In these countries we have the same currency, but taxes and incentives vary from country to country. This leads to big price differences between countries.
For the sake of simplicity, I’ll use the example below, but the same line of thought can be applied to many more countries and electric cars like Nissan Leaf.
Citroen C-Zero and Peugeot iOn
The MiEV’s little brothers can be bought in Germany for 14.454 €. In this country there isn’t any government incentives and the VAT is 19 %. In Italy with 22 % VAT the same car in Citroen’s website costs 30.690,50 €. The difference in VAT doesn’t explain why the same car costs more than the double in one country.
There are countries like France where electric car buyers can benefit from government incentives up to 10.000 €. In France the VAT is 20 %, only 1 % more than Germany. But there, Citroen C-Zero costs 26.900 € and can drop to 16.900 € with the government incentive. What can we conclude from this? Even with the incentive paid with tax payers money, in France the C-Zero costs more than in Germany. This means that the automakers are taking money that should be used to make the electric car cheaper.
This is why I’m not a big fan of monetary government incentives to buy electric cars. When this happens, automakers just make electric cars prices artificially high so they can benefit from the incentives and keep the status quo. We are taking people’s money to finance private profits. I think that the California state CARB approach is much better. The government have to demand more electric cars from automakers, not asking please and pay a big price tag for it.
What do you think?