Wednesday, 27 September 2023, 12:46
The cost of public charging for electric vehicles in Spain is amongst the highest in Europe, which, together with the lack of control and monitoring of the efficiency of charging points that receive public subsidies, leads to under-utilisation of the network. Furthermore, the lack of interoperability, a mandatory requirement under the EU, is also making charging more expensive, according to the 3rd Report on Electric Mobility in Spain prepared by the Sustainability Observatory (OBS).
At the end of the first half of 2023, there were 25,106 public charging points (a year-on-year increase of 16.4%) and by the end of this year they should have quadrupled to reach the target of 100,000 points. However, their use remains very low at 5.7% on average compared to the number of registrations.
The report highlights the forthcoming launch of the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge's interactive map of charging points, although it indicates that this initiative should be extended to the entire public network, as currently around 80% of the Spanish infrastructure is not served.
Last year, investment in electric cars and charging infrastructure amounted to 410 billion dollars (384 billion euros) globally. In the first quarter of 2023, some 2.3 million electric vehicles were sold worldwide, around 25% more than in the same period last year, and the increase is expected to reach 35% by the end of the year.
In Europe one in five cars sold is electric and, in June, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) overtook the number of diesel vehicles sold for the first time. Even so, these vehicles represent only slightly more than 1% of all cars on the road in the EU and do not even account for 1% of the current national car fleet. As for plug-in hybrids, the data show that for the first time their market share in the EU fell, although in the case of Spain it increased by 51.7%. In terms of production, although the total volume of vehicles in Europe fell by 1.6% due to the collapse of the Russian and Ukrainian markets, the production of electric vehicles grew by 7.1%.
The OBS report notes that "the residual value of electric vehicles is currently close to zero" and there is no provision for a second life for batteries, such as using them for renewable energy storage. The study points out that "there is still a long way to go to achieve the objectives".
For example, the selling price of a new vehicle "continues to rise", with prices in Spain rising by more than 40% in the last five years. This is leading to almost twice as many used cars being sold in the country as new ones (1.9 million used cars in 2022), with the environmental and safety impact that this entails, and OBS expects this trend to continue. At the same time, the report notes the fact that the electric vehicles that sell the most are those with the highest prices, which at the same time are "not very efficient and more polluting".
Although the supply of electric vehicles is growing steadily, the study considers that the availability of alternatives on the market "is still insufficient". It also considers that detailed information on the full life-cycle cost of the vehicle should be made available to buyers.
As for leasing, it is positioning itself as "a facilitator of the change to zero-emission mobility", as vehicles powered by alternative energies account for 8.2% of the total leasing fleet (almost 70,000 vehicles). The report considers that there is still room for improvement in the efficiency of investments in this sector.
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