Trade in billions of dollars with used German electronic cars?

Predicting electric cars in Germany until 2030
Trade in billions of dollars with used German electronic cars?

The target of 15 million electric cars in Germany by 2030 will not be met. In addition, the export of tax-subsidized electronic cars is widespread.

Declaring prime targets is part of the standard policy repertoire, of course also when it comes to electric cars. The Merkel government has shown the way and in 2016 set a goal of having one million electric cars on German roads after four years. As is known, it took a little longer and then only succeeded in the middle of 2021 after the environmental reward was increased to a record level of almost five figures.


The traffic light government set in its coalition agreement a goal of 15 million electric cars by 2030. In a preliminary assessment in November 2021, Dataforce questioned whether that goal could be achieved under certain conditions.

The new traffic light government announced a more ambitious target at the end of 2021. “Our target is at least 15 million fully electric vehicles by 2030,” says page 22 of the alliance agreement. Frankfurt-based Dataforce, a market research firm specializing in the auto market, already took the announcement as an opportunity to do a more detailed analysis last year. Their conclusion succinctly summarized: It won’t work.

Ideally, 11 million cars run on electricity

On the way to complete electrification, market experts are now counting plug-in hybrids as part of electrified vehicles in a new inventory forecast from May 4, 2022 and say: Even that’s not enough. For the so-called “additional vehicles”, i.e. rechargeable BEV and PHEV, analysts expect a realistic number of about eleven million for 2030. For comparison: Currently (as of March 2022) 48.54 million passenger cars are registered in Germany. Even if this number does not continue to rise as in previous years, this means that in 2030, electric vehicles will make up 23 percent of the vehicle fleet, less than a quarter.

For this, however, everything must work optimally, production as well as the willingness of customers to buy. As is well known, the former is currently swinging wildly, and delivery times are getting longer and longer. The announced reduction or elimination of e-car premiums for plug-in hybrid vehicles from 2023 will not completely increase demand.

Tax subsidies for exporting cars

Another aspect that Dataforce has warned against in order to achieve its self-imposed goal is initially unclear: electric cars must remain newly registered in Germany. But in their market analysis, the Frankfurt-based company came to a conclusion that includes what it takes to question the entire financing practice: According to this, 40.4 percent of all newly registered BEV/PHEVs in 2018 are no longer registered in Germany after three years. .

Dataforce Electric Vehicle Prediction


Of the approximately 69,000 new registrations from 2018, only 40,000 were still in stock at the end of 2021. The failure rate is very high at 40.4 percent.

Since it can be assumed that these vehicles, no more than three years old, did not collectively fall victim to accidental death or were disposed of, this is clearly a good deal at the expense of the German taxpayer: subsidized vehicles are transported abroad as used cars after a short period of ownership. A circumstance known for a long time but not on this scale.

Brilliant merchants and their clients have been using a perfectly legal loophole for quite some time now. The new e-car is registered, the subsidy paid and the car resold after six months as a used car in other EU countries at the new price minus the subsidy amount. This is a good business for all parties involved: the seller drives a new car practically for free for half a year, and the buyer (most cars go to Scandinavia) gets a new car at a much lower price thanks to advertising in the name of a used car a new car costs there. And traders make money anyway from the back and forth.

Advertising Tesla Engine Free Resale

schmitz car center

Profitable business: Tesla models in particular are in demand. This dealer publicly advertises using the business model to sell Subsidized Electronic Vehicles overseas after a short holding period.

So far, nearly every eighth car is assumed to spend the rest of its life abroad in this way, backed by Germany’s Strömer subsidies. But Dataforce analysis makes you stand up and take notice. If this trend continues in the coming years, with about 40 percent of BEV and PHEV leaving the country within three years, billions will be at stake. In 2021 alone, the Federal Office for Economics and Export Control (Bafa) paid more than three billion euros for an “innovation premium” to electric car buyers for 585,000 orders.

Reservation period must be extended

One way to slow this profit at the expense of the tax fund is to extend the retention period of new subsidized cars to at least 24 months. The six to 12 month extension has already been mysteriously announced by politicians, but nothing has happened so far. After all: from 2023, the story will be less valuable if the German support bonuses evaporate as planned.

opinion poll

Definitely – this boosts sales in the long run.

Absolutely not – if you want a Stromer, you have to pay for it yourself.

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Traffic electrification is one of the main goals of German policy. However, there are hurdles along the way. Even if the ambitious target of 15 million e-cars by 2030 is reached (which Dataforce experts doubt), the majority of passenger cars in Germany will still consist of combustion models. However, market experts discovered in their analysis another surprising aspect.

According to this, more than 40 percent of subsidized electric cars and plug-in hybrids no longer exist in Germany after three years. The environmental bonus and the innovation reward were originally planned in order to build a range of used electronic cars at the cheapest price on the German market for the long term. Because many motorists rely on the used market because new cars are unaffordable for them. If the trend outlined by Dataforce continues, according to which nearly half of electric vehicles subsidized as new cars leave the country after a short time, the usefulness of the German financing practice may be in doubt.

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