Strict lockdowns have resulted in some countries imposing temporary restrictions to lower public transport usage frequency. A focus on encouraging clean transport is necessary to accelerate economic recovery. The car market has been severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis, with global car sales falling significantly. Across Europe, the car market shrank down to 25.3% in Q1 2020.
Germany, the largest car market in Europe, faced a 35% decline in car sales in the first quarter of 2020. However, given the current economic and public health situation, the electric vehicle (EV) sector in Germany is bucking the trend with a 26.6% share in December 2020.
According to the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Germany has adopted a market incentive package to maintain its leading status in electric mobility. As a part of the post-pandemic stimulus package, the government and German automakers decided to include higher cash incentives for electric vehicles to stimulate demand. The “Environment Bonus” program will be paid towards vehicles; 6,750 EUR for plug-in hybrids and 9,000 EUR for fully-electric cars. This bonus is paid for vehicles priced up to 40,000 EUR. Meanwhile, vehicles priced up to 65,000 EUR will be paid grants of 5,625 EUR for plug-in hybrids and 7,500 EUR for fully-electric cars.
Agreed by Chancellor Angela Merkel and carmakers executives, such as Volkswagen and BMW, the subsidy program is targeted to achieve 10 million electric vehicles on German roads by 2030. Further, the government plans to increase public charging stations to 1 million in the same year.
A recent study from Wall Street Journal found that the EV market is likely to stay – more consumers felt the benefits of sustainable vehicles: as an attempt to manage stay-at-home measures and to improve the air quality. Moreover, EV sales are predicted to account for 60% of the global auto market. As consumer awareness increases and German relies heavily on automotive manufacturing and innovative technologies, electric cars’ future looks promising.
Besides the environmental needs to shift to clean transport, carmakers see the urgent need to strengthen their EVs commitments as electric vehicles are becoming increasingly competitive, proving that EVs are going forward soon.