German Carmakers Don't Want to Back Government's One Billion Euros EV Plan

Not so long ago, a lot of the big names in the auto industry were citing the lack of infrastructure as the main reason they didn't want to invest in the development of electric vehicles. They pointed the finger at the governments and said that there was no point in them building cars that run on electricity as long as people wouldn't buy them since they didn't have anywhere to charge them.
VW T-Prime concept 1 photo
Photo: Volkswagen
The years have passed and some private companies managed to solve that problem on their own and are now getting ready to take the world by storm, while others are just waking up to the idea. Unfortunately, the three major German carmakers (BMW, Daimler, and Volkswagen) all fall into the latter category.

Their government, however, is beginning to realize that it has to get involved if things are to catch speed, so it's come up with a plan to revamp the EV industry, but it needs some backing from the local industry. To that extent, it has initiated talks with the three automotive conglomerates mentioned above to try and figure out the best way of carrying out this plan.

According to German publication Handelsblatt, the government aims to offer a one billion euros package that is supposed to develop the country's EV market. 100 million euros would go in minor tax breaks, 300 million euros would be invested in the charging infrastructure, while the remaining 600 million euros would be used for subsidizing the purchase of an electric vehicle (5,000 euros each is the plan).

The government is willing to cover 40 percent of the investment, but it expects the carmakers to take care of the rest. In turn, representatives of the three companies only offered one-third of what was asked of them, putting 200 million euros on the table. Which is pretty lame, considering this plan will benefit them, it's going to be phased over a longer period of time and... 200 million euros is the transfer price for two very good football players. Surely BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen can do better than that. Well, VW could be a bit cash-strapped, but it only has itself to blame.

It is said that Chancellor Angela Merkel will hold talks with the chief executives of the three companies this Tuesday, so they will probably end up in a hard-fought negotiation. However, the German automakers should be glad they have the government on their side and do everything they can to get its support, as they clearly need all the help available if they're to catch up with the competition.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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