March 29, 2018 / 6:09 AM / a year ago

Tesla returned to German subsidies list, ending row

FRANKFURT, March 29 (Reuters) - A German government agency has agreed to offer car buyers subsidies for Tesla vehicles again, ending a dispute with the U.S. company over whether the Model S was too expensive to qualify for the scheme.

The German Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Controls (BAFA) said on its website it had returned Tesla to the list of electric cars eligible for subsidies on March 6.

The agency had taken the carmaker’s vehicles off the list in December, citing as the reason that customers could not order the Model S base version without extra features that pushed the car above the 60,000 euro ($74,000) price limit.

Tesla had denied at the time that no-frills versions of the Model S were not available.

Germany in 2016 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.

Under the subsidy scheme, buyers get 4,000 euros off their all-electric vehicle purchase and 3,000 euros off plug-in hybrids.

“The manufacturer proved with an independent assessment that a base version of the Model S is available on the market for less than 60,000 euros,” German daily newspaper Die Welt on Thursday quoted Bafa as saying.

It said, however, that the agency was reviewing previously approved applications for subsidies as it was unclear whether Tesla had stuck with the price limit in the past.

$1 = 0.8112 euros Reporting by Maria Sheahan Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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