BERLIN (Reuters) – A German government agency has removed Tesla from the list of electric cars eligible for subsidies, sparking a row with the U.S. company over whether its Model S is too expensive to qualify for the scheme.
Tesla customers cannot order the Model S base version without extra features that pushed the car above the 60,000 euro ($71,500) price limit, a spokesman for the German Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Controls (BAFA) said on Friday.
Germany last year launched the incentive scheme worth about 1 billion euros, partly financed by the German car industry, to boost electric car usage. A price cap was included to exempt premium models.
“This is a completely false accusation. Anyone in Germany can order a Tesla Model S base version without the comfort package, and we have delivered such cars to customers,” Tesla said in a statement.
The carmaker said the upper price limit was initially set by the German government to exclude Tesla, but later a compromise was reached “that allows Tesla to sell a low option vehicle that qualifies for the incentive and customers can subsequently upgrade if they wish.”
It said, however, it would investigate whether any car buyers were denied the no-frills version.
”If a sales person told a customer they could not buy the Model S base version without the comfort package, this is not accurate and clearly outside our policies and procedures and we will investigate and take appropriate…