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Government to pump billions into electric cars

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Government to pump billions into electric cars
Photo: DPA
14:31 CEST+02:00
The German government is planning to give a massive financial boost to the research and development of electric cars, aiming to have 1 million on the road by 2020.

In the next two years alone, the German government plans to invest €1 billion in electric car research, the Welt am Sonntag newspaper reported on Sunday.

The plans include tax breaks for motorists with battery-driven cars, as well as "non-monetary" incentives like exclusive lanes and car-parks.

The German cabinet is to discuss the plans this Wednesday, and a government source told the newspaper, "There will be a very quick decision on the state support."

Germany's National Platform for Electromobility (NPE), in conjunction with various industry associations and Chancellor Angela Merkel's office, is to deliver its final report on Monday. This is expected to provide a clear timetable and a cost analysis for the introduction of electric cars in the country.

The government's target is to introduce a million battery-driven cars to Germany's roads by 2020.

The auto industry has said it is prepared to cover the majority of costs, but there has been harsh criticism of the use of taxpayer's money.

"I don't think it's a good idea when the state chooses some new technology that it happens to think is important, and then starts subsidizing certain products or technologies," said Wolfgang Franz, chairman of the German Council of Economic Experts.

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