PHOTO CAPTION: Daimler's Dieter Zetsche with electric car prototype.

German Gov't Urged to Help Fund Electric Car Purchases

Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche wants direct purchase funding to keep German carmakers technologically competitive.

Published: 31-Jan-2011

BERLIN -- Dieter Zetsche, the head of car giant Daimler, said the German government needs to fund purchases of electric cars or risk sector leadership to move to France or China.

"If the German government really wants a leadership position for the German market, then it will have to introduce direct purchase funding," Zetsche told German business daily Handelsblatt. "If it decides against the funding, the government should not pursue its goal of making Germany a leading market."

The United States, France and Italy -- nations with powerful car sectors that vie for market share with their German competitors Daimler, Volkswagen and BMW, have already introduced purchase funding ranging from $5,000 to $9,000 per car. Even notoriously indebted Ireland is dishing out around $3,400 per each new electric car purchase. Berlin has been cool toward such purchase incentive models and has instead decided to fund research and development.


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