Subsidy for Electric Cars 2023/24 in Germany: A Comprehensive Guide

Electric Vehicles are now a key component in combating climate change and reducing carbon footprints. In Germany, the government has introduced various incentives to accelerate this shift. Among these are substantial subsidies for electric cars, which have been updated for 2023 and will be updated again for 2024. This article provides a detailed overview of these subsidies, their application process, and eligibility criteria.

1. Background of Electric Car Subsidies in Germany

The German government has historically played a significant role in promoting electric vehicles through various incentives. These subsidies, aimed at both private individuals and businesses, help offset the higher purchase costs of EVs compared to traditional vehicles. In recent years, these incentives have significantly impacted the adoption rate of EVs, with more and more drivers opting for electric and hybrid vehicles.

The image captures a close-up of coins spilling out of a glass jar onto a wooden surface. The focus is on the shimmering edges of the coins, highlighting their metallic textures and varied denominations. The warm lighting creates a soft glow on the coins, evoking a sense of abundance or savings.

1.1 Subsidy Details for 2023

For 2023, the environmental bonus, or innovation premium, offers substantial financial support for the purchase of new and young used electric vehicles. The subsidy amount depends on several factors, including the type of vehicle (purely electric, fuel cell, or plug-in hybrid) and its base price. For instance, battery electric or fuel cell vehicles with a net list price below €40,000 can receive up to €6,000 for purchases and a proportionate amount for leasing, depending on the leasing term.

1.2 Subsidy Details for 2024

In 2024, electric car subsidies in Germany will see notable changes. From January 1, 2024, the maximum net cost for eligible electric vehicles is set at €45,000. The federal subsidy will be reduced to €3,000, with manufacturers providing a matching contribution of €1,500. This adjustment will maintain the total subsidy at €4,500, but with a lowered cost threshold for eligible EVs. Significantly, these subsidies will continue to be available exclusively to private individuals. The 2024 adjustments reflect a strategic shift in promoting more affordable EVs, aiming to make sustainable mobility accessible to a broader range of consumers.

2. Who's Eligible and How to Apply?

2.1 Eligibility Criteria

Eligible applicants include private individuals, companies, foundations, and associations. However, federal and state governments and their institutions, municipalities, and automobile manufacturers participating in the financing of the environmental bonus are not eligible.

2.2 Application Process

Applicants must submit their applications online through the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA)portal. Required documents vary depending on whether the vehicle is new or used and include invoices, leasing contracts, and declarations of truthful information. The application must be submitted within a year of the vehicle's registration.

2.3 Impact of Subsidies

These subsidies are expected to significantly boost EV sales in Germany, making electric vehicles more accessible to a wider range of consumers. The financial support aims to bridge the gap between the higher initial cost of EVs and conventional vehicles, making the decision to switch more economically viable for many.

3. Challenges and Criticisms

While the subsidy program has been largely successful, it is not without its challenges and criticisms. Some argue that the subsidies are not enough to cover the high cost of electric cars, and there is a need for more charging infrastructure to support the growing number of EVs. Here are some more challenges listed.

3.1 Financial Limitations

  • High Costs Unaddressed: Critics argue that the subsidies, although helpful, don't fully bridge the gap between the high costs of EVs and conventional vehicles. This gap can still be a significant barrier for many potential buyers.
  • Budgetary Concerns: There's an ongoing debate about the sustainability of these subsidies from a budgetary standpoint, questioning whether the current level of funding is feasible in the long run.

3.2 Infrastructure Shortcomings

  • Insufficient Charging Stations: The rapid increase in EV ownership has outpaced the development of charging infrastructure. A lack of sufficient charging stations, especially in rural areas, remains a concern.
  • Charging Station Accessibility: Accessibility issues at charging stations, such as long wait times and station malfunctions, have been reported, highlighting the need for more reliable and widespread charging options.

3.3 Equity and Inclusivity

  • Disproportionate Benefits: There's a growing concern that the subsidies disproportionately benefit higher-income individuals who can afford the upfront costs of EVs, while lower-income groups remain excluded.
  • Rural vs. Urban Divide: Rural areas, often with less access to charging infrastructure and public transportation, might not benefit equally from the subsidies compared to urban centers.
The image shows an urban street scene with a modern black car driving away from the viewpoint. Tall commercial buildings line the street, and a mix of architectural styles can be seen in the skyline. The overcast sky suggests a typical busy day in a city environment.


The subsidy program for electric cars in Germany in 2023/24 reflects the country's commitment to sustainable mobility. While challenges exist, the benefits, including lower operating costs and reduced emissions, make EVs an attractive option for many drivers. The continuous improvement in EV technology and infrastructure, coupled with government incentives, is set to shape the future of mobility in Germany.


Who is eligible for the EV subsidy in Germany?

Private individuals, companies, foundations, and associations are eligible, excluding certain government entities and auto manufacturers involved in the subsidy's financing.

What types of electric vehicles are eligible for the subsidy?

Purely electrically powered vehicles, fuel cell vehicles, and externally chargeable hybrid electric vehicles (plug-in hybrids) are eligible.

How much is the subsidy for electric cars in Germany?

The subsidy amount varies based on the vehicle type, purchase or leasing, base price, and holding period, with up to €6,000 available for certain vehicles.

What documents are required to apply for the subsidy?

Documents include invoices for purchases, leasing contracts, declarations of truthful information, and, for used vehicles, proof of the list price and mileage.

How do I apply for the EV subsidy in Germany?

Applications are submitted online through the BAFA portal, with all necessary supporting documents attached.

cardino logo
Sign up to our Newsletter and stay informed about the EV world!
Thank you, you've signed up successfully!
Oops! Please enter a valid email address and confirm the privacy policy.

Do you have a question? We're amped to help!

Give us a call or send a message via contact form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Get quick answers

Frequently asked questions

Get quick answers

View FAQ

Send a message

Contact form

Send a message

Contact form