Instead of being a role model, the German example in Greece serves as a model for ridicule. “Germany: The dream of selling 15 million electric cars by 2030 is unattainable,” headlines the automotive magazine Auto-Triti on February 5. “Germany: the dream of electric vehicles is fading,” one of the largest Greek news portals, “in.gr,” wrote two days earlier.
Greece: 8,000 euros subsidy for electric cars and cheap electricity prices
The abrupt elimination of German purchase premiums is discussed in all relevant articles. Greece is taking a completely different approach: it was not until December that the current financing program for electric mobility was extended until April 30. There is a subsidy of up to 8,000 euros for electric cars and up to 800 euros for electric bicycles.
Financing opportunities also apply to commercial vehicles. Even demo cars with temporary registration at dealerships can receive state subsidies of up to 8,000 euros each. Purchases of subsidized vehicles must be accredited within 45 days following the positive official resolution, providing proof of the order. There are a total of eight months left for its approval, with which the Greek State is reacting to the bottlenecks in the supply of the sector.
The number of electric car registrations continues to increase. What is also crucial for the attractiveness of electric vehicles in Greece is the price of electricity.
Minister of Energy assures that high electricity prices do not reach consumers
Greece has the second highest electricity exchange price in Europe. However, this does not sit well with Greek consumers. By contrast, for basic supply, the largest electricity supplier, the Public Power Company (PPC), offers prices starting at 10.32 cents/kWh for nighttime electricity. Daily consumption costs 12.8 cents/kWh if consumption is less than 500 kW per month. If more electricity is used, 13.76 cents/kWh must be paid.
Medium-sized companies can calculate with an industrial electricity price of 15.48 cents/kWh. Farmers have a nominal electricity price of 15.2 cents/kWh, but receive a 10 percent discount on the price granted by the government from May to September. Farmers can save even more, namely up to 30 percent, guaranteed by the State for ten years, if they decide, individually or in cooperatives, to install photovoltaic systems with state support.
Energy Minister Theodoros Skylakakis has regulated the electricity market more transparently from the beginning of 2024, despite resistance from electricity companies, through a ministerial decision. Previously, the Greek government had cushioned most of the crisis-related energy price increases with a curb on the price of electricity.
The VAT rate for electricity in Greece is six percent (the maximum VAT rate in Hellas is 24 percent). In Greece, taxes on electricity, as well as the tax on natural gas, are being abolished in favor of lower consumer prices.
Greece is ahead of the traffic light in the energy transition
Gas and diesel prices in Greece, like fuel prices, are at a higher level than in Germany. Heat pumps are more attractive compared to the situation in Germany, especially since installing a heat pump for a single-family home with connection to radiators is much cheaper, with a price starting from just under 5,500 euros.
In Greece, financing programs for solar roofs continue, while in Germany financing is uncertain due to the budget ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court.
The economically liberal Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is a member of the EPP through his New Democracy party and is therefore friends with opposition leader Friedrich Merz. When Mitsotakis took office in the summer of 2019, he put the energy transition, which until then had been largely unused due to the effects of the 2010 national bankruptcy, at the top of his agenda.
Its balance is impressive: in 2018, 21.58 percent of the electricity consumed in Greece was covered by renewable energy. Through the constant expansion of the use of wind energy,
In the case of photovoltaics and hydropower, this value increased to an impressive 57 percent in 2023.
For comparison: In the electricity mix of the Federal Republic, renewables were just below 55 percent in 2023. When the traffic light government took office in 2021, the share of renewables in the electricity mix in Germany was 42.4 percent. At that time, Mitsotaki's government was still lagging behind by 35.9 percent. Now the traffic light has passed, so people in Greece are proud of this achievement.
Greek media consumers learn outlook for Germany is bleak
This is reflected in media reports in Greece. Articles about economic bankruptcies of companies in Germany now appear in business news in places where German successes were talked about a few years ago.
Greek media consumers are told the outlook is bleak. “Germany: Markets are betting that Germany will not recover soon. “Approximately 15 percent of companies in Germany are in difficulty, the highest rate in Europe,” the economic magazine “Oikonomikos Taxydromos” headlined last Friday.