Spanish EV grant scheme ‘lacks funds for success’

November 17, 2016

The Spanish government is set to launch a new incentive scheme for electric vehicles (EVs) in 2017, but the level of funding available has already been criticised.

Plan Movea helps with the purchase of electric and gas-powered cars, electric motorcycles and power-assisted bicycles as part of an environmental programme that runs until 2020.

The grant scheme, worth about €17 million, will provide €7 million for cars, €5 million for commercial vehicles and the rest for the installation of recharging points.

But critics say the level of funding is not enough, as it is the same as the 2016 scheme, which was over-subscribed in just three weeks.

With grants averaging €4,500, the scheme will fund fewer than 2,000 cars. In the year to the end of Q3 2016, Spain registered 2,500 EVs including plug-in hybrids.

The government points out that Plan Movea is just one of several incentive schemes. Companies can receive separate grants to cover up to 15% of the cost for renewing their fleets with more efficient vehicles and company car drivers receive tax discounts for choosing electric cars.

Cities can also provide grants to fund the installation of charging points and encourage companies to invest in low-emission vehicles.

Critics want to see VAT reductions for electric vehicles and a target of 12,000 new EV sales a year, equivalent to 1% of the market.

Marco Toro, director general of Nissan Spain, said: ‘There is much to do. There would have to be a comprehensive plan to favour the electric vehicle.’

The executive vice president of the Spanish vehicle manufacturers’ association Asociación Española de Fabricantes de Automóviles Turismos y Camiones (ANFAC), Mario Armero, plans to issue proposals before the end of 2016 on the future of the car market in Spain. These will include a strategy to boost sales of alternative fuel vehicles.

Armero said: ‘In the next five years the sector will change more than in the last 50 years. The automotive sector in this country is at a crossroads. We need an industrial policy that allows Spain to manage the transition to the new mobility scenario.’

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