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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Germany wants to put 2 billion euros into encouraging electric cars

German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel wants to commit two billion euros ($2.17 billion) to encourage more people to buy electric cars, the newspaper Die Zeit reported on Wednesday.

Buyers of electric cars would receive a subsidy from the government, the newspaper said, giving no further details.

Gabriel also wants to expand charging stations and encourage federal offices to use electric cars - an initiative that will be funded under the current German budget without tax increases, he said.

The German government aims to put one million electric cars on the roads by 2020. Among the country's carmakers, BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen now produce all-electric cars; Audi and Porsche have plans to build one.

Sales of electric cars totaled some 19,000 in 2014, but at the end of 2014 Germany had only 2,400 charging stations and around 100 fast-charging points.

Calls for supporting electric cars grew at the end of last year after the Volkswagen emissions scandal. Both Gabriel and his fellow Social Democrat Environment Minster Barbara Hendricks have called for a quota for electric cars.

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