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Germany has dropped Tesla Model S from its list of electric vehicles eligible to receive tax rebates as of November 30, in a move that is seen as stirring a fresh row between the government and the U.S. EV maker over whether Tesla Model S was too expensive to qualify for the incentives.
Under an ambitious plan to boost EV sales to 1 million vehicles by 2020 from around 50,000 pure battery-powered EVs last year, the German government launched new incentives and tax breaks in the spring of 2016. The plan, which would cost US$1.19 billion (1 billion euro) to fund, was negotiated with the German automotive industry that is equally sharing that cost with the government.
But the plan only applies to cars costing less than US$71,400 (60,000 euro), and at the time of the start of the new incentives, Tesla Model S was above that price limit—its price, including VAT, in Germany started at US$98,420 (82,700 euro). Back then, Tesla claimed that it had been purposely excluded from the list because of that limit.
In November 2016, Tesla unbundled some Model S features for Germany that are standard for any other market in order to drive the price of its car down to below the 60,000-euro limit, and dubbed those features the “comfort package”.
A spokesman for the German Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Controls, BAFA, told Reuters today that Tesla customers cannot order the base version of Tesla Model S without extra features that raise the price of the car to above the price cap in order to be eligible for the EV incentives.
“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 said in a statement, as carried by Reuters.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.