The Tesla Model S is not eligible for the EV grant in Germany any longer as Tesla is suspected of subsidy fraud. The Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control investigates.
Never try to trick a German authority, or attempt to bend the rules even a little as it may have strict consequences once you are found out. This is the lesson Tesla is learning in Germany at the moment, where the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) has excluded the Model S from its list of plug-in vehicles eligible for subsidies. The 5,000 euro plug-in grant, also known as “Umweltbonus” (environment reward) applies to electric cars that cost no more than 60,000 euros net and it is this regulation Tesla wanted to outmaneuvre.
The investigation by BAFA reacts to allegations first made by Germany’s leading red top newspaper Bild. Its undercover reporters had tried to buy a Tesla Model S in the basis version as it is the only trim level that stays within the 60,000 euro limit.
It turned out however, that while Tesla had listed a version to that price, in reality it is not available. Too many essentials were missing that the EV maker had packaged as optional “extras” such as the rearview camera, park sensors, or lane keeping assistant. When asked by the journalists, a Tesla sales representative even admitted that said basis version only served to get the Umweltbonus.
The Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) responsible for handing out the incentive is now on the case. On its latest published list of cars eligible for the grant, Tesla is missing already though.
The EV maker had to react and has already agreed to an injunction and will not offer the basis version in that form any longer.
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