BERLIN, July 4 (Xinhua) — Production of electric cars in Germany is set to be lower than previously forecast this year, due to the “currently weaker than expected development in demand for electric cars,” said the country’s Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) this week.

Around 1.33 million electric cars are expected to be manufactured in Germany in 2024, only 5 percent more than in the previous year, the VDA said on Wednesday. At the start of the year, the association expected an increase of 16 percent.

Purely battery electric vehicles in particular are selling less well than expected, while the forecast for domestic production of plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) remains unchanged.

In June, Germany exported 275,800 new passenger cars, a decline of 5 percent. Demand on the domestic market remained weak, “mainly due to the abrupt end of funding by the federal government and the weak overall economic development,” VDA said.

The government decided to phase out aid of up to 4,500 euros for purchasing an electric car at the end of last year.

Since 2016, a total of around 10 billion euros have been paid out for around 2.1 million electric vehicles as part of the program. “This has decisively advanced electromobility in Germany,” the government said.

Meanwhile, Germany’s car industry is concerned over EU’s announcement on Thursday that it will introduce provisional tariffs on EVs from China.

VDA also opposes the tariffs against China. “Countervailing duties on electric cars imported from China are not suitable for strengthening the competitiveness of the European automotive industry,” VDA President Hildegard Mueller said. “The German automotive industry is committed to free and fair trade,” Mueller added. (1 euro = 1.08 U.S. dollar)