The environmental bonus for e-car buyers is a nice savings effect if you decide to buy a Stromer. But if you don’t drive an e-car, you also pay for this discount for others – via the tax. Through a clever scam, hundreds of millions of euros in taxpayers’ money fizzle out every year – and no other car is affected as much as Tesla’s.
380 million euros away: Subsidized e-cars are disappearing from Germany
The business with young e-cars is expensive for German taxpayers: 380 million euros were paid out in 2022 for e-cars that already no longer on German roads are. This is one of the results of a recent study by the Center for Automotive Management (CAM).
The conclusion of the car experts: After the minimum holding period of six months (in 2022), the BEVs sold abroad profitably as young used vehicles. The environmental bonus is withheld from this legal scam, the resellers make a profit.
It’s not forbidden though. However, the procedure ensures that German taxpayers help finance the ramp-up of e-mobility in other countries. “The promotion of promotional bonuses and tax benefits for electromobility often result in unwanted side effects or not insignificant market distortions. That cannot always be completely avoided,” says study leader Stefan Brakel CAM.
Tesla: Almost a third of new registrations are sold again
Despite it the number is extremely high. The study also found that especially at Tesla many new registrations quickly disappear from German roads. According to figures from the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA), 31.3 percent, almost a third of the newly registered e-cars from the US manufacturer have been resold.
The proportion is also high at Audi (23.5 percent), bmw (21.2 percent) and Mercedes (19.4 percent). This suggests that, in addition to Tesla, the German premium brands in particular are in demand as used vehicles abroad.
Apart from the environmental bonus, a few things have changed since the beginning of the year:
Overall, the share in 2022 is 16.2 percent, an increase of a good 3 percent compared to the previous year. With around 470,000 purely electric new registrations in 2022, that makes sense around 76,000 vehicles. Although it is not certain that all of the scams will be resold, it is likely to be the case for the majority.
For 2023, the CAM expects that the scam will cost less tax money: there have been fewer environmental bonuses since the turn of the year. In addition, the minimum holding period was raised from six to twelve months. Anyone who resells their e-car earlier must pay back the bonus.