Spain announced its electric vehicle transformation as most countries are pushing towards zero carbon emission goals. Despite slow uptake in the industry, the country is adding this as a part of its major national spending program. The program is financed by European Union Recovery Funds.
Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sanchez announced that the government plan would include giving grants to companies to build battery plants, whole production chains and boost EV manufacturing. He added, “It is important for Spain to react and to anticipate this transformation in Europe’s automotive sector”. The government estimates that Spain’s private sector could contribute 19.7 billion euros in the coming three years.
Being Europe’s second-largest automaker after Germany, and the world’s eighth biggest, this is rather a late move towards electric vehicles. In January 2021, the International Council on Clean Transportation published a paper on challenges Spain will face with respect to infrastructure. By 2019, Spain had 46,000 registered electric vehicles among the 25 million passenger cars. And only 8,000 charging stations. Though it is more than Russia’s electric vehicle sector, Spain is one of the largest vehicle producers.
The new investment
Regardless, the country is making a huge investment and expects to reach 15%5 economic output by 2030, which is now at 10%. Furthermore, the new investment is to create 140,000 new jobs and boost the economy by 1% to 7%. Their plans include goals to have 250,000 registered electric vehicles by 2030. In 2020, only 18,000 EVs were registered in the country. Which was majorly hit by the pandemic.
Spain will receive around 70 billion euros from the EU to recover its economy by 2026. Out of which 13 billion euros will be spent on the electric vehicle sector. Volkswagen and Utility Iberdrola already formed an alliance to win the bid on receiving a slice of funds.
The funding is to include everything from giving funds to companies, mining, and manufacturing plants for both batteries and electric vehicles.
Challenges in Spain’s charging infrastructure
As mentioned in the paper by the International Council of Clean Transport, despite the country gaining an uptake initially in 2019, the pandemic hit and the progress slowed down. The government’s push towards electric vehicles would replace the current fuel vehicles in the coming years.
As per the research, the charging installation would increase from 43% to 46% by 2025. As the annual installation would decrease in the latter part of the decade, installing the charging stations now would make it possible for EVs to have sufficient charging stations. Also, the paper noted that the ratios for home chargers and non-home chargers are different. And commercial vehicles like trucks would need a different charging infrastructure, which would be a crucial part of electrifying Spain.