Economy

EU paper provides purchase premiums for “clean cars”

The corona pandemic has plunged the European auto industry into a deep crisis. The industry fears job cuts and a wave of bankruptcies.

According to a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the European Commission therefore wants to support the industry with an economic stimulus package of up to 100 billion euros.

This should also include purchase premiums for “clean cars” and investments in alternative drive technologies.

The corona pandemic has plunged the European auto industry into a deep crisis. In April, the car market in the EU collapsed by 76 percent. The industry is facing difficult times. This does not bode well for the Union’s economy either, since the auto industry is an important employer with millions of employees. In Germany alone, tens of thousands of jobs are at acute risk – especially in the case of medium-sized suppliers. A wave of bankruptcies threatens.

The European Commission therefore wants to support the industry as well as the entire mobility sector. Various proposals for a stimulus package worth up to 100 billion euros are listed in a paper, reports the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”.

Critics see climate targets at risk from a purchase premium for cars

This should also include purchase premiums for “clean cars” worth up to 20 billion euros. What is and is not considered to be a “clean car” is still open, as are details of financing. According to the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, the money should not come from the reconstruction package, but from two existing EU programs.

A dispute has already arisen in Germany about a new edition of the scrappage bonus. Critics once again see the auto industry as preferred to other industries. In addition, such a measure could endanger the climate goals and the turnaround in transport towards sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility.

The EU does not ignore the issue either, after all, transport is responsible for a quarter of the CO2 emissions in the Union. The auto industry was supposed to be forced to lower CO2 emissions with strict fleet targets and high penalties. A limit of 95 grams per kilometer has applied since this year. Funding car models with higher values, including many SUVs, would therefore be counterproductive.

EU also wants to promote investment in new propulsion technologies and rail

“Massive support for the auto industry,” says the draft EU paper according to the “Süddeutscher Zeitung”, “places a significant burden on future generations.” Aid should also take the interests of younger generations into account. The EU therefore wants to support investments in new drive technologies with 40 to 60 million euros in addition to the purchase premiums and expand the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles and other alternative drives.

This could also benefit German car manufacturers in competition with the competition from Asia and the USA. It was only on Tuesday that the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) reported an increase in innovation in the development of electric cars and batteries in recent years. According to an analysis of patent applications in Germany and Europe, German manufacturers ranked first in both areas.

The railways are also to be supported with 40 million euros. The money is to be invested in “key corridors” in order to shift traffic from road to rail more.

According to the “Süddeutscher Zeitung”, the paper is likely to be part of a package that the EU Commission plans to present next week. In addition, funds are planned for the energetic renovation of buildings.

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