To encourage usage of electric vehicles, Germany has launched just last year an incentive scheme worth about 1 billion euros, which is partly financed by the country’s car industry. With this subsidy scheme, those who purchase all-electric vehicles can avail a discount of 4,000 euros ($4,755), while those who select plug-in hybrid cars can have a discount of 3,000 euros ($3,566). To exempt premium models, the scheme has placed a price cap of 60,000 euros.
The German Federal Office for Economic Affairs has excluded Tesla from the list of electric vehicles eligible for the subsidy scheme for the reason that the company’s electric car, Model S, being too expensive. A spokesman of the said agency has explained that the Tesla customers could not purchase the Model S base version without extra features, which made the car cost beyond the price cap.
This action of the German agency caused a dispute between them and the American automaker Tesla. The latter insists that “This is a completely false accusation. Anyone in Germany can order a Tesla Model S base version without the comfort package, and we have delivered such cars to customers.”
Tesla further explained that initially, the German government established the price cap in order to exclude them. However, an agreement was made later on “that allows Tesla to sell a low option vehicle that qualifies for the incentive and customers can subsequently upgrade if they wish.”
Nevertheless, Tesla said that they will investigate if there were customers denied of the no-frills version. “If a salesperson told a customer they could not buy the Model S base version without the comfort package, this is not accurate and clearly outside our policies and procedures and we will investigate and take appropriate action as necessary.”