Any German seeking convey their national pride in their choice of vehicle should have absolutely no shortage of choices. With their many world renown luxury brands which offer an overwhelming amount of models, any elected official should be able to find their needs and wants from one of them. And while the country itself has invested heavily in their auto manufacturing industry, it has become almost an unwritten rule that all elected officials should be driving one. However, one environment minister has other thoughts. Johannes Remmel, environment minister for the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia recently took the delivery of a Tesla Model S for his use as his official car.
This news has been absolutely controversial according to German newspaper Bild. Mostly due to the fact that all elected officials are expected and do drive German cars. But as Remmel announced, no domestic manufacturer offered a car that met his expectation and demands. Remmel wanted an electric car, for obvious reasons being the environment minister, and he stated that only the Model S had the specifications and driving range which allowed him to travel his state easily. The Model S can achieve roughly 430 km on a full charge while a similar luxury German electric car, the BMW i3 2017 model can only achieve 300km on a full charge. The controversy doesn't end there, as people are outraged due to the price of the Model S, which is reported to have costed 110,430 euros ($115,000 USD).
The price tag indicates that Remmel purchased a higher-end model since Tesla recently had restructured their pricing to ensure some versions of the Model S started below 60,000 euros ($64,000 USD). The reason for the shift is because the regulation for electric car incentives passed last year do not apply to vehicles surpassing that amount. Owners of lower-priced electric cars can qualify for a 4000 euro ($4280 USD) rebate under that regulation. As electric car market starts to establish itself, many countries are starting to regulate how incentives are targeted. For example, California has income caps for its electric car manufacturers, so their hopes are more of that incentive money will be directed towards the consumer where a purchase rebate could make or break the deal in buying an electric car. German luxury brands Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche all have announced plans for high-end, long range luxury electric cars over the next few years. Hopefully, next time when Remmel buys a new car, he does not have to stir up the hornet's nest for an electric car.