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Germany, whose automotive industry is going all-in on EVs, has had to pay out six-and-a-half times more in electrified vehicle subsidies than it did in 2019.

The government paid out more than 652 million Euros in subsidies this year. By comparison, it paid out just 98 million in 2019. According to Reuters, these figures were obtained by the Reinische Post from the Federal Office for Economics and Export Control.

The newspaper reports that buyers have applied for a subsidy for a total of 229,951 vehicles. Although that’s a sharp increase from 2019’s 73,081, it doesn’t account for the full rise in Germany’s payouts. Indeed, increased funding for tax breaks for electrified vehicles introduced in July helped the payouts reach their 2020 heights.

Although the credits doubtless played a role in a number of Germans’ decision to buy electrified vehicles, a slew of new EVs, such as the VW ID.3, that were launched this year probably helped, too.

Read Also: China To Lower Subsidies For More Expensive Electric Cars

Increases in hybrid adoption outpaced increases in EV adoption, though. While the number of applications for EV subsidies rose from 51,000 to 126,000 (increasing by 250%) the number for hybrids skyrocketed from 22,000 to 103,000 (nearly 470%).

The German government is more than happy about the increase on EVs and hybrids and is confident that the number of electrified vehicles being purchased will only increase in 2021. Indeed, the new breaks for buyers will go on until at least 2025. Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier said: “In 2020 we made a significant leap forward in electromobility in Germany. The main reason for this was the introduction of the innovation bonus in July, with which the federal government doubled its funding for the purchase of an electric car.”

Meanwhile, the demand for new hybrids and EVs is being recognized by the industry. Volkswagen, for one, just announced that it will be installing 750 new charging points around Germany in 2021.

“We need significantly more charging points in Germany and Europe if electric vehicles are to establish themselves quickly,” said VW’s head of e-mobility, Thomas Ulbrich. “For that reason, all players from the fields of politics and industry must continue their efforts in the coming year.”


Despite the trade deal recently reached between the UK and the European Union, the British automotive industry has already suffered irreversible damage.

Before the deal was reached, Nissan opted against building the upcoming all-electric Ariya SUV in the UK, and two years ago ditched plans to build another SUV at its Northern England factory. Honda will also close its only factory in the UK and BMW has delayed work on a next-generation Mini platform and may ultimately decide to build future Mini models in Germany or China.

As part of the trade deal, petrol and diesel vehicles need to be made with at least 55 per cent local content to avoid tariffs. Additionally, EVs and hybrids will need 40 per cent local content, 10 per cent more than what the UK had sought, and until 2023, batteries can have as much as 70 per cent overseas content. However, from 2024-2026, batteries can only have 50 per cent overseas content while EVs and hybrids can have 55 per cent foreign content, Bloomberg reports.

Read Also: Brexit – Honda Ceases UK Production Due To Shortage Of Parts

Car manufacturers will need to make supplier changes moving forward while also making additional customs declarations, certifications, and audits that may encourage them to make investments elsewhere.

“This is still a thin deal with major implications and costs for automotive,” Birmingham Business School professor David Bailey said. “Much will depend on the degree of flexibility allowed and the degree of phasing in.”

The Nissan Leaf is one vehicle that may not have enough local content to avoid tariffs. Meanwhile, ICE and hybrid versions of the Toyota Corolla will qualify for tariff-free export to the European Union.

“The timings underscore the urgent need for government to create the conditions that will attract large-scale battery manufacturing to the U.K. and transform our supply chains,” chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, Mike Hawes added. “Improving the competitiveness of the U.K. will be essential to help mitigate the additional costs and burdens brought about by our new trading relationship.”

With the next generation expected in 2023 and the crossoverfication of the industry in full swing, you might worry about the little MINI hatchback. But there’s good news for fans of the model, as Bernd Korber, the brand’s boss, says it is safe.

In fact, Korber went so far as to compare the MINI hatchback to the Porsche 911. Speaking to Autocar, he said the hatch is central to the brand’s success.

“Don’t screw with an icon,” Korber told the outlet is MINI’s guiding principal. “The 911 has to be carefully developed over time because it’s what Porsche stands for.” And MINI thinks similarly about the hatchback. So, yes, MINI has had to expand its range with the Countryman and the Clubman, though that doesn’t take anything away from the importance of the hatch to the brand.

Also Read: Mini Confirms It’s Testing An All-Electric Mini John Cooper Works GP ‘Concept’

“What’s important is that the entire portfolio needs to have the DNA of MINI,” said Korber. “After more than 60 years, it’s necessary that MINI makes a bold step ahead, but it also has to stay true to its core, and that’s the three-door hatch.”

Anyone who’s afraid of change, though, may be alarmed by hearing Korber calling the next-gen MINI the biggest step in the last 20 years. Fortunately, the brand seems to understand that good steps need to be small enough for people to, you know, step up them.

“We’ll keep what is well known for being a MINI,” Oliver Heilmer, MINI’s design chief, told Autocar. “That’s not just design features but the proportions, compact feel, and friendly personality.”

According to a separate report from 2019, the MINI hatchback will shrink to leave room for a compact SUV marketed under the Traveller name. The change in dimensions won’t be dramatic, but, along with shorter overhands, should give the car an overall more compact look.