Some Tesla Owners In Germany Are Being Told To Pay Back EV Incentive


The automaker says it will cover it for them

Incentives are a sure-fire way to increase sales of a product, and are especially helpful when that commodity is necessarily priced on the high side due to being a new technology. It makes sense then, that when Germany decided to increase the uptake of plug-in vehicles and aim for one million on the road by 2020, it instituted a 4,000 Euro ($4,658) discount on all-electric vehicles and one of 3,000 Euro ($3,493) for plug-in hybrid vehicles. Half of the amount is paid by the government, while automakers pick up the other half.

However, to avoid the impression it was giving financial aid to the well-off, it instituted a 60,000 Euro ($69,860) cap on eligible vehicle prices. This ruled out the Tesla Model S buyers from benefitting from the program, so the California automaker made some “creative” alterations to its pricing structure to squeeze its base full-size sedan into the program.

The strategy appeared to work, but then the Model S was taken off the list of approved vehicles last November. Now comes word that the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) is asking some Tesla customers to pay back the State’s portion of the incentive. With the decision affecting those who bought their car prior to March 6 of this year, it is asking for 2,000 Euros back from 800 Model S owners, and it’s also canceling the “environmental bonus” to 250 others that had previously been declared eligible. To confuse matters just a bit more, the Model S 75D appears to somehow now clear the cap and is presently eligible for the incentive.

As one might imagine, Tesla is not happy about the situation. For one, it believed the cap was chosen as a way to exclude it specifically, in favor of German plug-ins. It had thought it’d reached an agreement with the German government that kept its base model in compliance with the program and is now appealing this pullback. It is also covering the government’s portion of the incentive until the issue is resolved. This action should at least keep its customers happy.

Tesla gave InsideEVs the following statement regarding the situation:

“The arbitrary decision to temporarily remove Tesla from the list of vehicles eligible for the Environmental Bonus (Umweltbonus) was unjustified, contrary to the stated goals of the program, and unfair to our customers. The fact that Tesla was included on the list, removed from the list, and then again added to the list is proof that this was a mistake. As our website demonstrates, anyone in Germany has always been able to order a base version Model S that was below the required price level, and we have delivered such cars to customers.

As background, the price cap was intentionally set by the German Government at a level that was intended to prevent Tesla cars from qualifying for it. As a result, Tesla planned to file a complaint with the EU Commission, as this was against EU rules. Instead, Tesla and the German Government agreed on an acceptable middle ground that allowed Tesla to sell a low option vehicle that qualifies for the incentive and customers could subsequently upgrade if they wished. That is exactly what Tesla has done.

We are appealing BAFA’s decision to take this action against our pre-March 2018 customers. To make sure our customers are not harmed by this decision, we will cover the cost of the bonus for them until the issue is resolved.”

Source: Reuters, Tesla

Categories: Tesla

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29 Comments on "Some Tesla Owners In Germany Are Being Told To Pay Back EV Incentive"

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Everybody Is shooting for Tesla , I wonder why , Even the Canadian Government is disallowing rebates now. The Tesla hate is out of Control !

I don’t think it’s the Canadian Government. It’s a Canadian the thinks like Trump from Ontario. What is scary though he just recently was elected so apparently the US isn’t the only country that allow morons the right ti vote.

True. The Canadian Government has never provided a rebate for EV’s. It was simply 3 out of 10 provinces which is now down to 2 of 10 (BC and Quebec).

Jusr return the money they (Tesla) stole? How about some hefty fine to go with this for the theft?
If I did that, I will be in prison 🙂 Unthinkable what all Tesla and Elon gets by with. Not even a slap on the wrist after catching Elon red handed.
Call people names. blame everyone with a critical view without a shred of evidence, etc. etc.
What has become to the laws and rules of the civilized world? 🙂

What are you talking about, the thread about is all about Germany recalling credits to German citizens for Telsa sales, in terms of if the Telsa’s cars are/are not eligible for the German credits. Telsa did the “nice” thing ad is covering the German govt’s portion of the credit, while this all get’s sorted out (likely in courts)..

What article are you commenting about “with Tesla’s returning money that they stole”? – Is your browser displaying a different article than my (Posted by: DOMENICK YONEY, and sourced from Reuter’s here –

Trump repealed those burdensome regulations.

yes, what has become of the civilized world?
Germany set the rules, and Tesla obeyed them. Then German gov still takes it away.
What is civilized about that, esp. when the German gov is now upset about Trump stopping German cars from being exported to America?

No, this is not correct. The German government is accusing TESLA of scamming the incentive system, by offering a 60k base price model car that can de facto not be purchased in Germany. Several attempts have been made and it was also confirmed from some people working for Tesla showrooms. (Although not as official statements). A court will no rule who is correct Tesla vs. Germany.

