3,000 euros, which they should also continue to give until 2027. For more expensive cars up to 60,000 euros, the ministry plans a bonus of 8,400 euros instead of the 5,000 euros previously promised.

From the second half of 2023, buyers will have to phase out a vehicle with a combustion engine that is at least eleven years old in order to continue receiving full support. According to the Handelsblatt newspaper, the value of the scrapping bonus could be around 1,500 euros. Both installments should come down from 2025 and, according to the report, will cost “up to €73 billion”.

Singh and the ministry react

Wesing himself announced on Twitter in the evening that he wanted neither a “scrapping premium” nor a higher purchase premium for e-cars. “The shift to climate-neutral mobility must be successful through market-based incentives,” the minister wrote. “I don’t want a junk purchase premium, nor a higher purchase premium for electric cars.”

The Department of Transportation emphasized that the proposals are “feasible options for how to pursue climate protection while avoiding bans and increases in taxes and fees.” No decision has been taken on any of these measures “currently, and it is unclear whether the federal government will adopt them.” The ministry did not comment on the details of the proposals reported by the “Handelsblatt” newspaper.

Continuing to promote plug-in hybrid plug-ins?

Unlike Federal Minister for Economics Habeck, Wesing wants to continue promoting plug-in hybrid purchases through 2024 and not end it this year. He wants to halve the support to 2,250 or 1,875 euros – depending on the purchase price. According to the coalition agreement, all purchase subsidies should actually end in 2025. It was also agreed in the coalition agreement that subsidies would have to decrease continuously until then.

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