The Balearic Islands: An Electric Region

The Balearic Islands: An Electric Region

A ban on diesel cars from 2025 onward and on petrol ones from 2035. The Government of the Balearic Islands plans to prohibit the entry and import of conventionally-fuelled vehicles throughout the whole of the archipelago in a progressive manner if the draft bill made public last Friday is approved in late 2018. This measure will affect all citizens, residents and tourists alike, and current diesel and petrol-driven cars will only be able to continue on the roads while their engines last.

In the draft bill of the potential Climate Change and Energy Transition Act, it is also envisaged that the Balearic Islands will be fully self-sufficient in energy by 2050 through renewable energy sources. The text of the bill also urges the car-hire sector, which each summer mobilizes thousands of vehicles to meet the tourist demand, to steadily transform its fleet into a fully electric one by 2035.

Today, the Balearic Islands has the biggest per capita network of charge points in the whole of Spain (300 points), and the Balearic Government’s Executive has announced that through funds raised with what is known as the Sustainable Tourism Tax (STT), over the next five years between 500 and 700 more fast-charge points will be created at a cost of over 10 million euros.

The origins of the Balearic Islands’ global bid to promote electric vehicles dates back to before this draft bill. In 2016, the president of Ibiza Island Council, Vicent Torres, began to use an electric vehicle as his official car, shortly before the first Ibiza & Formentera Electric Mobility Forum was held on the island, which triggered measures like the replacement of Ibiza Island Council’s fleet of vehicles for electric ones. For its part, Palma City Council currently has 26 public charge points and 238 parking spaces for electric vehicles, which can also charge their batteries for free at certain times and park free in the municipality.

The Regional Minister for Territorial Affairs, Energy & Mobility, Marc Pons, met up with different representatives of groups from the European Parliament in Brussels this Tuesday together with the European Commissioner for Climate Action, the Spanish ex-minister Miguel Arias Cañete, to explain the future act. “The meeting has gone very well, because the parliamentary groups that we met up with understand the problem of climate change”, said Pons at the end of the meetings. The Government of the Balearic Islands considers that its proposals, which also include the obligation to fit solar panels on private and public buildings and car parks, are closely aligned with international agreements on energy transitions. When the act comes into effect, all town and city councils will have a period of 5 years to replace the street lighting with LED technology.
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