CO2 savings: GHG quota explained and provider comparison

GHG quota – the most important points in brief

GHG quota: The GHG stands for "greenhouse gas emissions". The specified greenhouse gas reduction quota is an attempt to reduce gases that are harmful to the climate, such as CO2. This particularly applies to oil companies, which have to adhere to certain values. Allowing electric cars to be counted: too many greenhouse gases are produced by traffic. Companies can reduce the GHG quota by crediting electric cars. The reason: Anyone who owns an electric car avoids greenhouse gases. THG premium: Fleet operators as well as private owners of electric cars can benefit from this. Providers award prizes between 250 and 360 euros annually (as of 11/2021). These amounts are expected to increase by 2030. These providers sell the certificates collected by the Federal Environment Agency for electric vehicles and saved CO2 to large companies, which thus meet the GHG quota and compensate for the pollutants emitted.

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Receive a GHG premium as an e-car owner – that's how it works

Thanks to the GHG quota, owners can easily earn money with their e-car. To do this, they have to register their vehicle with award providers in just a few steps. It is important, however, that this is a purely electric car. Unfortunately, plug-in hybrids are excluded from the premium (status: 11/2021).

Mediation platforms all proceed in a similar way:

Owners of a purely electric vehicle benefit from the GHG premium and can register with providers, who can prove that they are the vehicle owner with a vehicle registration certificate. Submit them to the mediation platform. In most cases, a photo taken with a smartphone is sufficient to register for the award. The provider submits the documents to the Federal Environment Agency. The legislator then issues a certificate for the emissions saved. After the check, it is clear whether the premium will be granted for the vehicle or not. The provider collects further certificates from several e-car owners and sells the certificates to companies that have to adhere to the greenhouse gas reduction quota in Germany. This makes fossil energy more expensive and promotes electromobility. Electric car owners receive their annual bonus after the certificates have been sold to companies. The payout varies between EUR 250 and EUR 360 (as of: 11/2021). Those who recruit friends for the program who also own an e-car can receive additional grants, depending on the platform and provider. Interested parties can receive between 25 and 50 euros for each additional application that is advertised.

Comparison of providers of e-car premiums for GHG quota

We show some providers and brokerage platforms where private users can secure annual premiums for their e-car. Since the premiums can only be paid out from 2022, there are differences in the information on the amount. The amounts vary from at least 250 euros to over 360 euros (as of 11/2021). With a listed platform, it is also relevant whether you are also an electricity customer with the provider.


Premium (as of: 11/2021)

Bonus options (as of: 11/2021)


352 euros

82.5 percent of the actual GHG quota


268 or 355 euros

Choice between a fixed price or a flex option at the best price


275 euros


Money for e-cars

250 euro



255 euros


Maingau energy

260 euros

only for e-car owners who are also electricity customers of Maingau Energie


300 Euro



250 euro


What is the GHG quota?

Companies that produce many climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions must reduce or offset them. The legal measure should be a goal for more climate protection and minimize harmful gases such as carbon dioxide.

The GHG quota stands for the greenhouse gas reduction quota. Companies are only allowed to reach certain limits without incurring penalties. The legislature, more precisely the Federal Environment Agency, also allows companies to offset their emissions by purchasing certificates. The aim is to reduce emissions overall.

With this measure, oil companies, for example, also promote electromobility at the same time, as the GHG bonus can be one of many incentives to switch to electromobility. In addition, petrol station operators, for example, are forced to expand electric charging stations in order to meet the quota.

What is the goal of the GHG quota?

The GHG quota (greenhouse gas quota) aims to reduce harmful greenhouse gases. The quota obligation applies to companies that have to minimize or offset the emissions of the fuels they market. These are primarily companies that sell diesel or gasoline. The resulting greenhouse gases are to be compensated. The quota is set as a percentage and increases every year.

Around a fifth of CO2 emissions can be traced back to the transport sector. In terms of climate protection, emissions in this area should only amount to 85 million tons per year by 2030. This corresponds to about half of the value in 1990. In addition to measures such as CO2 limits, vehicle tax or environmental bonuses, the greenhouse gas reduction quota should be another means of achieving the goals.

