By Laura Kemp • 16 June 2021 • 17:00
Image - Pixabay
The ruling left-wing coalition government is planning to use part of the 140 billion euros Spain will receive from the EU’s pandemic recovery plan to kickstart its electric car industry. European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, is due to meet Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, in Madrid today, June 16, whilst the country awaits the approval of its plan by Brussels.
Electric car owner in Spain, Daniel Sanchez, explains how he: “cannot imagine stopping at a gas station ever again,” the 41-year-old transport company owner said. “We feel like those people who got off a horse-drawn carriage and climbed into a car. There is no going back.” With a free charging station next to his home near Barcelona, Sanchez is one of the luckier owners of an electric car, ABC News reports.
Other Spaniards are not so enthusiastic, with a lack of places to plug in, in comparison to western and northern Europe, and the high price of electric cars has left Spain behind as the continent races to go greener.
However, the government now wants to put plans in place for this new shift. Spain’s Secretary of State for Industry, Raül Blanco, claims that the government aims to spend around 5 billion euros ($6 billion) over the next three years on its electric vehicle initiative.
Even though Spain produced 2.2 million trucks and cars last year, second only to Germany, only 140,000 of them were electric or hybrid according to the Spanish Association of Automobile and Truck Manufacturers (ANFAC).
“What we are doing is accelerating a change that is already taking place,” Blanco said. “This is a unique opportunity. The automakers are on board, and there are resources to carry out the investments.”
Spain, a leader in high-speed electric trains, wants to get 250,000 more electric vehicles on the road over the next two years, reducing C02 emissions by 450,000 tons, according to government projections.
“Spain can carry out these industrial activities with green energy,” Blanco said.“Compared to other countries of central and eastern Europe that still rely on fossil fuels, or other countries which use nuclear, Spain can rely on renewable energies since it has wind and solar.”
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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