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Hartmut Rauen , deputy managing director of the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), fears that the premiums will cause “damages to the market economy”, as taxpayer’s money is being wasted to secure a market niche. The ‘collateral damage’ is high, continues Rauen, as the premium benefits buyers who could afford electric and hybrid cars without it. He advocates investing the money in research and development that is open to any technology rather than in premiums.

Since the manufacturers are expected to contribute half of the subsidy, the e-car startup e.GO Mobile even sees its very existence threatened by the premium. Founder and CEO, Professor Günther Schuh told the Cologne newspaper “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger” that his company would have to raise prices in order to finance its contribution – and that this could have consequences. Unlike big car manufacturers, he cannot “take the money from the sale of combustion-powered cars”.