Environmental bonus must be regulated in the interests of consumers – investments for transformation need better depreciation conditions
The 2022 federal budget sets the course for climate-neutral transport. The ramp-up of electric mobility is being supported with grants of €5bn for the purchase of electrically powered cars and more than €1.45bn in grants for the construction and expansion of filling station and charging networks. These state investments and consumer support are compulsory for actually achieving the goals set by politics.
"The automotive industry is resolutely committed to the goal of climate-neutral mobility and is driving the transformation forward with massive investments. In order to be able to put 15mn electric vehicles on the road by 2030, the state must provide for the appropriate framework conditions. This applies to the development and expansion of the charging infrastructure, to the security of raw materials supply and energy and, in particular, to the site conditions. The federal budget for 2022 is also a clear commitment to strengthening electromobility and thus an important signal for the German automotive industry," explains VDA President Hildegard Müller.
"The premium for e-cars kicks in, as can be seen in the sales figures. As a result, more and more people are experiencing electromobility. But the transformation can only succeed if trusted by people – the funding must therefore be designed in a consumer-friendly manner. That means: purchase decision and environmental bonus belong together. Changes in the funding guidelines for the environmental bonus or delays in delivery times must not posezulassung a risk for the buyer. A regulation must be found that takes the risk away from the consumer. With such an investment, planning security is crucial. The funding should therefore be linked to the purchase contract and not to the registration approval," says Müller.
Another positive aspect of the budget for 2022 is the increase to €600mn for the 'Central Innovation Program for SMEs'. "Small and medium-sized enterprises are job engines, innovation and transformation drivers. They are crucial for successful change."
The automotive industry wants to turn this change into a success story that will be copied worldwide and thus lead to more climate protection all over the world. This can only work if politicians set the necessary framework conditions and Germany once again takes a leading international position in terms of competitiveness.
Corporate and governmental investments are central to such successful change. The German automotive industry is in the midst of transformation and will invest around €220bn in research and development in the years 2022 to 2026 alone, especially in electromobility and digitization. In addition, at least €100bn will be invested in converting plants in Germany by 2030. "The fact that the federal budget also provides €340mn for future investments for vehicle manufacturers and the supplier industry is therefore an important and proper signal to consumers, to Germany as a location, and to employees," said Müller.
At the same time, it’s also a truth that in the years ahead, the burdens from the conversion of the plants for more climate protection and from the new construction of factories for e-mobility will have an effect on prices. "Huge depreciation opportunities for the entire industry would be a helpful tool. Unfortunately, these write-off options have not been taken into account in the 2022 federal budget," criticizes Müller.