Despite being home to a huge domestic auto industry that includes juggernauts like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen, Germany offers little in the way of incentives for plug-in car buyers. There are fewer than 5,000 public charging stations across the entire nation, which has hindered sales of cars like the BMW i3 and Volkswagen e-Golf.
But that could change, as Germany’s leadership may finally start incentivizing plug-in car sales. Automotive News reports that Chancellor Angela Merkel has openly stated that Germany will have “no choice” when it comes to further supporting electric vehicles. “We will once again study all the instruments of support that are also available internationally,” she said.
Germany needn’t look far to see examples of what works and what doesn’t though. Norway, its neighbor to the north, has had massive success with its EV incentive program by providing generous tax breaks on plug-in car purchases and perks like free parking and access to bus lanes. France is offering drivers of diesel cars up to 10,000 euros to switch to a plug-in car, and the U.K. has gone to great lengths to install lots of EV charging stations across the countryside.
Considering there are fewer than 5,000 charging stations across the whole of Germany, I’d say there’s plenty of ways the country could sway citizens to purchase a plug-in car. It’s really just a matter of figuring out where to start.