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Why is Spain not ready for electric cars?

Is Spain ready for electric cars? Although the government is promoting measures to push a renewal of the automobile fleet, it seems that Spain is not yet ready to welcome this type of automobile.

EU agreement to reduce CO2 by 2030

European Union reached an agreement last April to make Europe the “first climate continent” by 2050, said Ursula Von Der Leyen, president of European Commission.

The aim of the agreement is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030, compared to the base year 1990. Although this proposal still has to be approved by all member states and European legislature, it is scheduled to be implemented in 2027

On the other hand, European manufacturers, through European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), agree to comply with the rules of future European climate law if there is support for the deployment of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

This climate law, called Euro 7, will take effect in 2027 and, by then, all vehicles will have to emit less than 47g/km of CO2 and petrol and diesel cars less than 30 mg/km of NOX. This is a very radical measure considering that current emissions are: petrol 60 mg/km and diesel 80 mg/km. According to Motor.es spanish sources.

What is happening in Spanish car fleet?

The transport sector accounts for 25% of CO2 emissions in Spain, according to a report on climate change by the Spanish government. One of the government’s aims is to encourage more people to use electric vehicles in order to put the brakes on the growing environmental crisis.

“The transport sector accounts for 25% of CO2 emissions in Spain”.

According to Motor.es, in March 2021 sales of fully electric vehicles increased by 175.94% compared to the same quarter of the previous year. However, there are good reasons to believe that the Spanish car fleet is not yet ready for electric vehicles.

4 challenges the electric car will face

The government wants to reach 5 million electric car registrations by 2030. A difficult target to achieve according to Manel Montero, Managing Director of the Moure Group, as the sale of electric vehicles would have to increase by 70%.

The renewal of the Spanish car fleet is not going to be easy, despite the great efforts being made by the government to make this happen and thus meet the environmental objectives.

Despite the fact that, as mentioned above, sales of electric cars have increased significantly, not enough are being sold to meet the targets set by the Spanish government.

Below, we will explain 4 reasons why the electric car is going to have a hard time catching on in the Spanish market.

1. Lengthy and costly process

According to the DGT, 1,253,538 diesel and petrol vehicles were registered in 2020, compared to 36,948 electric cars. Despite the efforts of manufacturers to promote the purchase of electric vehicles, the average Spanish driver is still very attached to the conventional combustion car.

Spain is one of the European countries with the oldest average age of its car fleet. The health crisis has left its mark causing a global economic and socio-political crisis, which has resulted in chaos for Spain in the automotive sector as electric cars are much more expensive, at least 20%, and are not affordable for all budgets.

Until Spain recovers from the recent economic and health crisis, it will not be able to afford to renew the car fleet, especially as the trade-offs between the two types of cars are not yet profitable for the average citizen.

It is likely that in the coming years prices will fall and electric cars will become available for less, or even that a second-hand market will emerge. But the time is not yet ripe.

2. Spain is not a territory for electrics cars

Spain is the second most mountainous country in Europe and one of the hottest, which is not at all favourable for electric cars as it means more battery consumption.

Especially because the full recharge of an electric vehicle usually takes between 5 and 8 hours on average, which is much slower than that of a combustion car.

If a house or flat does not have private parking spaces, the owner of the electric car will have to travel to where there are charging points, such as petrol stations, offices or empty supermarkets at night.

3. Recharging infrastructures

The majority of the Spanish population lives vertically, i.e. in buildings, which means that a large proportion of Spanish citizens do not have a private parking space, but leave their cars on the street, which means that they are not eligible for cheap nightly rates and fast charging at petrol stations is much more expensive than for petrol and diesel.

Spain, in the 16 measures proposed by ANFAC, planned to promote the deployment of a network of publicly accessible electric charging infrastructures. By 2022 it wants to implement some 45,000 throughout the peninsula.

4. Electric car utopia

Despite the laws and measures that will be implemented in the coming years, electric cars will continue to pollute at a much lower rate than combustion cars, but, for now, they will not become zero carbon.

The minerals used to supply the batteries, the dismantling of wasted batteries, the construction and delivery of the vehicles to customers all involve significant CO2 emissions.

Currently, it is not possible to talk about alternative and renewable energy vehicles that are 0% polluting, but the accelerating environmental crisis is putting the automotive industry in the spotlight because of the high emissions it produces.

They are not yet ready, but they are preparing to meet governmental targets that will make our planet a better place.