Germany achieves target of one million electric vehicles on its streets

Germany achieves target of one million electric vehicles on its streets

The federal government has achieved its goal of having one million electric cars driving on German roads. The target was achieved following the registration of 57.000 new electric vehicles in July.

One million electric vehicles on German roads

Following the registration of 57.000 new electric vehicles in July, the German government finally achieved its goal of having one million electric cars driving on the streets in Germany. More than half of the vehicles are purely electric, whereas the remaining are plug-in hybrids and fuel cell vehicles. The news was announced by the federal ministries for transport, economics and the environment on Monday.

Since mid-2020, electric vehicles have skyrocketed in popularity. In the second half of 2020, monthly registrations for new electric cars continued to break records. There were more than 350.000 electric cars registered in the first seven months of 2021, about as many as in the whole of 2021. Svenja Schulze (SPD), Germany’s federal minister for the environment, highlighted the fact that one million electric cars would produce a million times less CO2 emissions.

The target of one million electric cars was supposed to be reached by 2020. The federal minister for transport, Andreas Scheuer (CSU), has called on Germany to be even more ambitious in order to achieve the targets it has set for 2030. “According to experts, the new target must be 14 million e-vehicles by 2030."

Incentives for buying an electric car

In order to try and encourage people to make the switch to electric, the government has repeatedly pushed the fiscal advantages of buying an electric vehicle, as well as provided some concrete incentives. According to Schulze: “Those who switch to an electric car also save money. In the long term, charging electricity is cheaper than filling up at the gas pump." She also explained that the maintenance costs associated with electric cars are much cheaper than a typical car. "Last but not least, electric vehicles cause less noise and harmful emissions and thus increase the quality of life in our cities.”

Another such incentive is the provision of special premiums for those who purchase an electric vehicle. Currently, anyone who buys an electric car can receive a premium of between 5625 and 9000 euros, depending on the price and type of vehicle. Furthermore, anyone who buys an electric car does not have to pay vehicle tax for ten years. Economics Minister Peter Altmaier confirmed that these bonuses will be extended from the original 2021 deadline until 2025.

The transport ministry has identified the expansion of Germany’s electric vehicle charging network as a key factor for promoting electric cars. The ministry wants fast charging points to be more readily accessible, so that charging points are within “a few minutes” from each other. To try and work towards this, the government have established a 500-million-euro initiative that will see 30.000 charging points built across the country. According to the VDA transport association, there were less than 42.000 public charging points in Germany in May, which amounts to one charging point per 17 e-cars in Germany. This is much lower than the EU recommendation, which is a maximum of 10 e-cars per charging point.

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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