Spain connects to electric cars

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+ VIDEO. Madrid deploys its network of charging stations to promote eco-mobility.

The countdown begins. Spain has made a commitment to the European Union to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 26% in 2030 and by 80 to 95% by 2050. To achieve these objectives, far from simple, transport is a key element.

Among other measures, the country will have to change its car fleet and further develop its charging infrastructure. Beyond the price and autonomy of electric vehicles, it is imperative to extend the network of charging stations for eco-mobility to become a reality in the coming years.

To meet the targets set by the EU, Spain will need nearly 300,000 electric cars by 2020 and 11,000 fast and semi-fast charging stations, according to consulting firm Deloitte. Exponentially, it is estimated that there should be nearly 6 million electric vehicles and 50,000 charging stations by 2030.

Seize business opportunities

Today, the Spanish electric fleet has about 30,000 cars, and barely 4,000 public, private and corporate charging points, according to the most optimistic estimates. But although there is still some way to go, Spain is already on the move.

Large energy companies have embarked on the design of new charging infrastructure, to give electric vehicles more autonomy and seize the commercial opportunities that emerge from this market boosted by the acceleration of energetic transition.

Spanish power company Iberdrola, for example, is currently developing the country's largest fast-charging network for major motorways and highways, with an investment of more than 10 million euros ($ 11.5 million) . Within a year, she plans to install more than 200 fast and ultra fast charging points.

The project covers the country's six highways and three major highways (AP7, AP8 and AP66), and will run through all provincial capitals and public access points in the country's major cities.

"We are focusing on public access to fast charging stations, as electric cars must also become an option for long journeys"explains Iberdrola's smart solutions general manager, Raquel Blanco. The project plans to install a total of 25,000 public, private and corporate charging stations in the next four years. An individual will have to spend on average 700 euros if he wants to install a charging station at home, and 500 euros for a suitable outlet. "Electric energy costs 10 times less than gasoline, if the load is at home", adds Raquel Blanco. And it's 100% ecological.

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Electric car sales up 54%

Energy company Endesa plans to add 4,300 public charging stations to more than 1,500 charging stations already installed, 600 of which are public. The first phase of this project involves the installation of 700 stations under the European Interconnection Mechanism Program (EIM), 60% of which is near highways and the remaining 40% in cities across the country.

Ibil, half of which is owned by the oil company Repsol and the Energy Agency of the Basque Country, has 1,300 operating points at Repsol service stations, of which 200 are public. Although Spain is lagging behind other European countries, Ibil's managing director, Aitor Arzuaga, remains optimistic.

"From January to August 2018, sales of electric cars increased by 54% and those of vans and pick-ups by nearly 97%"he explains. Aitor Arzuaga is also involved in the European project E-VIA FLEX-E, a pilot network of 14 high-speed charging stations installed on several roads in Spain, France and Italy. He also coordinates the Cirve, which designates the Iberian infrastructure corridors for the fast charging of electric cars. This other European initiative seeks to install 40 multistandard charging stations along the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts.

Priority cities: Madrid and Barcelona

For less than 70 euros per month, Ibil offers a subscription to allow individuals to benefit from renewable energy, smart charging stations, maintenance and control of the system via a mobile application, technical support available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 7, and access to its public network.

Other companies have gone even further, publicly announcing their intention to install charging stations at no cost to Spanish municipalities. Factor Energía, a provider of electricity and natural gas, and Grupo Sifu, which offers its services to homeowners' associations, have signed an agreement to develop free infrastructure for residents. The agreement provides residents who want it the opportunity to install a charging station in their private parking and pay for their connection to the power grid in installments over two years. Factor Energía coordinates public subsidies for residents and local organizations.

The Managing Director of Factor Energía, Emilio Rousaud, emphasizes that the priority cities are for the moment Madrid and Barcelona. "Their local governments defend ecomobility. We have already started working with them and we plan to do the same with 1,300 cities in 2019, to install 2,400 charging stations. "

Special supplement of Les Echos

* This article is published as part of Solutions & Co, an international collaborative initiative bringing together 20 media from around the world highlighting how companies are tackling climate change. Les Echos are partners of the project.

By Marce Redondo

Cinco Dias