In recent months, electric vehicles have been the focus of growing interest. 2015 seems to be the year for concerted initiatives and changes in public policies in the field of sustainable transport. Indeed, in April, the approval of the new MOVELE Programme was published in the Spanish Official State Gazette (or BOE according to its Spanish acronym). With this programme of direct subsidies for the purchase of electric vehicles, car dealers must now assist customers in the installation of a charge point up to a maximum cost of 1000 per vehicle of all categories, except for L6e and L72 quadricycles. Although these subsidies are a definite incentive, the automobile sector and LIVE lobby group demand greater long-term stability for this kind of programme by the competent state bodies.
In May, coinciding with the Barcelona International Automobile Show, the Spanish Treasury Minister announced another measure to boost low-emission vehicles: an up to 30% reduction in personal income tax for all staff using low-emission electric company vehicles. More specifically, a 30% income tax reduction is granted in the case of electric cars or plug-in hybrids, 20% for hybrid gas-powered cars, and 15% for cars with CO2 emissions of less than 120 g per kilometre driven.
Catalonia and Barcelona have also been the focus of attention in terms of sustainable measures, with the approval of exemptions for electric vehicles from motorway toll fees in Catalonia. An initiative approved in June by the Catalonia Regional Government, it will benefit over 3100 electric vehicles. The measure, scheduled be introduced as from September 15th this year, will apply to all main access roads into Barcelona: the C-16 motorway, including the Vallvidrera tunnels; the C-32 motorway, including both the Maresme and El Garraf stretches; and the tollbooths on the C-22 motorway at Mollet. Likewise, Barcelona City Council has amended its tax bylaws so that now residents and non-residents of Barcelona can park electric vehicles in regulated parking areas (blue and green zones) free of charge, and electric company vehicles are now entitled to 6 hours free parking. The LIVE lobby group has been actively involved with all the above bodies, encouraging these measures and offering related consultancy advice. The group clearly sees these public measures and incentives as playing a key role in continuing to boost the ongoing growth of electrically-operated or sustainable vehicles.