Germany falls behind several other European countries that have already embraced the inevitable expansion of electric and hybird vehicles. Hence, German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel now intends to invest two billion euros to encourage people to go and buy electric cars, and receive a subsidy from the government.

Last year in Germany, they sold approximately 3.2 million new cars, over half of which were equipped with diesel engines (despite the notorious Volkswagen emissions scandal). Only 12,363 electric cars found new owners, joining the exisiting 18,948 that were registered by the end of 2014.

If Germany really wishes to meet its goals and cross the one million registered electric vehicles mark by the end of 2020, then it is clear something needs to be done – especially when you consider there is a relatively low number of charging stations, only a little over 2,400 by the end of 2014; about 100 of them were the fast charging ones. Furthermore, there are serious compatibility issues to be considered.

According to German weekly Die Zeit, German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel intends to invest two billion euros to encourage people to go and buy electric cars. He further wishes to expand the public charging stations network and encourage federal offices to use electric cars as well.

Not all colleagues from the government support his initiative. For example, the Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure Alexander Dobrindt openly expressed his disapproval. According to him, pilot projects and tax reliefs for electric already exist, so it is very likely that even without additional incentives, Germany will see a million electric vehicles on its roads by 2020, as planned.

Jan. 18, 2016 Driving photo: Volkswagen

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