The German government has decided to offer a 4,000-euro cash incentive for new car buyers who choose electric. This comes after its 2009 incentive scheme for car buyers scrapping an older vehicle and represents another major coup for the car lobby. After all, what might appear to be a policy conceived with the environment in mind is, in fact, chiefly a case of those involved acting in self-interest. Were buyers to be offered an e-bike or a railcard, for instance, instead of a subsidy, it might be easier to believe that this is about a fundamental change in direction rather than about a change of mind that generates positive PR. But then, the car scrappage scheme was not primarily about reducing CO2 emissions, the car sharing initiatives promoted by the industry and the political establishment are not about genuine sharing, and the new incentive is not about electric vehicles per se. It is about protecting vested interests, about ensuring consumers respectively voters don’t even begin to think about alternative ideas – such as how we might actually reduce CO2 emissions or what qualitative improvements genuine sharing strategies and non-car-centred (battery-based) transport policies might bring.