German EV bonus ended with immediate effect: smart Germany announces compensation solution

It was actually announced that from 2024 the subsidies in Germany for electric cars will be less than they were before. But the funding will continue in 2024. Meanwhile business vehicles have been excluded from subsidies for half a year or so already.


But now everything happened very quickly with the changes: On Thursday, December 14th, 2023, relatively concrete rumours were circulating that the subsidy for private electric vehicles could be completely canceled starting from January 1st, 2024. Today, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection announced that it had already decided on December 13, 2023 to end the subsidies for electric cars “in a timely manner”.

This is a reaction to a ruling by the German Federal Constitutional Court, as a result of which 60 billion euros will be withdrawn from the funding pot.


2023 smart times China - pre shop test



The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection announced in today's press release that only applications received up to and including December 17, 2023, i.e. tomorrow, Sunday, can be considered. The funding program will then be canceled without replacement. “Since 2016, a total of around 10 billion Euros have been paid out as part of the environmental bonus for around 2.1 million electric vehicles. The funding program has been very successful and has significantly advanced e-mobility in Germany,” the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection also added.



smart informs customers and provides security


All German smart customers will receive an email, which is already available to smart EMOTION, informing them of this situation. It explains the current situation and points out that customers can still submit their applications promptly, provided they already have all the relevant documents. It is important to note that they can only apply for funding after the vehicle has been registered and delivered.


smart #1 bei Sonnenaufgang



Accordingly, customers who have already ordered but have not yet had their smart #1 or #3 delivered are now left without funding. Although of course they had taken this into account when purchasing. smart contacts them with the information that a compensation solution will be developed for them.

Nobody has to worry that, due to this short-term change by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection, they will be stuck with a smart order that they can no longer afford.


Exact details about the compensation solution will be announced by smart next week. I will then update this article accordingly. So it's worth checking out this article again in the coming days for the latest details.



Update December 18, 2023


Now there is information from both smart and Mercedes about how they will deal with the environmental bonus in Germany.


For private smart #1 customers with registration until December 31, 2023, smart will cover the full subsidy valid for 2023. For private customers who have already ordered and are registered from January 1, 2023, smart will pay the environmental bonus originally announced for 2024.


Mercedes has also announced for smart fortwo customers that they will also cover the full environmental bonus for all vehicles registered this year.

Quote from Wolfgang Ufer, CEO smart Germany

We were surprised to see the sudden end of the environmental bonus for electric cars and consider the short notice to be unreasonable for our customers. We want to continue to enable sustainable mobility. We have therefore decided to take over the environmental bonus for orders until the end of the year and therefore offer our private customers the financial support that they have previously counted on.



Update January 15, 2024


In order to continue to promote e-mobility, smart has announced that it will extend the electric car bonus in Germany. Private customers who order a smart #1 or #3 from a dealer or online by February 29, 2024 will continue to receive the environmental bonus from smart. smart then takes over the €3,285 (including VAT) and effectively gives it directly as a discount on the cars, so that you don't have to apply for anything.


Quote from Wolfgang Ufer, CEO smart Germany


The loss of the environmental bonus for electric cars is a bitter setback for our customers and the electric car industry. That's why we're supporting our private customers with the smart environmental bonus at the beginning of 2024. This situation is a challenge for smart, especially since our vehicles already offer a very good price-performance ratio in their class thanks to high-quality standard equipment. We are taking on this challenge to further advance sustainable mobility.

Replies 5

  • That was very short notice. How much was the subsidy per car?

  • in 2023 you would get 4500€ for a car with a net retail price below 40.000€ and 3000€ for a car above that. Also the manufacturer would have to add half of that Amount as a rebate on top, or you would not be able to get it. So total savings for a 'small EV' was 6750€ and for a 'Big EV' (in the #1 case, the Brabus Variant was just above the threshold) 4500€


    For 2024 the plan was to reduce that overall to the 'Big EV' subsidies of 4500€, no matter what the retail price was.


    (there was a second net value, much higher, where the subsidies would effectively be zero, but the Smart is not even close to that value, so i am skipping it)

    The cutoff date of Dec 17th was for registering the car with the german equivalent of DLVA, not the date on the invoice or contract. So no chance in hell to get that in before the deadline after it was annunced. Registration turnaround in germany is 1-3 weeks...

  • That was a hell of a subsidy. No wonder electric cars were so popular there.

  • In my opinion they also would have been without it by now as well. But time will tell. The subsidiaries are available since 2018, but haven't been that much back then.

  • The price war is getting serious, smart is now also offering a €3,285 (including VAT) discount in Germany on all of their vehicles. Officially it is called an extension of the German environmental bonus and runs until February 29, 2024.


    This affects all orders from smart #1 and #3.

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