As a consequence of the Karlsruhe budget ruling, the federal government is allowing state funding for the purchase of electric cars to expire from Sunday. The Federal Ministry of Economics announced on Saturday that no new applications could be submitted for the so-called environmental bonus from December 17th. However, funding that has already been promised will not be affected by the end of the funding and will be paid out.
Existing applications received up to and including December 17, 2023 will be processed in the order in which they are received and - provided the funding requirements are met - approved, the ministry explained.
State subsidies for the purchase of climate-friendly electric cars have so far been financed from the Climate and Transformation Fund (KTF). The Federal Constitutional Court's ruling on the budget deprived the KTF of 60 billion euros, which means it has fewer resources at its disposal.
According to the Green Party-led Federal Ministry of Economics, the environmental bonus program was “very successful and has significantly advanced electromobility in Germany.” Since 2016, a total of around ten billion euros have been paid out as part of the environmental bonus for around 2.1 million electric vehicles.
According to the current funding guidelines, the environmental bonus should have expired next year. In their compromise on the 2024 federal budget a few days ago, the coalition leaders agreed that the end of the environmental bonus would be brought forward due to austerity constraints.
Since the beginning of 2023, the environmental bonus has amounted to 4,500 euros with a net list price of the basic car model of 40,000 euros and 3,000 euros with a net list price of over 40,000 euros to 65,000 euros. The federal government wanted to use the funding to support its goal of putting a total of 15 million fully electric cars on the roads by 2030.
According to experts, the effects of the funding stop could be significant. Specifically, sales of purely battery-electric cars could shrink for the first time in this country in 2024 after almost a decade of steady growth: “We are calculating 90,000 to 200,000 fewer vehicles,” said car expert Ferdinand Dudenhöffer to the “Handelsblatt”.