The quota of emissions that mineral oil companies have to reduce or offset is 6 percent, but should increase to up to 25 percent by 2030. If the quota is not met, companies will be asked to pay. Penalties are 600 euros per ton.

Further goals of the GHG quota are e.g. B that the volume of traffic is reduced, lower-emission modes of transport are increased and the switch to climate-friendly types of drive is promoted.

When will e-car owners start receiving the GHG premium?

From 2022, platforms can sell the emissions they have saved. The first payment of the premium to registered e-car owners is therefore likely to be possible as early as January 2022. However, some brokerage platforms expect around two months to process and sell, so a possible payout is assumed for March 2022. (As of: 11/2021)

In order for electric car owners to receive the bonus annually, they have to repeatedly submit the vehicle registration document to prove that they are still the owner of the electric vehicle. If the e-car is sold within the year of receiving the award, the payment does not have to be returned as a percentage, as it is a lump sum. In the case of a used car, it is relevant whether the previous owner has already applied for the premium for the year. In this case, the current vehicle owner can only apply for the GHG premium for the coming year. (As of: 11/2021)

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What is necessary for the GHG premium?

Those interested in the GHG premium only need to show that they are the owner of a purely electric vehicle. To do this, you must create your contact details and, if necessary, a user account with a provider, as well as submit the vehicle registration document. A scanned version or even a photo via smartphone is sufficient. The premium provider then submits the information to the Federal Environment Agency, which checks whether the vehicle is eligible for the premium and estimates a CO2 saving.

If this process is successful, the brokerage platform can sell the certificate to companies that have to meet the GHG quota. After completing the purchase, owners of an e-car receive the GHG premium, which is around 250 euros or more (as of 11/2021).

Since when can private e-car owners also receive a GHG premium?

What was previously only reserved for fleet operators is now also benefiting private e-car owners. Private e-car owners can offer saved amounts of CO2 on the market with the help of brokerage platforms. The advantage: The platforms serve as an interface between private individuals and oil companies and bundle the CO2 savings of several e-car owners and sell them to mineral oil companies and Co. The amount of CO2 saved by an electric vehicle is credited with around 2,000 kWh per year.

Brokerage platforms take on steps that private e-car owners and companies would be too time-consuming or would not be profitable to work alone. Because one individual approaches operators less and large companies avoid the effort of addressing individuals in order to collect CO2 savings. Platforms have therefore taken on the task of trading certificates for emission savings. Because multiple certificates are submitted and sold, brokerage platforms achieve wholesale prices. Practical, because the yield for the individual e-car owner is higher than working alone.

How high is the GHG premium for e-car owners?

The GHG premium is between 250 and 360 euros. How high it actually turns out depends on various factors. For example, each brokerage platform keeps free how much it retains from the sale of the emissions saved in the form of certificates itself as a kind of commission. In addition, the law that private CO2 savings through an e-vehicle may also be sold as a GHG quota will only come into force from January 1, 2022 (status: 11/2021).

In addition, the amount varies depending on the vehicle, as the CO2 savings can vary. In addition, the premium should increase over the years and can therefore not be fixed. Another big aspect is the development of the GHG quota market and how high the GHG quota price is. As usual, supply and demand apply. The GHG quota is currently between 250 and 350 euros, but it can also be higher and e.g. B. 385 euros per e-car (status: 11/2021).

Are brokerage platforms free for e-car owners?

Yes, brokerage platforms can be used free of charge. However, providers finance themselves through a percentage of the profit made after the sale of the GHG quota to mineral oil companies. Most brokerage platforms, however, handle this very transparently and communicate what percentage of the premium they are passing on to the individual owner of the e-car. In this way, they can estimate their maximum profit from the sale and compare different brokerage platforms before deciding on a provider. For example, the provider smartificate mentions 75 percent that they pass on to the electric car owner after the sale (status: 11/2021).

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Does the GHG premium have to be taxed?

As a rule, bonuses count as “income from other services” and are tax-free. The exemption limit is set at 255 euros. In contrast to an exemption, a profit of over 255 euros is fully taxable. However, since this is a payment that is only possible for private e-car owners from January 1, 2022, we advise you to ask a tax advisor about this in the special case of the GHG quota.

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