In this way, you can earn money with your e-car on the side

Dusseldorf Anyone who buys an electric car not only benefits from a purchase bonus: From January 2022, one can even earn money with electric cars every year. Because private individuals and fleet operators save CO2 with electric cars. You can have these saved emissions credited to you in the future – and turn them into cash. But how does the new concept work – and what are the access conditions? The most important questions and answers.

The greenhouse gas reduction quota (GHG quota) regulates the extent to which mineral oil companies must also add emission-free fuels to their range of fossil fuel. This share is increasing every year: In May 2021, the Bundestag passed a law that gradually increases the GHG quota for fuels from the current six percent to 25 percent in 2030.

Emissions from traffic are to be reduced in the long term and climate-friendly types of drive to be promoted. Companies that do not meet the quota by using biofuels, green hydrogen or electricity for electric vehicles, i.e. mainly oil companies, are therefore obliged to support companies that are already working with renewable energies for transport. If they neither meet the required percentage of CO2 savings nor make the compensation payment, they face a fine.

Since it is often not possible for companies to reduce emissions independently, it is possible for them to trade GHG quotas with companies that bring low-emission fuels, for example electricity for electromobility, onto the market.

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People who invest in emission-free mobility should therefore be financially rewarded. From January 1, 2022, the group of eligible participants will be expanded to include owners of electric cars and charging station operators.

How can I register for the award?

To be able to register for quota trading, customers only need their contact details and the vehicle registration document. Currently, however, the premium can only be paid out to e-car owners, such as private individuals and fleet owners; hybrids and plug-in hybrids have so far been exempt from the regulation. E-charging station operators can also benefit from the GHG quota and trade with it. The charging station operators must also transmit the value of the converted kilowatt hours.

The companies then register with the Federal Environment Agency and have the electricity volumes and their emission reductions certified there. Once the subsequent quota trade has been concluded, the trade contracts are sent to the main customs office and the customer receives the quota proceeds – i.e. the premium – for their e-vehicles.

Why do I need a service company – is it not possible to apply as an individual?

It is entirely possible to register as an individual, but the path from application to payment of the bonus is far more complicated – and less lucrative. The reason: For large oil companies, the effort would be much higher if they had to buy the required quotas from individual people or companies.

They need a collective offer, for which they even pay a surcharge per ton of CO2. The start-ups bundle the GHG quotas of individual customers and sell them to the corporations. This means that customers receive a much higher premium than would be the case with trading with individual quotas.

In addition, the service-providing start-ups forward the bundled data and documents of the customers to the Federal Environment Agency and have the electricity quantities and their emission reductions certified there. In the background they trade the GHG quotas. Once the quota trade has been concluded, the trade contracts are sent to the main customs office and the customer receives the quota proceeds for his e-vehicles.

How do I find the right company?

The service start-ups include various offers from companies that specialize in private customers or e-fleet owners. At the same time, companies and private individuals can continue to do good for the climate directly with the bonus.

Start-up companies such as Fairnergy and GreenTrax offer customers the opportunity to continue investing their proceeds on a sustainable basis – for example in charging stations, infrastructure for renewables such as solar systems or as donations to the global south.

How high is the premium?

How high the cash bonus will be depends on the market price, but also on the business model of the company providing the service – and also on the vehicle and the electricity used. The premium for 2022 is currently around 250 to 300 euros per vehicle on average.

More: “We will be overrun”: These start-ups will soon be offering CO2 reduction bonuses to e-car owners

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