Mobility Portal, Spain
Date: July 2, 2024
By Ailén Pedrotti
Spain flag

New round of MOVES III and the eMobility sector reacts to government action

Last week, subsidies for the purchase of electric vehicles were once again in focus. The Government responded to long-standing sector requests with an extension of the Moves Plan, maintaining the already established terms and conditions. But... what are the opinions that accompany this announcement?
New round of MOVES III and the eMobility sector reacts to government action

After six months of waiting, repeated requests and even the resignation of Wayne Griffiths from the presidency of the Spanish Association of Automobile and Truck Manufacturers (ANFAC), new signals have been given regarding aid for the purchase of electric vehicles. 

Official announcements confirmed the extension of the MOVES III Plan until December 2024 with an additional 200 million euros to the general state budget.

In addition, funding extensions were made for other eligible initiatives:

  • MOVES Corridors with an additional 150 million euros, in the deployment of charging points in TN-T corridors.
  • MOVES Fleets with an additional 50 million euros.
  • Aid for the renewal of 100 per cent heavy electric vehicles with an additional 50 million euros.

The package of measures to support the productive sector, approved by the Council of Ministers in the last week of June, provides the first positive signal to the eMobility sector after a long period of uncertainty. 

Faced with this, the reactions of those who make up the electromobility value chain at a national level were not long in coming. 

What was the main reaction?

Mobility Portal España, in exclusive dialogue with Iñigo Trasmonte, Head of Marketing and Press of BYD Turismos for the country, receives the approval of the firm. 

“We positively value the continuity of the plan, since it is essential to avoid a sudden stop in the electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid market during the second half of the year.”

Iñigo Trasmonte (BYD Turismos Spain).

This action by the administration provides “much-needed” certainty to citizens and companies considering the purchase of a plug-in car.

And here’s a key fact: countries with strong incentives show higher adoption rates of zero-emission cars, according to a Eurostat study.

Currently, Spain has shown considerable progress in the adoption of electric vehicles.

It stands out with a fleet of 176,553 registered electric vehicles, but still lags behind the European leaders in the eMobility transition.

And by focusing on this panorama, Trasmonte highlights that the alignment of MOVES III incentives and personal income tax deduction.

With both measures on the table, it is possible to stimulate demand and consolidate the commitment to electric mobility at a local level.

But when continuing to analyze the European panorama, attention must be paid to the case of Germany.

One of the main players in the field of electromobility has already registered 1,438,103 zero-emission units, but despite this, the cessation of the issuance of aid has generated a slowdown in the local market share. 

Prior to the Government’s announcements, the sector feared that the local scenario could imitate these steps, but the extension of MOVES III has changed course. 

Tranquility reaches a large part of the sector, but the reality is that questions also enter the scene.

“Today’s news is not 100 per cent positive, because the extension is ultimately a kick in the ass. This is where the difference between being involved and committed is made,” says Ricard Puiggròs, an electromobility specialist. 

Ricard Puiggròs, specialist in electromobility.

To which he adds:

“The hen is involved today because she lays an egg and walks away.”

From their point of view, a hasty response is provided to a context that has already demanded action for some time. 

The context may have made the executive run, but the reality is that users and the private sector not only expected an extension in the useful life of the aid plan, but also an improvement in its bases and conditions. 

Spanish business associations’ perspective on the MOVES initiative

For their part, the employers’ associations have given their approval to the measures.

In a statement, GANVAM values ​​​​the continuity of the incentives, but has indicated to the Executive that if it really wants to turn electric vehicles into an affordable option, it is necessary to apply the MOVES to models that are at least 36 months old.

By including them in the plans, “more accessible electric mobility and a fair ecological transition would be guaranteed,” the association has defended.

Furthermore, it has been stressed that no citizen can be left out of decarbonization and connected mobility strategies for economic reasons.

Meeting between the Government of Pedro Sánchez and the Spanish employers’ associations in March 2023.

Sources from the ANFAC manufacturers’ association believe that this renewal is essential so that “the electricity market does not stop in the second half,” and remember that this aid coincides in time with the maintenance of the deduction of up to 3,000 euros in personal income tax.

And regarding MOVES III, they reiterate that “there is no budget problem, but rather a problem of agility and efficiency.”

