Does the end of the environmental bonus also mean the end of the electric mobility boom?

The state-subsidised environmental bonus was introduced in Germany in 2016. Buyers of a car with an electric or initially hybrid drive were reimbursed up to €6,750, making the purchase of such a car much more attractive.

In a nutshell: by the end of 2023, 2.23 million electric vehicles had been subsidised by the state in this way, including 1.43 million pure electric cars and 800,000 plug-in hybrids.

The subsidy was actually supposed to continue in 2024 with reduced amounts. However, due to a lack of funds in the federal budget, the e-car subsidies have now come to an early end in December 2023. Although subsidies that have already been promised will still be paid out, the decisive factor for entitlement to the bonus is the registration date. This means that people who have already ordered their car but have not yet received it are not eligible.

This is a bitter setback for many car buyers. The payment of the environmental bonus has been firmly planned for many and without this price saving, some people would probably not have decided in favour of an electric car in the first place.

Some manufacturers are now continuing to pay the bonus out of their own pockets or are launching discount campaigns for certain electric models.

Nevertheless, the question remains: Can we observe a slump in sales figures now that the environmental bonus has been discontinued?

The answer is (unfortunately) clear: Yes!

While electric cars still accounted for 22.6% of new registrations in December 2023, the share in January 2024 was just 10.5%. This means that the proportion of newly registered cars with electric drives is even significantly lower than those with diesel drives (19.2%).

The end of the environmental bonus does not mean the end of electric cars, but a slump in the upswing in electromobility can still be clearly recognised.

It is now up to the car manufacturers to overcome this challenge. Electric cars must be an attractive purchase option even without a government bonus.

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