Mobility Portal, Spain
Date: December 6, 2023
Inés Platini
By Inés Platini
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ACCIONA Energía expands its charging network: “Focused on meeting all customer needs”

José Ramón Ricoy, Director of the Charging Business Unit at ACCIONA Energía, outlines the company's objectives to democratize the use of electric vehicles, emphasizing the need to eliminate bureaucratic barriers.
José Ramón Ricoy, Director of the Charging Business Unit at ACCIONA Energía.
José Ramón Ricoy, Director of the Charging Business Unit at ACCIONA Energía.

Currently, Spain has more than 27,400 installed charging points, and ACCIONA Energía plans to secure a significant market share in the charging infrastructure.

“We are deploying a charging network focused on meeting all customer needs,” states José Ramón Ricoy, Director of the Charging Business Unit.

During the “Investment Forum,” organized by Mobility Portal Group, Ricoy highlighted plans to include both fast and ultra-fast charging on highways.

They also aim to cover urban locations, including options for slow charging.

Their goal is to “democratize the use of electric vehicles.”

To achieve this, they focus on selecting the best locations, offering a quality service tailored to the specific needs of each user.

Currently, ACCIONA Energía has approximately 1,500 operational charging points, not including those provided through other operators.

“In this regard, we offer a total of more than 4,000 charging points through our system,” he points out.

ACCIONA Energía EV charging hub.

ACCIONA Energía: Key points for standing out in the sector

The company covers everything from installation, management, operation, and maintenance of comprehensive charging infrastructures to the management of existing networks.

One of the firm’s strengths is its connection with renewable energies, an area in which ACCIONA Energía has been a pioneer.

The company’s entry into the electric vehicle charging market began in late 2021.

“From the beginning, we were clear that we had to invest in high-quality equipment,” emphasizes Ricoy.

Therefore, the company collaborates with top-tier manufacturers to provide reliable, efficient, and, above all, durable equipment.

Bidirectional charging network by ACCIONA Energía.

“We work with manufacturers that guarantee software updates, spare parts supply, among other services, over many years,” he explains.

Not only that, the company is also exploring bidirectional charging, a modality not yet widely observed in Spain but, as he points out, “will have its place in the future.”

ACCIONA Energía has implemented the Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) project in the Balearic Islands, the first bidirectional charging network for electric vehicles operating in the country.

This allows retrieving electricity stored in vehicle batteries, either for self-consumption or for injection back into the power system.

It is noteworthy that the entire ecosystem associated with this project is entirely renewable.

At this location, they already have 16 chargers in operation.

The funding for this project has been possible thanks to public support provided under the framework of the Plan MOVES Proyectos Singulares II.

“Barriers need to be removed”

At this point, Ricoy maintains that he hopes to see improvements in the subsidies provided by the government.

Mainly considering the more than 27,000 installed charging points in the country, in contrast to an estimated average usage of 6%, according to figures published by AEDIVE.

“If the charging network does not grow faster, it is not due to a lack of effort by operators but due to obstacles related to permits,” he insists.

In March of this year, the Official State Gazette published the Responsible Declaration to regulate the installation of charging points exceeding 100 kW.

The measure aimed to streamline the authorization process, with deadlines ranging from 24 to 36 months.

However, seven months later, waiting times persist, extending to over a year.

Another factor delaying the commissioning of charging points is related to the electrical supply provided by distributors.

Each installation requires a process with the distribution company, which can only begin once the installation is complete and approved by inspection.

After obtaining the technical-economic report, one must wait again to connect the infrastructure to the electrical grid.

In this regard, the Director of the Charging Business Unit at ACCIONA Energía emphasizes, “All these procedures are very slow.”

Despite the current bureaucratic challenges, Ricoy points out that it is possible to travel throughout Spain using the available chargers.

The real lack lies in the need to educate society and, above all, to “ensure that the buyer accesses subsidies at the time of car purchase, not seven months or a year later.”

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