Only eight per cent of new vehicles registered in Malaga are electric or hybrid

Two Tesla vehicles, at a charging point in China.
Two Tesla vehicles, at a charging point in China. / EFE
  • The low sales figures reflect a sector which is accusing the government of causing "uncertainty" through its climate change plans

Of the nearly 30,000 vehicles registered in the province in the first ten months of this year (29,826), only 53 were electric. If the statistics provided by the dealers' federation Faconauto, from data from the Traffic Department, were to include other alternatives to petrol and diesel, such as the diesel/electric hybrids, those that use compressed natural gas, petrol/electric, plug-in petrol/electric and petrol/gas, the figure would still not reach eight per cent.

"There is not much choice of electric vehicles available and the price is a major problem, but another factor is that most models also have very limited autonomy," says Carlos Oliva, the president of the Malaga Automotive Association (AMA), who says the announcements made by the Ministry of Energy Transition are just "playing to the gallery".

"In countries like Norway half of all cars sold nowadays are electric. We are light years away here, because we don't even have enough charging points," he says.

In sectors like cargo transport, the implantation of 100 per cent electric vehicles "is a completely ridiculous idea," says the head of Malaga firm Acotral, Borja de Torres. "We have an alternative like natural gas which many companies are starting to use on a trial basis, and I have no doubt that it will be the bridge between diesel and other alternatives of the future," he says.

With regard to motor manufacturers in Spain the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, says these are "lagging a long way behind" in terms of the production of electric cars, with only four models available. She has announced measures to boost the manufacture of electric vehicles, and promised to give "certainty" and "legal security" to the sector through a working group "which will focus on competitivity and sustainability".

Meanwhile, the Spanish Retail Fuel Vendors Group (Aevecar) does not agree with the government making it obligatory to incorporate charging points for electric vehicles at filling stations, because "it is an investment whch is not going to pay off", says the general secretary, Víctor García Nebreda.

However, Antonio Ariza, the president of the Professional Association of Electrical Installers of Malaga (Apiema), says the lack of apparent interest in electric vehicles is due to the fact that there are not enough charging points in the streets.

"We have asked the mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre, to provide us with land for two charging points, one near our offices in the Calle Babel area, and the other near the Materno hospital, in Arroyo de los Ángeles. They will be free to use, thanks to the national federation Fenie, with whom we are associated, and its own electricity sales company, and there will be no cost to the town hall. The president of the provincial government, Elías Bendodo, has also asked Apiema for an expansion plan for the province, a type of route map for charging points. Other big cities like Valencia, Mallorca and Madrid are doing the same. And in the province we are very advanced with three charging points in Rincón de la Victoria. At one time Malaga was a pioneer with its 'Zem2All' programme, but it has been left behind now," he says.

Ariza says the future of mobility is undoubtedly going to be 100 per cent electric, and that means we need public charging points. They are nothing more than a socket, and can be installed by any electrician.

"We are working with the Junta de Andalucía on this, because it is vital. Generally at a national level it is working well. Fenie already has more than 2,500 charging points in Spain, but the lack of them in the streets is a serious problem," he says.