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Umweltbonus für Elektrofahrzeuge: Das hat sich seit dem 18. Dezember 2023 geändert

For a long time, government subsidies for electric cars should provide an incentive to buy more environmentally friendly vehicles. As of December 17, 2023, the circumstances of electric car funding in Germany have changed. After the subsidy was gradually reduced at the turn of the year and in September 2023, new rules have been in effect since December 18, 2023, which influence the purchase prices and significantly reduce the subsidy.

What is the environmental bonus?

The environmental bonus is a subsidy for the purchase or leasing of an electric vehicle. It is made up of the federal share, i.e. state funding, the manufacturer share and the innovation bonus. While the manufacturer's share is offset against the purchase price, the federal share must be applied for at the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) after approval. You have to advance the amount until it is paid out to the owner after a few weeks of checking. Since September 1, 2023, you can only apply for the environmental bonus if you use the electric vehicle privately.

The new regulations at a glance

Plug-in hybrids have no longer been subsidized since January 1, 2023. Since January 18, 2023, changes have also applied to the funding of purely electric vehicles and hydrogen-powered vehicles. Only until December 10, 2023, buyers of purely electric cars with a net list price of up to 40,000 euros have a subsidy of 6,750 euros with a federal share of 4,500 euros and with a net list price of over 40,000 to 65,000 euros a subsidy of 4,500 euros with a federal share of 3,000 euros receive.

Since December 18th, electric vehicles with a net list price of up to 45,000 euros have been subsidized with a total of 4,500 euros, with a federal share of 3,000 euros, and there will no longer be any subsidies for a new car with a net list price of more than 45,000 euros.

For leasing contracts, the subsidy is determined depending on the length of the contract. If you have a lease with a term of at least 24 months, you will receive the full amount of funding, and if you have a contract term of 12 to 23 months, you will receive half of it. If you lease for less than a year, there will no longer be any subsidies from 2024.

If you buy or lease (for 24 months or longer) a used car that has traveled a maximum of 15,000 kilometers and was first registered in an EU country less than a year ago, you will only receive an environmental bonus of 3,600 as of December 18th Euro, while it was still 4,500 euros until December 31, 2023.

When it comes to funding for young used cars (with a maximum of 15,000 km and have not yet been funded), the number of previous vehicle owners is irrelevant, but private car purchases are excluded from the funding. The electric car must have been purchased from a vehicle dealer. Also important: The used electric car may only cost a maximum of 80% of the list price of a new car. Comprehensive information on promoting used electric cars can be found here.

This is how you get the funding

The funding application for the federal share must be submitted to the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) by the holder registered in the registration papers. There is one year from the time of approval. The application can only be submitted online using the electronic application form or via the Bund ID user account - an application by post or email is not possible. The manufacturer's share of the subsidy must be clearly visible in the purchase or leasing contract. It is very important to note: If you deregister the electric vehicle before the minimum holding period has expired, the federal share must be repaid.

Use the GHG quota

The greenhouse gas quota (GHG quota) is set by law and offers owners of electric vehicles an opportunity to earn additional income beyond the subsidies described above. This can generate several hundred euros per year. The quota applies not only to cars, but also to electric two-wheelers as well as electric buses and electric trucks. The GHG quota does not apply to hybrid, plug-in hybrid, hydrogen and natural gas cars.

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