What has become is the world is now infested with paid trolls like “Tesla Investors”-( yeah, right) who spread disinformation for monetary and political interests like you troll.

“What has become to the laws and rules of the civilized world?”

People who work for Russian troll farms, like you, are doing all they can to destroy that.

Possible. Still no justification why Tesla cheated the law. they pretended to offer a product at a price point (60k) that could de facto not be ordered in Germany. The article fails to present the key point of the German government and instead just presents Tesla’s distorted view.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

If I recall it correctly, Tesla offered the lower model minus some features and/or hardware and that allowed it to qualify. Then after delivery the customer can purchase those items.
I don’t see how that’s cheating at all.

Becasue it was an empty offer, and it wasn’t really orderabele.

Something similar to the $35k Model 3 on sale for two years now?

If Porsche starts selling Mission E for 50,000 euros, and makes these optional, what will people say? The car has to be delivered on a fork lift though 🙂 All can be ordered post-sales and service centers will just enable or install them.
– Passenger seats $5k each.
– Wheels $5k each
– Premium radio $5k
– Driviner’s assist $5k
– Battery $20k

There were attempts to order the 60k model whithout further upgrading, first sparked by some investigative journalist. Turns out it was not possible. This was also confirmed by some people in Tesla showrooms. Then the government probed further and the incentive was pulled.
I guess the court will no clarify the truth of the stories, since Tesla sued

Because they didn’t actually sell you that if you didn’t upgrade the car but just wanted the base price.

This article completely glances over the fact that Tesla cancelled orders of people not willing to buy upgrades but wanted the advertised base model.

[citation needed]

Wow, the FUD troll brigade is out in full force this evening!

Some of the mis-characterizations of the actual facts in the troll posts here are so twisted that I can’t even figure out just what they are claiming.

I’m guessing what this troll is referring to is the fact that Tesla has removed the prices from its online ordering system. All the prices for all the cars and all the options, including the Model S and Model X. I guess this means you don’t see the actual price until you’ve finished configuring? Not sure.

Anyway, the anti-Tesla FUDsters are now trying to claim this shows Tesla is no longer planning to offer the $35k base Model 3. Of course, they’ve been making that same FUD claim for months now; this is just their latest pretense at “evidence” for that claim.

BTW, troll — You mean “glosses over”, not “glances over”. You could at least try to spell your falsehoods correctly. 🙄

Sorry @eject is correct. Get the facts of this story from a more reliable source. See this Reuters article with the original reasons why the plug was pulled on the program for Tesla. It was not an arbitrary decision as Tesla puts it.

A court will determine now whether there German government had sound reasons for doing what they are doing.

The actual law is without doubt a protectionist measure, however this is not really up for debate right now.

This article doesn’t actually contain anything to support the claim that German customers couldn’t buy the base version. It just mentions that BAFA claimed this, and Tesla denied it. No proof either way.

Yeah, laugh all you want. There is at least one recorded phone conversation of a guy that was told by Tesla that the order will be cancelled if he doesn’t buy the 13k€ comfort package.

Yes please tell me that a comfort package in a Tesla is just spreading FUD again to show everyone what an uninformed idiot you are. It is a Tesla invention for the German market. If you don’t buy it the car won’t have a navigation system. You can’T change the colour. They claim it won’t have electrical mirrors or a memory driver seat and no parking sensors. Tesla didn’t ship these type of cars. That is why they got removed from the list. Now they ship them and they are back on the list. It is really easy and they will lose in court. Actually they could shoot themselves in the foot and give someone the idea to pursue this as subsidy fraud. Which it was.

Easy with the FUD accusations. There are unjustified criticisms of Tesla and there are justified criticisms. You don’t want them lumped together. It this case, the criticism appears valid.

Our POTUS is correct when he said that Europe is our trade foe. Expect USA to cut the Feds $7,500 rebate on German plugins. Only then they will realize the pain they inflict on others.

Ugh, that would only hurt American consumers and workers and ultimately make global warming worse. Let’s stick to policies that help people and aren’t about inflicting pain okay?

Please do this.

Germany desperately needs a source of money to subsidize BMW which is about to get eaten alive by the Tesla Monster!

honestly, these cars cost around 150.000 USD in germany. if someone can afford this they dont need the 2k € subsidize from gov…

That’s not true; and it’s also not what the subsidy is about. The point is to encourage buying an electric car instead of a combustion car — that’s independent of the price point.

A lot of the cars eligible for the subsidy are alibi-PHEVs with a laughable electric range from the German premium brands. If they get a subsidy, then Tesla for sure should as well.