Spanish investments in electric vehicle

01.03.2011 By: TRANSFER based on Spanish Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade

Following the intention pronounced during the Spanish EU presidency to introduce the electric car on the Spanish market within the first six months of 2011, Miguel Sebastián, the minister of Industry, Tourism and Trade government recently announced that the government will make available/reserve 255 million euros in the next two years.

Of this total amount, about 80 million euro will be reserved for subsidizing the purchase of electric cars, up to 20% of the purchase price with a maximum subsidy of 6.000 euros per car. This subsidy is initially designed for Spanish cities with more than 50.000 inhabitants. Taking into account that the car accounts for 15% of the national transport with a total energy consumption of 36,2%, this sector is the most energy-consuming one in Spain.

It is no surprise that Spain declared to welcome the electric vehicle as a new model of energy efficiency in which manufacturers, regulators and energy companies have analyzed the opportunities and challenges posed by the introduction of vehicle electricity in urban environments, next to further integration of renewable energy and reduction of greenhouse gases. The ‘Plan de Activación del Ahorro y la Eficiencia Energética’ has to support the new model, starting by putting into circulation 2.000 EV’s and installing 546 charging stations in the cities of Madrid, Barcelona and Seville. Purpose of the plan is to save 87,9 million litres of oil and to reduce 238 million tons of CO2 emissions. In 2014 about one million environmentally-friendly vehicles should be circulating on the Spanish roads, among which 250.000 full hybrid or electric rechargeable vehicles.

With the announcement, Spain is realizing the plans as described in the support letter for the electrical vehicle, that was signed by France, Germany, Portugal and Spain in March of 2010, in which among others was insisted on including European standard methods for charging. Several Spanish working groups were formed by AENOR to start to create standardization and accreditation standards, rules and regulations concerning electric vehicles in order to create a framework for electric vehicles in line with what is being done at European level.

Studies of Red Electrica in Spain demonstrated that in 2014 about 2% of Spanish wind energy will be wasted because of a low use of nocturnal energy. A widespread introduction of electric vehicles could minimize this problem. The country could take advantage of the energy surplus, as the majority of electrical vehicles are being recharged during the night. If it is up to Spain, one can use the traditional telephone cells on the streets, to moderate and transform them into charging points for electric cars. Only Madrid already counts 1700 cells that are adjustable.

The first models to enter the Spanish market are the Ion of Peugeot and the i-MiEV of Mitsubishi. With all the electrical models being offered on the European market, it’s not odd that Spain has chosen for the first model. Today the Peugeot - Citroën (PSA) car plant at Vigo in Spain is the company's largest plant outside France. Besides that this PSA factory appears to be the largest employer in the region. But also Spanish manufacturer SEAT did not want to stay behind and introduced its new concept car, a fully electric vehicle called IBE. So far it is still only a concept, but sources expect the IBE with its new technology to become the next new model from SEAT that will be sold on the European market before 2014.