E-MOBILITY SPOTLIGHT: Spain’s regulatory environment to boost EV sales, charging infrastructure

Cem Bektas

27-Oct-2021

LONDON (ICIS)–Spain is expected to become a leading EU market for electric vehicle (EV) sales over the coming years , thanks to the country’s favourable regulatory environment.

Spain’s current EV sales figures are indicative of the country’s nascent electric mobility (e-mobility) market. Last year, the country recorded 851,000 passenger car sales, of which battery EVs accounted for 2.1% according to ICIS data – a low figure when compared with the likes of Germany and France, which averaged a 6.7% BEV share in 2020.

However, the country has started to make progress this year. The registration of 100% EVs of all kinds in Spain – including passenger cars, two wheels, commercial and industrial – grew by 24% in September 2021 compared with the same month last year, with 4,190 units sold, according to data from the Business Association for the Development and Promotion of Electric Mobility and the National Association of Vehicle Sellers (GANVAM). Spain targets five million EVs by 2030.

EV CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE

Like its EV sales, Spain has a lot of catching up to do with its charging infrastructure.

Mainland Spain has over 10,000 public access charging points, with the figure exceeding 11,800 taking into consideration other regions like the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands, according to data from the Spanish Association of Automobile and Truck Manufacturers (ANFAC).

However, Spain’s lack of EV charging infrastructure is made obvious when comparing with other EU countries. The Netherlands had over 64,000 public charging points last year, while Germany had over 37,000 EV charging points, according to the European Alternative Fuels Observatory (EAFO).

Last year, Spain only had 14 fast chargers per 100km of road – the third lowest among western European countries according to EAFO.

SUPPORT FROM CLIMATE GOALS

Spain’s National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) seeks to achieve fleet of five million electric vehicles by 2030, “including cars, vans, motorcycles and buses, as well as the use of advanced fuels”.

Within this framework, the total investment associated with the use of EVs will be approximately €132.4bn. The estimated public financial support to develop this measure will be in the line of €200m/year in the 2021-25 period, totalling €1bn.

Spain’s long-term climate goals will also provide support to the country’s NECP targets. The Law on Climate Change and Energy Transition, approved earlier this year, states that measures will be adopted to achieve a fleet of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles without direct CO2 emissions by 2050.

To guarantee the existence of sufficient electric recharging infrastructure in Spain, this law also introduces obligations to install electric charging infrastructures in service stations whose annual gasoline and diesel sales exceed 5m litres. This charging infrastructure must have a power equal to or greater than 150 kW or 50 kW depending on the volume of sales.

EU legislation will also help boost Spain’s EV sales and charging infrastructure this decade. The European Green Deal seeks to deploy 1m charging points across Europe by 2025 and at least 30 million zero-emission cars on European roads by 2030.

MOVES AND PERTE SCHEMES

Spain’s e-mobility market is also likely to be accelerated into maturity by other measures adopted by the Spanish government this year.

In April 2021, the Spanish government approved the Royal Decree regulating the bases of the third edition of the Programme of Incentives for Efficient and Sustainable Mobility (MOVES) in the framework of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan.

MOVES III will finance the purchase of EVs and plug-in hybrids, as well as the acquisition and installation of charging infrastructures for public access and for private use. The MOVES III budget, which may continue to be strengthened in future years, has a minimum allocation of €400m, expandable to at least €800m

In July 2021, Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez also presented the Strategic Project for the Recovery and Economic Transformation (PERTE) of Electric and Connected Vehicles, a project based on public-private partnership and focused on strengthening the value chains of the automotive industry.

The aim is to create the necessary ecosystem in Spain to develop and manufacture electric and grid-connected vehicles to turn the country into the European hub for e-mobility. The country is in a favourable position as Spain is the second largest vehicle manufacturer in Europe and the eighth largest in the world.

Together with these measures, the highly ambitious goal is to reach 250,000 registered electric vehicles and between 80,000-110,000 charging points across the network by 2023.

This story is part of a four-part series exploring the growth of the Spanish electric mobility market and its evolving position in Europe.

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