Mobility Portal, Spain
Date: June 17, 2024
Inés Platini
By Inés Platini
Spain flag

The “unfulfilled” promises of the Government that led Wayne Griffiths to resign from ANFAC

"In December, I renewed my position as president because the Government committed to being an ally of the sector," Griffiths announced in a statement. Below, Mobility Portal España compiles the main measures that, six months into the year, the Government has still not fulfilled.
The "unfulfilled" promises of the Government that led Wayne Griffiths to resign from ANFAC
Wayne Griffiths.

Over the past few months, Wayne Griffiths has repeatedly expressed his dissatisfaction with the government’s lack of promotion of electromobility.

Particularly, after President Pedro Sánchez committed in February, during the fourth edition of the Spanish Association of Automobile and Truck Manufacturers (ANFAC) Forum, to “redouble efforts, both in terms of support for aid plans and the promotion of charging infrastructure.”

Along these lines, a worker in the automotive sector tells Mobility Portal España: “His resignation should not surprise us given the lack of government support for the sector, a critical aspect that he himself has pointed out.”

The key points that generate uncertainty for the Executive President of Seat and Cupra are the completion of some of the main aid plans and the lack of news about their possible renewal.

The MOVES MITMA, aimed at the acquisition of low and zero emission industrial vehicles and buses, concluded on April 30. 

Since then, Spanish transporters do not have any support to decarbonize their fleets.

According to published figures, requests exceeded the allocated budget by approximately 80 million euros.

This demonstrates strong interest on the part of bus and truck operators in electrifying their fleets.

However, requests to scrap heavy vehicles under these subsidies amounted to 256.8 million euros, while those for the acquisition of low-emission cars totaled 214 million euros.

This suggests that aid has been used more to retire cars than to buy new ones.

Meanwhile, the MOVES III Plan, intended for the acquisition of electrified passenger cars and commercial vehicles, will end on July 31, and its funds are practically exhausted in most of the autonomous communities.

Therefore, the sector not only asks for its continuity, but also for improvements, such as the implementation of direct aid, more accessible acquisition conditions, among other measures, so that they are affordable for all Spaniards and promote the eMobility transition.

At the same time, in his resignation, Griffiths has highlighted the implementation of the PERTE VEC, in which “the association has played a key role in coordinating the distribution of funds” of phases I, II and III.

During the first ANFAC Forum held in April, Jordi Hereu, Minister of Industry and Tourism, expressed the support of the Government of Spain for one of the country’s main industries.

He has also emphasized the relevance of road transport, with a large territorial representation. 

“The decarbonization process does not only imply meeting the objectives of fighting climate change, but also not losing industry and strengthening it, accompanying it in its transformation,” said the Government representative in this sense. 

In this framework, the minister announced the PERTE VEC III, with an allocation of 500 million euros, which was published last month, and revealed that during the second semester the fourth edition of the program will be launched, with an allocation of 1,250 million of euros.

In this regard, Griffiths said in his letter: “In this time, our country has laid the foundations for the automobile industry of the future.” 

And he added: “Although we all agree that they could have worked better, the PERTE have contributed to large multinationals in the sector investing in Spain.” 

Not only this, but he also stated that ANFAC’s commitment to electrification and decarbonization is firm, and that, with the support of the Government and the regional authorities, it has been possible to begin the first phase of the transformation.

“However, I am disappointed with the political representatives of our country for their lack of commitment in recent months,” he insisted.

In the first half of this year, the market for electrified passenger cars has experienced stagnation.

Instead of accelerating, the market share between January and May 2024 stood at 10.5 per cent of the total, a figure lower than the same period of the previous year, which was 10.8 per cent.

In this sense, Griffiths points out that less than 4.5 per cent of the cars registered this year are 100 per cent electric, and only 5 per cent are plug-in hybrids.

“The goal for Spain to be above the 25 per cent share of electrified vehicles is further away now than it was a year ago. Instead of going forward, we go backwards,” she emphasizes.

At the same time, it ensures that the development policy of the public charging infrastructure network continues to be inadequate to achieve the coverage objectives required of the sector by European and Spanish regulations. 

In February, the President of the Government Pedro Sánchez closed the ANFAC event stating: “We must recognize the great effort of the sector in this new transformation. From the Government we will be at your side to turn Spain into the great hub of electromobility.”

The President of the Government at the last ANFAC forum last February.

However, according to the Executive President of Seat and Cupra, this has not happened.

“These measures have not arrived and that is why I am disappointed, because now it is time to accelerate, not slow down,” he maintains.

Regarding this, Jose Mª Duran Carasso, Managing Director at Chargeverse, tells Mobility Portal España: “We have a real problem and it is because of political inaction: they have no interest in unraveling the situation and seeing this type of vehicle grow.”

In this context, he cites Portugal as an example, since it is a country that is experiencing accelerated growth mainly thanks to its incentives.

While a representative of the sector adds: “This lag not only puts Spain’s competitiveness at risk compared to global leaders such as China and the United States, but also threatens severe economic impacts.”

“Without support, without concrete measures and without a real commitment from political representatives, as president of ANFAC, I can no longer contribute,” Griffiths concludes his resignation.

Separator Single Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *