The subsidy for buying electric cars will expire in a year. But there is still a lot of money left. Now voices are being heard calling for an extension.

Breakpoint: The breakthrough of electric cars is a long time coming.

Es is a subsidy with a bulky name and expiration date. When the Federal Ministry of Economics published the “Guideline for the Promotion of the Sale of Electrically Powered Vehicles” exactly two years ago, the set of rules contained a time limit of three years. The guideline will expire on June 30, 2019, it says – unless the funds have been used up beforehand. But so far it doesn’t look like that at all; the premium is slow.

A total of 1.2 billion euros are in the pot: the federal government finances 600 million euros from taxes, 600 million euros are granted by car manufacturers by giving discounts to buyers of electric cars. The money is intended to convince car buyers to switch to electromobility. In the first two years to the end of May, the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control, which is responsible for the premium, received exactly 63,285 applications from private individuals, companies or associations. A good 58 percent of the applications relate to vehicles with a purely electric drive, for which the subsidy is 4,000 euros. 42 percent of the applicants want funding for a plug-in hybrid – a car with a combustion engine whose additional electric drive can be charged from a socket. There are 3,000 euros each for such vehicles.