Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Spain leads electric car revolution

An example of factual action against CO2 emissions comes from Madrid.

The Guardian reports today that disused phone boxes are being earmarked as "recharging points" for electric cars in some of Spain's biggest cities.

I decided to find out more about it and, by the look of it, it really appears the Spaniards are going to lead the way.

In a stark contrast with the tiptoing around paraded by other governments worldwide, next month Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero will unveil the Pacto por la Energía, so far the biggest electric vehicle production stimulus programme. According to the Spanish Government, if all of the country's cars were electric, oil bills would see savings of up to €11,000m a year and the country's oil dependency down twenty per cent.

According to El Pais, the mayor of Madrid, Alberto Gallardón, has announced that -as of 1 Jan 2010- electric cars will enjoy free parking across the city. "The electric car is the future", he said, "[it is] a revolution. One of the most momentous changes ever in urban mobility".

The joint scheme between local authorities and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism will include financial incentives to all private companies contracted out by town halls who decide to switch to electric cars (for instance buses or road-cleaning vehicles).

The problem is trying to convince private citizens. Which is why, El Mundo reports, the government is announcing a combination of tax incentives, cash subsidies of up to 20% of retail cost, as well as the installation of 546 charging points countrywide.

Critics
have slammed the project as "overambitious". According to a group called Ecologistas en Accion (Environmentalists in Action), the plan "does not stand scientific scrutiny" as manufacturing electric cars will result in "brutal energetic costs", as each new vehicle produced is the equivalent of running a car for 60,000 kilometres.

Both CO2 emissions and noise, however, maybe in for a rough time.

2 comments:

Felon said...

Electric cars are useless for this simple reason:

Lots of people equate zero car emissions with zero total net environmental impact, even though it is wrong to do so. Just like so many people are saying we will all die in 50 years unless we stop global warming. People just have no clue in general and just jump to whatever first conclusion pops into their mind. When that conclusion is preposterous, they don't stop to think that their own interpretation of what is being said might be flawed, they say, "nonsense, you are stupid" without really thinking.

PhilH said...

Felon, that doesn't automatically make electric cars "useless".

It makes people complacent, yes, but that doesn't mean there's no place for electric transport.

It just needs to be carefully thought out. You seem to have fallen into your own trap - because you see a problem you have written electric cars off.