Opel boss – small electric cars unsaleable without subsidy

The Opel boss already made critical comments about electric cars a few weeks ago. Now he is going one better. Opel boss Uwe Hochgeschurtz no longer sees any market opportunity for small electric cars in the event that state subsidies are phased out. Economics Minister Habeck has already reduced the electric car purchase premium from 2023 and wants to abolish it altogether two years later.

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Opel boss: electric car 50 percent more expensive than comparable combustion car

The Opel CEO explains in an interview: “Today, an e-car costs about 50 percent more than a comparable combustion car without subsidies”. Buyers of small volume models would be hit much harder by this cost increase than buyers of premium cars. Manufacturers would only be able to make small electric cars marketable with government subsidies. “That’s why I believe in subsidies in Germany and demand that the innovation premium for purely electric vehicles continues beyond 2022. So that there can continue to be affordable environmentally friendly small cars,” Hochgeschurtz says in this regard.

Opel boss - small electric cars unsaleable without subsidy. Government wants to gradually cut purchase premium from 2023 onwards
Opel boss – small electric cars unsaleable without subsidy. Government wants to gradually cut purchase premium from 2023 onwards
Image: Alexander Migl, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Government wants to cut purchase premium for electric cars as of 2023

Buyers of electric cars currently receive an environmental bonus of up to 9,000 euros. The state pays two thirds of this amount. One third is paid by the manufacturers in the form of a net rebate. However, the purchase bonus is to be redefined from 2023 onwards according to the will of the traffic light coalition. All three parties have announced their intention to gradually reduce the subsidy. Concrete figures have not yet been set, however. However, it has already been leaked that the federal share will be reduced to 4000 euros in 2023. In 2024 and 2025, the subsidy will then only amount to 3000 euros. For plug-in hybrid cars, the subsidy is to cease completely after 2022. After 2025, the government no longer plans to subsidise the purchase of electric cars.

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Opel wants to offer only electric cars in Europe by 2028

Opel wants to convert its entire production in Europe completely to electric drive by 2028. Opel already offers several electric vehicles. These include the electrically powered Corsa small car. The price list starts at 32,895 euros, but with an internal combustion engine the Corsa is already available for 19,940 euros.

In the interview, the Opel boss also complains about the insufficient charging infrastructure and the still far too long charging times. “Most customers don’t even drive several hundred kilometres every day, and as soon as they can charge quickly everywhere, they don’t need oversized batteries. That’s why we need a denser charging infrastructure,” says the Opel boss.

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