Because of their higher acquisition costs, electric cars are subsidized by the state in many countries – but at the same time tax deductions for internal combustion company cars alone cost European citizens 32 billion euros per year, according to a recent study. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said of such a variety of subsidies in the past that governments should do without them altogether. He only wished for a general CO2 taxation several times in order to make the real costs of fossil energy recognizable. And whether at the instigation of the Tesla boss or not: In Germany such a tax on carbon dioxide has now been decided – and it should also make electricity cheaper for electric cars, among other things.
Saving when driving an electric car
With its economic stimulus package to combat the corona economic crisis, the federal government has clearly embarked on the electric car course. You could still describe it as a bit half-hearted, because plug-in hybrids also benefit from most of the measures, but only to a limited extent. And after tax breaks, premium increases and charging initiatives, there are now further steps that the Tesla boss might like.
During his trip to Germany this September, Musk was welcomed with open arms everywhere, including by many government politicians. The fact that he mentioned the CO2 tax as one of his longstanding motives has not been proven, but it is conceivable. Either way, this week the Bundestag and then the Bundesrat approved the introduction of such an instrument in Germany, known as the carbon dioxide levy. At the instigation of the Greens, a price of initially 25 euros per ton was set, which will rise to 55 euros by 2025.
And that has a noticeable impact on fuel prices – which in turn makes electric cars more attractive. As early as 2021, gasoline should be 7 cents per liter more expensive and diesel almost 8 cents more expensive. Heating oil and natural gas are also becoming more expensive, reported the world. Commuters in combustion vehicles are relieved a little because they can set higher tax lump sums. But part of the income is to be used to lower the electricity price via a subsidy for the EEG surcharge. Electricity is almost the only operating cost that EV drivers will face, so even a small decrease can be significant here.
Better conditions for Tesla
According to the current plans, the surcharge is to be reduced to 6.5 cents per kilowatt hour in 2021 and further to 6.0 cents in 2022, regardless of the actual development in renewables. A larger part of the billions in revenue from the CO2 tax could be required for this. Because without a federal subsidy, the EEG surcharge on all electricity for normal consumers would probably continue to rise, because the Corona package also removed hurdles for more wind and, above all, solar power.
It is not known what Musk thinks of the high German EEG levy, including the early support for wind power and photovoltaics behind it. A similar effect would probably have been achieved with a CO2 price, but it would have had to be high enough for that, which is more difficult to implement politically than promoting alternatives. Either way, the Tesla boss in Germany now at least partially has what he probably wants for the whole world. And it shouldn’t bother him that electric car electricity is cheaper (or at least less expensive).