Aid and financing favor sustainable mobility

Among the challenges posed by the climate emergency in which we are immersed, advancing towards sustainable mobility occupies a priority place.

31 October 2022 Monday 07:39
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Aid and financing favor sustainable mobility

Among the challenges posed by the climate emergency in which we are immersed, advancing towards sustainable mobility occupies a priority place. The challenge of decarbonization affects the new concept of mobility that is opening a gap, although not without difficulties. The evolution towards electrification is an essential step to be able to meet the objectives set in the fight against climate change.

The electric and connected vehicle progresses in Spain. A combination of technological advances, which have made it possible to improve benefits and expand supply, raising awareness of the need to be sustainable and, in a very important way, the encouragement of public aid and subsidies, are making it possible for the government's objective of having 5 million electric vehicles by 2030 is ambitious, but not impossible.

Currently, the mobile fleet in Spain has 250,000 vehicles between battery and plug-in hybrids. a figure that could lead us to think that it will be impossible to achieve the objective. it would be necessary to register an average of 600,000 electric vehicles annually to achieve this. However, experts are convinced that at the rate that registrations are advancing, this objective is not a chimera.

Beyond the impact on the fight against climate change, the commitment to sustainable mobility has a clear impact on many other aspects of our daily lives. For a country like Spain, which is a power in car manufacturing, it implies a transformation in a strategic sector for our economy. a process in which the role of European funds plays a determining role, especially in the route that Perte will finally have for the development of the electric and connected vehicle.

To deal with all these issues, La Vanguardia, together with BBVA, convened several experts directly involved in this transformative process around a round table.

Juan Pardo, head of sustainability solutions for the BBVA company, highlights that for the bank "sustainability is one of our strategic priorities". Pardo assures that "electric mobility is one of the fundamental axes where we have to put more weight because the automotive sector has an important tractor effect on the gross domestic product and on direct and indirect employment".

BBVA's commitment involves "getting into this world of electrical transformation to help and accompany the automotive industry, individuals and companies". Pardo sees a decisive reinforcement for the objective of sustainability in the aid that comes from Europe, but also in the current context of rising fuel prices and in the regulatory pressure that favors the electrification of vehicles. "We are at the right time to make that change," explains the manager.

One of the decisive elements to consolidate the commitment to clean mobility has to do with the existence of a solvent infrastructure that guarantees the existence of a network of recharging points throughout the country.

Arturo Pérez de Lucía, general director of the business association for the development and promotion of electric mobility (aedive), considers that this structural element cannot be evaluated separately from the technological advances that have been taking place in the supply of electric vehicles that we find in the market.

Pérez de Lucía highlights that "in Spain we have had an interesting level of implementation of high-power recharging infrastructures, with charging capacity from 100 kWh, but we did not have enough vehicles to be able to use those points efficiently". that situation has changed and "now we have a portfolio of vehicles with these characteristics." The head of Aedive points out that the level of autonomy of the battery has also grown and "people already know that there are electric vehicles that respond to all their needs for short, medium and long distances". All in all, there is still room for improvement in the recharging point infrastructure.

The representative of the business association explains that "in Spain we find ourselves with a series of peculiarities and bureaucratic and administrative difficulties for the processing of licenses and permits" that make it difficult to move forward. Pérez de Lucía assures that in order to overcome this problem, a specific working group has been created with the Secretary of State for Energy.

However, the data shows that, at least locally, the infrastructure is currently underutilized. The director of Aedive reveals that in Barcelona, ​​the city with the greatest deployment of public access charging points, "about two and a half hours are used a day, that is, only about four recharges per day more or less". Juan Pardo highlights that the development of recharging points, also in private homes and in companies, are, together with European funds and regulatory aid, "the three levers that can provide us with the necessary impetus to undertake the transformation towards sustainable mobility" .

The head of BBVA also points out that the entity detects a growing interest on the part of customers to know how they can face this investment. The doubts go beyond the purely financial question. “We are advising our clients on the transformation process and its implications because we believe it is a priority,” he explains. This support, beyond financing, also means facilitating access to aid and sharing tools that raise awareness of the advantages of switching to an electric car. This is the case of the car comparator that is accessed from the BBVA app and that compares the price of a gasoline vehicle compared to the electric one that you would like to buy, plus the associated expenses and the existing purchase aid. the result obtained shows that "in approximately 3 or 4 years the initial price difference could disappear depending on the use given to the car, thanks to the savings generated by the electric vehicle", says Pardo. In parallel, specific financial products have also appeared. The BBVA executive says that "we have the ecological car loan for individuals or, in the case of companies, long-term products such as leasing renting". Pardo assures that "the demand for these solutions is growing rapidly". on the other hand, a process that is going slower is that of the industrial vehicle and heavy transport.

In the evolution towards sustainable mobility, the weight of public aid is very important. Pérez de Lucía highlights the importance of "having greater flexibility in the Perte of the electric and connected vehicle, since the deadlines for presenting projects are very demanding and have caused some very ambitious initiatives to fall". In this sense, from the government it has been announced this week that a new Perte will be convened to try to repair the situation. In terms of subsidies, another plan with a great impact is the Moves aid that is managed through the autonomous communities. Pérez de Lucía points out the importance of "complementing all these measures to promote with other fiscal measures that offer price signals in the purchase and facilitate the existence of an industrial fabric that develops effective solutions for sustainable mobility". For this expert "the electric vehicle still needs certain help so that the citizen is also motivated in this transformation".

For his part, Pardo highlights the importance of "subsidies reaching customers quickly". The BBVA representative assures that "right now, companies and also individuals continue to see that the purchase price of electric vehicles is higher and that gives a great role to public aid". All this change of model is favoring the creation of new businesses.

This is the case of Sabway, a company specialized in last mile trips with electric scooters. "Our proposal consists of treating the scooter as a vehicle and that in each of our points of sale the express repair service is also offered", explains Francesc Alonso, CEO of this company that already has 35 active workshop stores. Alonso assures that the development of the electric scooter in the last two years has experienced strong growth. The person in charge of Sabway is convinced that this vehicle helped during the pandemic "to decongest public transport by being very practical, easy to drive and economical." Another of its advantages is that "it can be charged at home". Despite the fact that controversy has accompanied these vehicles, for Alonso the situation is changing for the better as regulation progresses. With the new regulations, "it makes it clear that you cannot circulate, under any circumstances, on the sidewalk," clarifies the Sabway manager.

However, there are still some issues to be determined, such as the minimum age to drive and the use of a helmet. The commitment to sustainability is generating the development of other initiatives that add value to the mobility ecosystem, such as Plazy, a finalist for the BBVA Award for Innovation in Environmental Sustainability, organized by BBVA together with the Fundació Antigues Caixes catalanes. This project created during the pandemic offers an ecological cleaning service for vehicles traveling with an electric fleet to the home, the workplace or wherever the client requests it. Davide Brea, CEO of Plazy, explains that the paradigm changes in mobility have increased the need for a service like the one they offer.

In this sense, the entrepreneur points out "the growth of renting and other models means that cars experience a constant change of driver" that favors the use of the service offered by Plazy. This company uses technology to optimize its resources and improve the customer experience. What role does the commitment to sustainability play? Experts agree that it is an important factor, but that there are others that are more influential in accelerating the transformation process. the economic aspect, the aid and, above all, making it easy are the vectors that tip the balance.



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