Spain is revving up its green credentials with a plan to encourage electric cars. It wants to see a quarter of a million of them on its roads by 2014, investing 590 million euros in public funds.
Lower off-peak power rates and recharging points in homes, car parks and motorways are on the cards.
One recent convert said: “A hundred kilometres in this costs one and a half euros, compared to eight euros of petrol for a normal car, so you save a lot. You could say this kind of car pays for itself.”
The socialist government has announced a 20 percent subsidy for electric car purchases, with a 6,000 euro ceiling. The prime minister unveiled the plan within the context of the economic crisis. Spain is one of the EU countries hardest hit.
Getting state ministries, major car makers, energy companies and infrastructure groups in on the act,
Prime Minister José Luis Rodrigues Zapatero said: “Projects like this generate confidence, innovation, activity and the competitiveness of a country which has the ability to return to growth, in order to be competitive in the world and get back on the path to economic recovery as we so want to do.”
Of the target number of new electric cars, 85 percent are expected to belong to commercial fleets and 15 percent to private owners.