The purchase of electric cars is strongly encouraged. This is good for metropolitan areas, but also dangerous. Because subsidies are a double-edged thing. They are dangerous and they create dependencies. Dealing with them intelligently would be the challenge for the state. Only then will a subsidized boom turn into a sustainable change.
Opel Mokka-e for € 49,00
Of course, you rub your eyes in amazement when you're allowed to drive a new electric car for € 49 a month. A net offer for commercial customers. Without down payment and including maintenance. 24 months, 10.000 kilometers per year. The secret behind the fabulous offer is the state premium. € 6.000 from the tax pot is the down payment for the Opel Mokka-e. So it's incredibly cheap to drive.
That is strange. The Mocha-e is fresh on the market and is already being thrown into the cheap box. Not a good sign, neither for the manufacturer nor for the model. But Opel is not alone with the offer. There were manufacturers who were even cheaper.
The bottom line was that a French provider gave money back. For short-term leasing with 12 or 18 months - thanks to the generous subsidies. Of course, such offers attract. The manufacturer gets his electric car from the farm, the customer a new car, which he can use almost free of charge. I consciously exclude whether the environment also benefits.
All of this is reminiscent of China as a model. For almost a decade, the Beijing administration has been zigzagging about electric car subsidies. This encouraged abuse and led start-ups to produce e-cars, approve them and take out subsidies. These vehicles, mostly small electric vehicles, never came on the road. Those were the most extreme and darkest excesses of the subsidy policy.
The other outgrowth is that a new electric car brand is making its debut almost every week. With confidence in the ever-bubbling subsidy pot that will somehow straighten the market. Because, and that is the danger, over the years China has become used to it.
Manufacturers expect the subsidy in the long term, as do customers. If Beijing tries to cut funding again or to stop it completely, sales of electric cars collapse brutally. Beijing then always readjusts promptly. Depending on the regional or national level. So far, no one has dared to coldly withdraw customers and the providers of the subsidy drug.
There is a real risk that Germany will do the same as it does in China. That electric mobility will get stuck on the state drip like the junkie on the needle. And that the customer simply refuses to pay more than a small amount a month.
Because he's on drugs and got used to the fact that an electric car is cheap and subsidized.
This is not good. Not for the product that is being canceled. And not fair either. Not everyone can lease a new car and benefit from the publicly funded subsidy. The problem behind the problem is the used electric car. How will you market the € 18 returns in 24 or 49,00 months? What is a used car worth if it was pushed onto the market super cheaply as a new car?
And, the big question, what will a customer be willing to pay for it? Who will not collect a state premium for purchasing secondary marketing. Financing a used Mocha-e will hardly be available for € 49,00 a month without a down payment.
An exciting question!
After all: in Germany politicians reacted quickly. The subsidy for short term leasing has been made evaporated. Full support, plus an innovation bonus, is only available from 23 months onwards. A sign that suggests a sense of reality.
If, in addition to the efforts to get electric cars on the road, you don't want to completely lose sight of the sustainability factor.