Development and promotion of electromobility in Germany

As one of the leading industry sectors in Germany, the automotive industry achieved a revenue of €426 billion in 2018, accounting for approximately 5% of the German GDP. Due to its high level of employment and significant contribution to value creation, it holds a special position in social, political, and economic dimensions. [1]

Today, electromobility represents one of the greatest challenges for this industry. The global development is characterized by the rapidly growing electric vehicle (EV) fleet. With 6.6 million vehicles sold in 2021, the number of sales doubled compared to 2020. Half of these sales took place in China, totaling 3.3 million vehicles, of which 2.7 million were battery-electric vehicles (BEVs). Europe accounted for approximately 35% of global EV registrations, while the United States accounted for 10%. [2]

Both national and international strategies have played a significant role in this development. The “combustion engine ban” starting in 2035, which was decided on the EU level this year, as well as current EV targets and funding guidelines in Germany, provide a reason to supplement former FfE articles (link under “more information”) with the latest developments.

EV targets and funding guidelines in Germany

Since 2009, there have already been national development plans by the federal government that provide a framework for the automotive industry (see Figure 1). Along with additional state funding of 5 million euros, the aim was to increase the incentive for electromobility nationwide. A final strategy was formulated in 2011 through the government program for electromobility with the goal of significantly increasing the number of electric cars on the roads to 6 million vehicles by 2030 [3]. This target was raised to 10 million vehicles in the year 2019 with the Climate Protection Program 2030 [4]. The Electric Mobility Act (EmoG) in June 2015 granted special privileges to electric cars, such as lower parking costs or exemption from access restrictions [5]. The current federal government has set a goal of 15 million fully electric passenger cars in Germany by 2030 in its coalition agreement [6]. At the EU level, it was decided at the beginning of 2023 that from 2035 onwards, no new vehicles with internal combustion engines fueled by fossil fuels will be allowed to be registered [7].

In 2016, additional financial incentives were introduced for the purchase of PHEVs and BEVs (see Figure 1), with subsidies partially covered by the federal government and partially by the industry. The promotion consists of an environmental bonus, which is split equally between the federal government and the manufacturer. In addition, since 2020, the innovation premium has been added, which is fully covered by the federal government. In total, two-thirds of the funding is provided by the federal government and one-third by the manufacturer [8]. In 2019, the federal share for EVs costing less than €40,000 was increased to €4,500 for PHEVs and €6,000 for BEVs, or €3,750 and €5,000 for vehicles up to a value of €65,000 [9].

As of January 1, 2023, PHEVs no longer receive funding. BEVs receive a federal subsidy of €4,500 for a net list price up to €40,000, and a subsidy of €3,000 for a net list price between €40,000 and €65,000. From January 1, 2024, the federal subsidy will be reduced to €3,000 for vehicles with a net list price up to €45,000, and vehicles with a higher net list price will no longer receive any subsidies [10].

Figure 1: Development of the electromobility strategy

Scenario comparison

As part of the project “Bayernplan Energie 2040“, scenarios were created that depict the development of technologies in the German passenger car fleet, among other things [11]. The scenario examined in this project, called “E.plan,” is aligned with the plans of the federal government. In this scenario, the direct electrification of the transportation sector is politically preferred, and the ramp-up begins in the early 2020s. Figure 2 illustrates the federal government’s target for 2030 and the projected development for the E.plan scenario. By clicking on the corresponding legend entry, additional EV scenarios can be compared [12] [13] [14] [15] [16].

Figure 2: Projected stock of BEV and PHEV vehicles according to selected scenarios. In the E.plan scenario, the PHEV vehicles are proportionally attributed to the BEV vehicles.


The federal government has set a target to reach a stock of 15 million fully electric passenger cars in Germany by 2030. In the scenarios compared in Figure 2, the EV stock in 2030 is also in this range. Given the development of electromobility in recent years, it gives the impression that the government’s goal is realistic: In 2022, there were approximately 600,000 BEVs and 2.3 million plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) registered in Germany, with the total number of BEVs registered in Germany doubling each year compared to the previous year in both 2021 and 2022 [17].

