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Brussels has given the green light to one of the largest electromobility investments of recent years. On 9 December, the spanish government announced that the Strategic Project for the Economic Recovery and Transformation of Electric and Connected Vehicles (PERTE_VEC) was approved by the European Commission, which considered it proportionate to Spain’s needs, particularly because of how it will contribute to the recovery of the country’s automotive sector.

The plan will receive EUR 3 billion of Next Generation EU funds, although the government expects this measure to generate over EUR 24 billion in the period from 2021 to 2023, adding both public and private investments.

Increasing charging infrastructure to 110,000 facilities

It is estimated that the plan could offer a highly significant boost to the electric vehicle industry in Spain, as it is expected to expand charging infrastructure with up to 110,000 charging points in the country by 2023. In terms of vehicles, 250,000 all-electric registrations are expected within the same period, allowing electromobility to definitively take off in Spain. The measure could also result in 140,000 jobs in the automotive sector, and its contribution to Spain’s GDP would be between 1% and 1.7% of the country’s total.

The automotive industry is one of the most important economic sectors in Spain, not only in terms of jobs, but also because it is one of the main contributors to the trade balance. In fact, Spain is the second largest vehicle manufacturer in Europe and it ranks ninth worldwide. Overall, it represents 11% of total industry turnover, and is the fourth largest export sector, with 15% of total exports abroad.

A “necessary” commitment

The European Commission deemed the project put forward by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism a necessary commitment to facilitate investments in R&D and in environmental protection measures in the supply chain for electric and connected vehicles. “The project will help develop the electric vehicle chain and play an important role in the green and digital recovery of the Spanish economy,” said Commission Vice-President, Margrethe Vestager.

The Spanish Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, María Reyes Maroto, said that “this project is a historic opportunity to turn the manufacturer of electric and connected vehicles into a driving project that strengthens the automotive industry throughout the country.” She also stressed that “we have the industrial capacities and the leadership of companies to invest in the mobility of the future that will be more sustainable, digital, connected and safe.”

Public investment in the PERTE_VEC, approved in December, is complemented with grants from the MOVES Plan, the MOVES Programme for Unique Projects, the CDTI’s sustainable mobility technology programme, artificial technology and connected vehicles, amounting to EUR 4.3 billion. According to the Spanish government, this is a boost that could result in a total investment of EUR 24 billion.

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