Spain's EV Plan Short Circuits. Royally

Cammy Corrigan
by Cammy Corrigan
spain s ev plan short circuits royally

See the picture above? It’s a lady in a white car. Nothing unusual there, right? Well, not quite. For starters, the lady is a queen. A real one.

Before I clarify the picture, let me set the scene. Spain is in the middle of economic turmoil. Its credit rating was cut to AA, it pushed through a €15b austerity plan with just one vote and is having trouble overhauling its labor market (which is considered to be one of the most inflexible in Europe). So, suffice to say, money’s too tight to mention, as someone once said. Unless …

Unless you have a plan for a green mode of transportation. Suddenly, money is in plentiful supply. In the middle of trying to cut costs, the Spanish government pledged to invest €590m (that’s about $775m) into the production of electric cars. It aims to have 250,000 electric and hybrid cars on Spanish roads by 2014. Why, is anybody’s guess.

Wait, there’s more money: In addition to that, they put aside €80m to fund subsidies for electric car sales to customers. It’s for 20 percent of the vehicle, capped at €6,000. So it kind of came as an embarrassment when it was reported that when the Spanish government pledged to have 2,000 electric cars on the road by the end of 2010, figures were released that so far in 2010 only 15 were sold. The previous year? Just one. By my calculations, that works out to be roughly €39,333,333 per car. Good value, eh?

The Spanish government tried to put a brave face on. “The figures are similar to what happened in the beginning with personal computers or mobile phones,” they said via the government backed REVE electric car and wind power project, “The first models are expensive and with few options and initial sales were low.” (Not true. The first personal computers cost a few hundred dollars for a bag full of chips and resistors, and everybody said those who bought them were nuts. Which they were.) So, what’s this got to do with the picture above?

The Telegraph reports that in order to boost sales they roped in a celebrity to help. Quite a big celebrity. The lady in the picture is Queen Sofia of Spain. She was photographed driving a Peugeot iON EV whilst on holiday in Palma, Majorca. How did she describe it? “Phenomenal”. Which is exactly the word I’d use for this boondoggle.

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2 of 13 comments
  • Russification Russification on Aug 16, 2010

    there can only be one queen of Spain and 15 everyone go to the beach for another extended holiday

  • Philadlj Philadlj on Aug 16, 2010

    I never thought I'd see a Spanish queen driving a Japanese EV re-badged as a Peugeot. I wonder if Obama could dust her in his Volt.

  • Jeff S If AM went away I would listen to FM but since it is insignificant in the cost to the car and in an emergency broadcast it is good to have. I agree with some of the others its another way to collect money with a subscription. AM is most likely to go away in the future but I will use AM as long as its around.
  • BEPLA I think it's cool the way it is.If I had the money, time and space - I'd buy it, clean it up, and just do enough to get it running properly.Then take it to Cars and Coffee and park it next to all the newer Mustangs.
  • Dave M. I suppose Jethro’s farm report comes via AM, but there’s a ton of alternative ways to get that info. Move forward people. Progress is never easy.
  • BEPLA For anything but the base model, I'd rather have a pre-owned Polestar 2.
  • BEPLA "Quality is Job........well, it's someone's job, but it's not our job.Neither is building vehicles that people actually want or need.We only build what's most profitable. If only someone would buy our 97 day supply of SuperDutys."