According to the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (Kraftfahrtbundesamt), approximately 57,000 electric vehicles were newly registered in Germany in July. With these new registrations, German industry and the federal government have reached their mutual goal of bringing one million electrically powered vehicles onto Germany’s roads [1]. More than half of these are purely electric vehicles, the remainder are plug-in hybrids and fuel cell vehicles. Germany is thus living up to its claim to become the leading provider and lead market for this key mobility technology.

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier: “With one million electric vehicles on German roads, we have reached a decisive milestone: Germany’s transport system is being irreversibly transitioned to renewable energies. We want to use this momentum and will therefore extend the innovation incentive for the purchase of an electric car until the end of 2025. The goal is for electric mobility to make a decisive contribution towards the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, while our automotive industry and its employees successfully master the transformation. This is already creating new added value and employment, for example in the area of battery production.”

Federal Minister for the Environment, Svenja Schulze: “One million electric cars stand for millions of times less carbon emissions in transport. After all, sixty percent of greenhouse gas emissions from transport in Germany are caused by passenger cars alone. Now we have to push ahead again to fully exploit the potential of electric mobility and actually achieve the climate targets by 2030. Electric vehicles are the most effective climate-friendly option in the passenger car sector, because the energy they use is transferred to the road without detours. Switching to an electric car also saves money. In the long run, charging is in fact cheaper than filling up at the pump. And the maintenance costs of an electric car are much lower than those of a combustion engine. Last but not least, electric vehicles produce less noise and harmful exhaust fumes, thus increasing the quality of life in our cities.”

Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer: “One million electric vehicles is an important first target and I am pleased that we have reached it together. However, in order to achieve the climate targets by 2030, we must become even more ambitious: 14 million e-vehicles by 2030 must be the new target, according to experts. We can only achieve this if the framework conditions are right. That’s why we are especially supporting the expansion of the charging infrastructure – in both public and private spaces – but also transport modes that have so far had low market penetration, such as commercial vehicles and buses.”

Kurt-Christoph von Knobelsdorff, Managing Director of NOW GmbH: “For more than a decade, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure has been supporting the research and further development of electric mobility – the prototypes from back then have laid the foundation for the success of today. The market ramp-up has begun and we at NOW are pleased to continue supporting this development.”

The proliferation of electric vehicles in Germany has made a significant leap forward since the middle of 2020. The second half of 2020 was marked by new records in new monthly registrations and in the first seven months of 2021 alone, more than 350,000 electric passenger cars were newly registered, roughly the same number as in the whole of 2020 [2]. Overall, there are about 60 percent more electric vehicles on German roads today than there were at the end of 2020. Among the one million electrically powered vehicles, the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (Kraftfahrtbundesamt) counts 54 percent purely electric vehicles and 46 percent plug-in hybrids. The use of electrically powered vehicles is a central instrument for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transport and thus for achieving the German government’s climate targets. In addition to greenhouse gas emissions, the air pollutants of today’s road traffic are also of concern, especially particulate matter and nitrogen oxides. Electric cars have no tailpipe emissions such as nitrogen oxides, and particulate emissions are also produced only by whirling up and abrasion (as with all vehicles), but not additionally by the combustion engine. Electric cars therefore contribute to making our cities no only cleaner, but also more liveable.

Funding support for electric mobility by the German government

The decisive factor for this very dynamic development is the introduction of the innovation incentive on 8 July 2020, with which the federal government doubled its subsidy for the purchase of an electric vehicle. The entire package of measures with consistent research funding, the expansion of the charging infrastructure and tax measures has also contributed to this success. In order to advance electric mobility against the backdrop of its entire range of topics and while covering a complete value chain, the various ministries have each launched their own funding programmes.

The BMU supports research projects on the topic of electric mobility within the framework of the “Renewably Mobile” (“Erneuerbar Mobil”) funding programme. In addition, the BMU develops ecological standards for electric vehicles and supports research projects on the recycling of electric vehicle batteries. In addition, since 2020 the BMU has been implementing the fleet replacement programme “Social & Mobile” (“Sozial & Mobil”), which was adopted as part of the economic stimulus package and provides financial support for the purchase of electric vehicles for social services. The BMU is also promoting the use of electric buses in local public transport.

With the environmental bonus plus the innovation incentive, the BMWi is responsible for the flagship instrument to promote the passenger car from the demand side. As part of the “Elektro-Mobil” programme, the BMWi also supports synergies between electric mobility and the energy system as well as the expansion of electric mobility value chains in production. With the “Charging Column Ordinance” (“Ladesäulenverordnung”), the BMWi regulates the central requirements for public charging infrastructure. One focus of the BMWi’s industrial policy is to promote the development of a domestic battery value chain. With two “important projects of common European interest” (IPCEIs), the BMWi is successfully providing funding of almost three billion euros. Funding measures in the areas of battery technology and securing skilled labour flank the two major projects.

The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure provides a wide range of funding opportunities for the further expansion of the charging infrastructure, which are coordinated by the German Centre for Charging Infrastructure under the umbrella of NOW GmbH. A programme with 500 million euros will soon be launched to build 30,000 publicly accessible charging points. With the Local Charging Infrastructure (Ladeinfrastruktur vor Ort) funding guideline, the installation of charging points at appealing everyday locations has also been accelerated since April 2021. Another funding guideline is aimed at expanding the charging infrastructure at the workplace and in company fleets. This is to be launched in the course of the summer. Private charging facilities will be funded with a total of 800 million euros after a further expansion of the programme.

In addition, the federal government is inviting tenders for the “Deutschlandnetz” (“Germany Network”) with more than 1,000 fast-charging locations. By the end of 2023, the next fast-charging facility should be accessible everywhere in Germany in just a few minutes! Moreover, a wide range of funding opportunities exist for cross-modal fleet electrification in the municipal and commercial sectors, for research and development and for the conversion of commercial vehicles and buses in passenger transport to alternative drive systems. These include the “BMVI Electric Mobility Funding Guideline” (“Förderrichtlinie Elektromobilität BMVI”), the recently published “Guideline on the Support of Light and Heavy Commercial Vehicles with Alternative, Climate-friendly Drive Systems, including Infrastructure” (“Richtlinie über die Förderung von leichten und schweren Nutzfahrzeugen mit alternativen, klimaschonenden Antrieben, nebst Infrastruktur”) and the “Guideline on the Promotion of Alternative Drive Systems for Buses in Passenger Transport” (“Richtlinie zur Förderung alternativer Antriebe von Bussen im Personenverkehr”), which is currently in the notification process.


[1] Electric vehicles (including commercial vehicles, buses, excluding motorbikes) in stock, reference to total stock on 1.1.2021 and taking into account new registrations from January to July (deregistrations not taken into account).

[2] Focus on electric cars, taking into account new registrations from January to July 2021.