SPAIN’S relationship with electric cars has so far been ambitious yet a little frustrating.
In the first quarter of 2016, Spain registered 1,055 new electric vehicles. This is the first time that numbers have risen above 1,000 and the growth from last year is 175 per cent due, in part, to the government subsidising purchases of these types of vehicles.
The provinces currently leading the table in electro-car sales are Madrid, which sold 563 such cars in 2015, and Catalonia, with 453 cars.
However, despite positive government policies that are paving the way for an electro-car friendly environment, there seems to be one critical factor that prevents the electro-mobile industry from rising to prominence on the Iberian Peninsula – the deficit of charger ports.
There are only 900 charging stations for electro-cars in the whole of Spain, a damningly poor amount compared to other European nations; Britain has nearly 6,000 charging ports, France has 6,580 and Norway has 5,218.
Market giants such as El Corte Ingles and Ikea, as well as some hotel chains, have now requested that the Ministry for Industry take action.
In an official request, the companies have asked that they are allowed to install special charger ports for electrical vehicles at their enterprises.
The request for permission to install this type of service has so far been unanswered by the ministry. The current laws and regulations governing the electricity sector are restrictive and it has been alleged that they work only in favour of big industry players, such as Endesa and Iberdrola.
The Spanish Government remains hopeful in its goal to multiply the number of electric cars on Spain’s roads; aiming to have 150,000 such vehicles by 2020.
This number composes only one per cent of all cars sold in the country, and the switch to using ecologically and environmentally friendly transport is progressing slowly.
However, it has been noted that Spanish drivers are now more likely to purchase cars with a hybrid engine. In April 2016 it was confirmed that 8,467 vehicles with hybrid engines were sold in Spain, which is 59.6 per cent more than in the same period last year.