March 27, 2019 / 7:19 AM / 3 months ago

German finance minister wants to extend electric car incentives

FILE PHOTO: Finance Minister Olaf Scholz addresses a news conference to present the budget plans for 2019 and the upcoming years in Berlin, Germany March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said he wants to extend tax incentives for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids for another decade.

Germany is trying to boost electric car sales in response to a diesel emissions cheating scandal that has engulfed the auto industry in the last three years.

Scholz told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily that German carmakers had invested billions of euros in electric mobility.

“We must accompany that with an expansion of the charging infrastructure and with tax measures,” he told the newspaper in the article published on Wednesday.

“I think it is important in terms of industrial policy that we extend our support program for electric battery vehicles and plug-in hybrids which are currently limited to 2021 for the whole of the next decade,” he said.

Government subsidy schemes have helped lift sales but even so, electric cars made up only about 1 percent of new car registrations last year, the KBA motor vehicle authority has said.

Volkswagen said earlier this month it would make an aggressive push to build electric cars and this would force it to cut jobs.

Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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