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There are already 32,422 public charging points, but the number that are not operational has increased by 11%

The lack of publicly accessible charging points and the price difference compared to combustion vehicles are two of the factors emerging as the main brake on the electrification of the automotive industry in Spain. And while progress is being made, with increasingly accessible vehicles and more refueling points for plug-in cars, the Electromobility Barometer for the first quarter of the year makes it clear that Spain continues to distance itself from the rest of Europe, at the tail end.

The data from the Anfac Manufacturers Association shows this: charging points have increased by 10% with 3,121 new ones during the first three months of the year, and throughout the territory a total of 32,422 charging points public access.

But on the negative side, non-operational installed points increased by 11%. There are 8,645 which, if operational, would increase the public charging network to 41,067 points.

The public charging infrastructure for electrified vehicles is also not developing at the desired pace. During the first three months of 2024, the charging infrastructure indicator receives a score of 7.6 out of 100. Although it improves by 0.9 points compared to the last edition of the Electromobility Barometer, the number of charging points taken out of service also increases by almost 900. with a total of 8,645. The Spanish charging network could be much better if the large number that are not currently operational were put into use, either because they are in poor condition, damaged or have not yet been able to connect to the electricity distribution network 41,067 public charging points installed in Spain .

Considering this data, Spain remains in penultimate place with a score of 7.6 at European level, surpassing only the Czech Republic (5.8) and Hungary (3.7). The European average grew by 1.6 points in the first quarter of the year, reaching 15.9 points.

At national level, the growth of the charging infrastructure indicator stands out in the autonomous communities at the top of the ranking: Castilla y León (+2), Catalonia (+1.4) and Cantabria (+1.7). Heterogeneous evolution is still observed per region, increasing the differences.

Lack of fast charging points

The ultra-fast charging network greater than or equal to 150 kW will grow in the first quarter with 578 new public charging points. Currently, Spain has 2,103 points of this capacity, which represents only 6.5% of the total network. The progress of this network is essential both to bring charging times closer to the refueling times of combustion vehicles and to facilitate the execution of the activity for freight or passenger vehicles.

Similarly, only 25% of public charging infrastructure in Spain corresponds to charging with a power of more than 22 kW. According to the targets estimated by the Anfac Manufacturers Association, 51% of charging points should have a capacity of more than 22 kW by 2024. For example, 75% of the total number of publicly accessible charging points have low power, which implies that there is minimal charging. times of 3 hours. In the first quarter of 2024, 1,758 charging points with a capacity of 22 kW or less were installed.

Global indicator

For his part, the global indicator for electromobility (which assesses the penetration of electrified vehicles and the installation of publicly accessible charging infrastructure) achieved an overall score of 14.7 points, a growth of six-tenths compared to the previous barometer. Yet Spain lags behind at European level: the European average is 28.2 points, double the national average.

Only four regions are growing above average (14.7): Madrid, Navarra, Catalonia and the Balearic Islands. This highlights the differences in electrification progress between different regions. Once again, Madrid and Navarre are the areas showing the greatest growth in the rankings, with increases of seven and six tenths respectively. This brings Madrid's final score to 21.8 points and Navarre's to 18.7.

Sales of electric cars are declining

During the first quarter of 2024, the penetration indicator for electrified vehicles has received a score of 21.7, which represents an increase of two tenths compared to the most recent data, which is stagnating after the growth in the last quarter of 2023. slowdown in the evolution of the registration of electrified vehicles has led to some regions registering a decrease compared to the previous quarter, such as the Balearic Islands, the Valencian Community, Aragon, La Rioja and Extremadura. On the contrary, the growth of Asturias and the Canary Islands stands out, with 1.4 and 0.8 points respectively.

In the European index, Spain is at the bottom, only ahead of Italy (18.8), Hungary (18.7) and the Czech Republic (14.8). In any case, very far from the European average of 40.5 (+0.1 point). Germany continues to feel the impact of the end of aid on the electrification of the passenger car market, which fell by 0.7 percentage points. Italy also declines compared to the previous quarter (-0.7 points), in this case driven by consumer expectations regarding the arrival of incentives for the purchase of electrified vehicles throughout the year.

During the first quarter of 2024, 27,077 electrified passenger cars were sold, representing only 9.7% of compliance with the annual target set at 280,000. It is clearly an insufficient rhythm, which should have registered almost 70,000 units in the first quarter and which made Spain far from the necessary objectives to comply with the provisions of Fit for 55.

With all these figures on the table, says José López-Tafall, general manager of Anfac explains that “the buyer does not want risks: if there is no certainty and simplicity in the assistance plans and no immediate collection, many operations do not take place. On the other hand, although the evolution of charging points is progressing at a good pace, the lack of information about their location, situation and the generalization of a single payment system this is not visible to all users, who continue to see this problem as a clear brake on the purchase of electric vehicles, despite the fact that the switches are operational is a very obvious indicator that we are not making progress on even the easiest aspects to solve. The lack of governance and a unified vision of the process explains many of these shortcomings.

From Anfac they emphasize the need to set up a series of instruments that facilitate a commitment in capillarity, quantity and quality, with measures such as those proposed by the association, such as the implementation of a state center managed by the Ministry of Transport in charge with supervision, coordination and assurance the use of this national network. In the same way, it is necessary to improve the current charging infrastructure map launched by the Ministry of Ecological Transition with updated information on the location, operation and prices of the publicly accessible charging points available in Spain.

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