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Interim balance of the e-car premium: 3 billion euros bonus

Almost 600,000 funding applications were made in 2021 alone. This means a doubling compared to the previous year. Accordingly, the subsidies climb to a record level.

There were more than 585,000 applications for funding as part of the environmental bonus program in Germany in 2021. The responsible Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (Bafa) gave this number to the DPA news agency. Accordingly, the applications have more than doubled compared to the previous year (255,048). After much higher sums have been paid out since 2020 due to the doubling of state subsidies, the subsidies for new car buyers have also increased to a record level - more than three billion euros in taxpayers' money were paid out to vehicle buyers, almost five times the amount compared to the Previous year.

Over three billion euros environmental bonus in 2021

In November 2021, 64,920 applications for e-car funding were submitted, 51 percent more applications than in the same month last year. This was also the highest level since the start of the funding program. In December 2020, the highest number of applications to date was registered with 58,365 applications, in January 2021 this fell to 39,685 applications. The number of applications submitted to Bafa is now approaching one million. The new funding guideline only allows applications for the environmental bonus after the vehicle has been registered, not directly after purchase, as was originally the case. That is why the monthly number of applications now reflects new registrations of electric cars with only a slight delay.

So far, a total of 962,812 funding applications have been submitted to Bafa. Of these, 536,894 are purely electric cars, 425,695 are plug-in hybrid models and 223 are fuel cell vehicles.

Environmental bonus increase - innovation bonus until the end of 2022

As part of the Corona economic stimulus program, the federal government at the time announced that the state subsidy bonuses for electric cars and plug-in hybrids would be extended until the end of 2021 and retrospectively from a first registration on June 4th, 2020 double. Manufacturers' participation in the environmental bonus, which has now been renamed the "innovation bonus", remains unchanged. However, the extension of the significantly increased innovation premium until the end of 2025, which was decided at a "car summit" on December 17, 2020, never officially came into force. Instead, the new governing coalition announced in December 2021 that the innovation premium would only be extended until the end of 2022 . It is planned to focus funding on electric drives beyond this period. From 2022, plug-in hybrids will only be funded if they have a minimum range of 60 kilometers.

The innovation premium for a pure battery electric vehicle and fuel cell vehicle with a maximum net list price of 40.000 euros for the basic model 9,000 euros and with a net list price for the basic model of over 40,000 euros 7,500 euros. For an eligible plug-in hybrid vehicle with a maximum net list price of 40,000 euros, the environmental bonus or the innovation bonus is 6,750 euros until December 31, 2022; with a net list price of over 40,000 euros, there are still 5,625 euros. End consumers can add sales tax to the manufacturer's share of the bonus.

, It's worth taking a look at the distribution of brands and types in the applications. Not electric car pioneer Tesla is in the lead here, but essentially the brands BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen. The Renault Zoe has so far established itself as the most-subsidized e-car in Germany. However, the Zoe is now closely followed by Tesla's Model 3 in the individual ranking.

On the other hand, since October 2020, VW has been able to secure first place among the most promoted brands, which will probably last in view of the delivery of the first VW ID models that began in autumn 2020. In the meantime, VW has greatly expanded its lead over the other brands. Since October 2020, the BMW brand, which has been the most sponsored brand for a long time, has had to be content with third place, Mercedes is in 2nd place.

So far, most applications for funding have been made by companies (499,830). Private individuals applied for the environmental bonus 400,756 times. The rest of the applications are distributed among municipal companies, corporations, associations, special-purpose associations and foundations. Most funding applications have so far been made in North Rhine-Westphalia, followed by Bavaria and Baden-W├╝rttemberg.

In the picture gallery we show you the 30 most funded vehicles. We offer you the complete list of the more than 100 models funded so far as a download (see link above).


More than three billion euros in tax money flowed into subsidies for electric cars in 2021 alone as part of the environmental bonus program. In view of this enormous sum, it is also possible to explain why the new governing coalition is stepping on the brakes and shelving the extension of the environmental bonus and innovation bonus until 2025, as planned by the black-red predecessor government. It is also noteworthy that Tesla has now moved up to second place in Germany with the Model 3, while in the USA there are discussions about providing extensive electric car subsidies only for domestic manufacturers.


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