Mobility Portal, Spain
Date: February 15, 2024
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By Mobility Portal

Iberdrola highlights the “need to invest” in charging infrastructure before advancing in the heavy-duty vehicle sector

Enrique Meroño Sierra from Iberdrola highlights that there will be 36,000 electric trucks in Spain by 2030. In this regard, he analyzes the challenges facing the country considering the AFIR. What is needed to face this fleet growth?

In light of new requirements from the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR), Enrique Meroño Sierra, Global Head of Quality at Iberdrola, anticipates the challenges it poses for the heavy-duty vehicle sector.

Enrique Meroño Sierra, Global Head of Quality at Iberdrola.

The recent demand from the regulatory association calls for the development of charging infrastructure ahead of the growth of existing fleets.

In this regard, during a webinar hosted by AVERE, the representative from Iberdrola acknowledges: “We have to invest ahead of need in these technologies, otherwise, the number of existing units won’t be able to grow.”

“These new requirements will represent significant challenges for industry players,” he adds.

It is worth noting that Spain is one of the main truck traffic markets within the European Union.

In this context, the spokesperson emphasizes, “By the year 2030, an estimated total of 36,000 units is projected for our country.”

While this number may seem “low” according to Meroño Sierra, the reality is that the necessary infrastructure for that time is not yet in place.

Thus, without prior investment, it is unlikely to be a viable move to electric vehicles for companies in the sector and truck operators.

Moreover, the representative from Iberdrola calls for a change in mindset, urging investment to lean towards excess rather than deficiency.

“By taking action in this direction, the consequences would decrease very much,” states Meroño Sierra.

Upcoming projects: Iberdrola plans to install 11,700 chargers

Last year, the Spanish company initiated a joint venture in collaboration with the firm bp.

This partnership between the two energy companies aims to deploy high-speed public charging infrastructure in Spain and Portugal.

A budget of one billion euros was allocated for the project.

Specifically, the goal is to install 11,700 fast and ultra-fast chargers by 2030.

Additionally, within the European region, the company recently announced a significant investment in the United Kingdom.

Through its subsidiary Scottish Power, it launched a tender for over six billion euros to strengthen the charging network.

The deployment outlined in the contract will take place over the next ten years in central and southern Scotland.

What does the future looks like in Spain for the year 2050?

During the presentation, the company representative highlights that between 1997 and 2007, there was a 61 percent growth in energy demand in the country. These figures reflect an annual increase of 6 percent.

In this context, he believes that, “Spain was able to successfully cope with this increase due to appropriate regulations.”

“Considering that the energy demanded by electric cars is much lower, there shouldn’t be any problem. However, to meet the demand, we need the right laws,” says Meroño Sierra.

But, what is needed for the future?

Looking ahead to 2050, the main goal in the sector is to achieve total electrification.

“To reach this goal, the energy grid must increase by 50 percent from its current state,” details the company spokesperson.

If we consider the previous development in the nation, this goal should not pose significant complications.

To achieve this plan, the annual increase until that date should be 1.5 per cent, a much lower figure than what was seen in the past.

However, Meroño Sierra emphasizes that “The real challenge lies in the economic aspect. An investment of 1.4 billion euros is required to cover this expansion by 2030.”

“50 percent of this amount will be for the reinforcement and extension of the electricity grids, while the other half will be allocated to the installation of charging points,” he adds.

It’s worth noting that, according to the latest Electromobility Barometer conducted by the Spanish Association of Automobile and Truck Manufacturers (ANFAC), the country has 25,180 charging points.

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