FRANKFURT/BERLIN (Reuters) - Tesla TSLA.O buyers in Germany can apply for subsidies again because a government agency has ended its dispute with the U.S. carmaker over whether its Model S was too expensive to qualify for the incentives scheme.
An independent assessment proved that a base version of the Model S was available for less than the 60,000 euros ($74,000) baseline and the cars are thus eligible, the German Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Controls (BAFA) told Reuters.
Germany in 2016 launched the incentive scheme worth about 1 billion euros and partly financed by the German car industry to boost electric car usage but it includes a baseline to exempt premium models.
BAFA unexpectedly took Tesla’s vehicles off the list in December, saying customers could not order the Model S base version without extra features that pushed the car above the price limit.
Tesla denied at the time that the no-frills version was not available and said on Thursday a model was always available below the cut-off price.
BAFA said it was nonetheless reviewing previously approved applications for subsidies, which could mean that buyers may be asked to repay subsidies they have already received.
BAFA has received a total of 1,275 applications for subsidies of Tesla purchases, according to its website. It was not immediately clear how many of those were approved before the agency removed Tesla from its list in December.
Under the subsidy scheme, buyers get 4,000 euros off their all-electric vehicle purchase and 3,000 euros off plug-in hybrids.
($1 = 0.8127 euros)
Reporting by Maria Sheahan and Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg
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