The contents presented were developed in the unIT-e² project. The research project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) (funding code: 01MV21UN11 (FfE e.V.)). The project executing organization of the three-year joint project is the German Aerospace Center (DLR).

More Information:


[1] Mönning, Anke: IAB Discussion Paper 8|2019 – Electromobility 2035 – Economic and labour market effects through the electrification of powertrains in passenger cars. Nuremberg: Institute for Employment Research (IAB) of the Federal Employment Agency (BA), 2019.

[2] Global EV Outlook 2022 – Securing supplies for an electric future. Paris: International energy Agency (IEA), 2022.

[3] Regierungsprogramm Elektromobilität. Berlin: Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie, Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Bau- und Stadtentwicklung, Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit, Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, 2011

[4] Klimaschutzprogramm 2030 der Bundesregierung zur Umsetzung des Klimaschutzplans 2050. Berlin: Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie, 2011.

[5] Gesetz zur Bevorrechtigung der Verwendung elektrisch betriebener Fahrzeuge (Elektromobilitätsgesetz – EmoG). Issued 2015-6-5, version from 2021-7-12; Berlin: Bundesministerium der Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz (BMJV), 2021.

[6] Eröffnungsbilanz Klimaschutz. Berlin: BMWK, 2022.

[7] CO2 emission standards for cars and vans (2021/0197(COD)). Issued 2023-02-14; Straßburg: European Parliament, 2023.

[8] Bekanntmachung der Richtlinie zur Förderung des Absatzes von elektrisch betriebenen Fahrzeugen (Umweltbonus) (BAnz AT 09.12.2022 B1). Issued 2022-11-17; Berlin: Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz, 2022.

[9] Randall, Chris: Increased EV subsidies go into effect in Germany. In https://www.electrive.com/2020/02/18/increased-ev-subsidies-go-into-effect-in-germany/. (Accessed 2023-4-21); Berlin: Rabbit Publishing GmbH, 2020.

[10] Habeck: “Umweltbonus wird ab Januar 2023 konsequent auf Klimaschutz ausgerichtet”. In https://www.bmwk.de/Redaktion/DE/Pressemitteilungen/2022/07/20220726-habeck-umweltbonus-wird-ab-januar-2023.html. (Accessed 2023-5-22); Berlin: Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz, 2022.

[11] Kigle, Stephan: Bayernplan Energie 2040 – Wege zur Treibhausgasneutralität – Abschlussbericht. München: Forschungsstelle für Energiewirtschaft (FfE), 2023.

[12] Klimapfade 2.0 – Ein Wirtschaftsprogramm für Klima und Zukunft. Munich: BDI, 2021.

[13] dena-Leitstudie Aufbruch Klimaneutralität – Eine gesamtgesellschaftliche Aufgabe. Berlin: Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH (Hrsg.), 2021.

[14] Prognos; Öko-Institut; Wuppertal-Institut: Klimaneutrales Deutschland 2045 – Wie Deutschland seine Klimaziele schon vor 2050 erreichen kann (Langfassung). Berlin: Stiftung Klimaneutralität, Agora Energiewende und Agora Verkehrswende, 2021.

[15] Krail, Michael: Langfristszenarien für die Transformation des Energiesystems in Deutschland – Treibhausgasneutrale Hauptszenarien – Modul Verkehr. Karlsruhe: Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung ISI, 2022.

[16] Ariadne-Report – Deutschland auf dem Weg zur Klimaneutralität 2045 – Szenarien und Pfade im Modellvergleich. Potsdam: Kopernikus-Projekt Ariadne, 2021.

[17] Fahrzeugzulassungen (FZ) – Bestand an Kraftfahrzeugen nach Umwelt-Merkmalen – 1. Januar 2022 – FZ 13. Flensburg: Kraftfahrtbundesamt, 2022.