The priority now will be to take advantage of these months to ensure that in 2025 “a system of buyer aid is maintained”, and in addition the client receives it directly at the time of purchase.

the Business Association for the Development and Promotion of Electric Mobility (AEDIVE) has not been left out of the announcements and in dialogue with this portal states: 

“We welcome the fact that the Government has activated an incentive package until the end of the year and eliminated uncertainties.”

It added: “The message is that there is a MOVES and that citizens can continue to opt for the electric vehicle as their purchasing option.”

What would have been the ideal future for MOVES?

Iñigo Trasmonte, Head of Marketing and Press for BYD Turismos in Spain, answers Mobility Portal España what the ideal equation is when considering an incentive model. 

“We need a more agile model, with the possibility of direct collection, with a greater provision of resources,” says the executive.

In this context, the speakers at the International Mobility Portal Summit also expressed their position on the matter. 

The common point? That MOVES aid is direct.

Why? “Because it is a pain to apply for them,” says Pablo de Regoyos, Head of SmartMobility Companies at Iberdrola, at the event organised by Mobility Portal España.

In this regard, he explains:

Pablo de Regoyos (Iberdrola).

“They give them to you on an incentive basis, which means that you must request them and until they are granted to you you cannot lift a finger.”

The projects submitted for this aid include both the acquisition of electric or fuel cell vehicles that replace combustion vehicles, and the development of charging infrastructure.

The files selected in the latest edition include the acquisition of 6,268 light vehicles (from mopeds to vans) and the installation of 1,333 chargers.

In total, the funds allocated for the three calls for proposals of the programme amount to more than 38 million euros , managed by the Institute for Energy Diversification and Savings (IDAE).

Urko Cantalapiedra, Chief Commercial and Marketing Officer at Veltium Smart Chargers, agrees in this regard.

Urko Cantalapiedra (Veltium Smart Chargers).

“If the aid were direct, adoption would probably be much faster,” he says.

As well as highlights:

“We should consider a simplified Moves for companies with an average of between nine and two employees, to further accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles.”

To this, the Iberdrola representative adds another additional modification that should be made to the program.

Currently, subsidies are distributed among all the Autonomous Communities and each one implements them as it deems appropriate, which represents a difficulty for companies.

In the last call for proposals, the autonomous communities with the highest number of proposals with a favourable record were Catalonia, with 36 awarded projects, Andalusia, with 32, and Madrid, with 28.

If a company has offices in four or five communities, it may encounter differences in the conditions for applying for subsidies. 

“In some cases, I may have the necessary funds to apply, while in others I may not. The procedures may vary. In one case, I may be asked to send a photo, while in another, I may not, among other possible requirements,” says Pablo de Regoyos.

Fernando Nevado (Fronius).

He adds: “I have put out to tender a service so that Iberdrola customers can request them, and the result is that around 70 per cent of the time is spent on this service to process the documentation, due to the complexity of the process.”

In this context, for companies it not only represents a challenge, but also a great risk and in many cases it is not profitable.

Meanwhile, Fernando Nevado, Technical Sales Advisor at Fronius, suggests an additional change, which consists of linking this aid with the production of renewable energy, “so that these projects are technically and economically viable.”

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Guillermo Lopez Arias (Kempower).

Given the lack of modification in the bases and conditions, the orders from that time remain in force. 

Guillermo López Arias , Head of Sales at Kempower Iberia & LATAM, points out: “This instability slows down investments a little.”

The budget managed by IDAE for these was 400 million euros, which was later increased to 1.2 billion.

Therefore, Fernando León, Mobility and Electrification Specialist at KIA Spain, highlights that at a European level, these are at a “medium-high” level in terms of their amount.

“But if no one accepts them and no one is bidding on them, then the main problem lies in an unnecessary level of bureaucracy that could be solved directly by changes in taxation, such as eliminating VAT,” he says.

Fernando Leon (KIA Spain).

These changes are essential, especially in aid for individuals and small businesses, since it is not as easy for them to invest in a car as it can be for a large company.

In summary, what would need to be done to make the Moves ecosystem work better?

“That they be direct, with the same rules throughout Spain and that sanctioning regimes be established,” says Pablo de Regoyos.

Relive all the panels from the International Mobility Portal Summit:

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