"I came here to distribute every last euro." With this phrase today the commissioner of the Electric and Connected Vehicle Perte (VEC), José María López Martínez, summarized the speed with which the Ministry of Industry is distributing public funds for automotive projects. He did so during an automotive sector conference organized by KPMG and the manufacturers' associations Anfac and suppliers Sernauto.
The ministry has just closed the window to request aid corresponding to the second edition of the Perte VEC, which has two sections, one for batteries, A, and another for the industrial value chain, B. They have been received in total requests for public aid for 2,286 million euros, between subsidies and loans.
In line A, requests amount to 909 million in grants and 166 million in loans. 48 requests have arrived from 34 companies that would mobilize 5,828 million in investments. For line B, 251 projects and 138 investment plans have arrived that would mobilize 2,765 million and that include requests for public aid of 892 million in subsidies and 319 million in loans.
"I am quite satisfied because the number of companies in section A and B has been very large and we are hopeful that we will exhaust the funds," said López Martínez. "It will be good for the sector and for Spain", which will be able to "offer an environment of maximum confidence" to develop future electric cars.
Unlike the previous call, in this one aid has been authorized before the deadline to receive it was closed. There are already 200 million provisionally authorized for the Chinese Envision gigafactory in Extremadura, 47 million for a new Seat assembly line in Martorell, 37 million for a similar Ford line in Almussafes and 14 million for Basquevolt battery cells in Victory. There are smaller amounts for Beecycle, Gestamp, Renault and Laser.
There has also been time for partial dismissal of applications. One project from Micro Electrochemical in Ciudad Real and five from Ficosa in Barcelona have been rejected for the same reason: "The requesting entity does not prove that it has carried out said activity for at least two years prior to the deadline date" and because "does not pass the commercial eligibility criteria."
Industry assures that the provisional resolutions already approved already reach almost 322 million euros in subsidies, above 60% of the funds allocated to this type of aid. The idea is to allocate the funds from the call in the coming weeks.
During the KPMG conference, the general director of Anfac, José López-Tafall, assured that the automotive Perte aims to "make up for lost time in industrial policy" and has demanded that the EU become aware of the Chinese offensive and American in electric vehicles and end the "penalty model" for the sector to focus on incentives.
Anfac is in favor of tax advantages in areas such as research and that aid for the purchase of electric cars is delivered at the time of purchase, among other measures. "The demand for electrified vehicles must be publicly encouraged to overcome the entry barrier of higher prices at the time of purchase," said López-Tafall.
The general director of Sernauto, José Portilla, has lamented the deficit of vocational training in the sector and has warned that one of the next actions of the sector associations will consist of "lobbying" transferring the conclusions of the KPMG report presented today to all ministries linked to the automotive industry.
The KPMG report, presented by Carlos Ramos, advocates the installation of gigafactories in Spain, incentivizing the production of components more oriented towards electric cars such as sensors and a 'remanufacturing' process in factories.