As part of its 130 billion euro economic recovery plan in the wake of COVID-19, Germany will oblige all petrol stations to offer electric vehicle (EV) charging points and will invest 2.5 billion euros in the expansion of EV charging infrastructure. Also included in this plan is an increase in Germany’s EV purchase incentive by 6,000 euros to a total of up to 9,000 euros per vehicle, including a new 3,000 euro stipend to vehicle manufacturers. The French government has also made vehicle electrification a key part of its COVID-19 restart plan by increasing its existing incentives for EVs and related charging infrastructure, now offering up to 12,000 euros for new EV purchases.
These measures reflect the major European nations’ priority of putting their citizens back to work building the clean economy of the future. With sectors as crucial as energy and transportation in the course of a massive overhaul, these governments understand that this moment is an opportunity to invest resources in a way that targets multiple economic goals at once. The most effective recovery is one in which economies emerge from this slump even more prepared than they were before the crisis to meet non-COVID related challenges, such as climate change.
North American governments are presented with this same opportunity, as they make decisions around where to direct resources to ensure that their economies recover swiftly and comprehensibly. This is a chance to guide the “new normal” towards positive outcomes by accelerating trends that are already well underway. In the 2020-21 budget unveiled in early March, MKB’s home province of Quebec budgeted C$1.4 billion over the next six years for its “Roulez vert” program. We hope to see these programs expanded further and replicated in other North American jurisdictions as a central part of COVID-19 economic rehabilitation.
Author: Saul Muskin, Analyst @ MacKinnon, Bennett & Company Inc.
Image: Jan Kaluza
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