MADRID – Minutes after convening general elections for April 28, the Spanish government announces a €45 million ($51 million) subsidies program for the purchase of all-electric cars, light-commercial vehicles and motorcycles (both 2- and 4-wheeled).
The aid program, called MOVES (the Spanish acronym for Efficient and Sustainable Mobility), also applies to trucks and buses powered by natural gas. Hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles are not eligible for the subsidies.
The amount of aid will vary between €700 ($794) for motorcycles and €15,000 ($17,000) for trucks and buses powered by compressed or liquefied natural gas.
Purchases of electric cars and LCVs will be subsidized with government payouts of €5,000 ($5,670), while automakers, importers or dealers also must grant a minimum discount of €1,000 ($1,130) on each vehicle excluding motorcycles.
Consumers requesting aid toward the purchase of a car or LCV must scrap their existing vehicle if it is more than 10 years old.
The €45 million appropriated for the MOVES program includes subsidies of up to €100,000 ($113,000) for expanding EV charging infrastructure.
Spain’s autonomous communities are to distribute the MOVES subsidies but first must agree on how to share them. If no such agreement is reached by March 5, the program will not be enacted.
The Spanish auto sector considers MOVES a good starting point for future subsidies programs. But Mario Armero, executive vice president of ANFAC, the main association of Spanish automakers, says the country’s auto market needs €150 million ($170 million) in annual assistance to adequately incentivize EV sales.
Armero notes cars and LCVs powered by liquefied petroleum gas and natural compressed gas do not qualify for MOVES subsidies.
“In precedent aid programs for the purchase of cars powered by alternative energies, the Spanish governments had always taken into account cars propelled by those gases, now excluded in MOVES,” he says. “With such continuous criteria changes, automakers do not have the needed stability to make their investments profitable.”
The call for general elections suspends the processing of the “Climate Change and Ecological Transition Law” under which the Spanish central government aspired to be the first European government to ban vehicles powered by internal-combustion engines.
However, the autonomous government of the Balearic Islands, an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea, has independently banned the sale of new diesel-powered cars and motorcycles from 2025.