The Government has presented this Monday the Perte of the electric and connected car. The Executive plans to approve tomorrow Tuesday in the next Council of Ministers the so-called Perte VEC, whose first brushstrokes have been advanced by the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, in an act at the Palacio de La Moncloa with the presence of representatives of the automotive sector, the new technologies and energy.
The project, according to Sánchez, will involve a public injection of 4,295 million euros, financed mainly through the European Next Generation mechanism. The amounts will be used for actions throughout the automotive value chain, from research, development, assembly or battery manufacturing, in addition to the extraction of the necessary materials, with the aim of turning Spain into a ‘European electromobility hub.
“It is a gigantic injection of public resources because the transformation of the automotive sector is gigantic and formidable,” said Sánchez. According to what has been advanced, it will allow the mobilization of another 19,000 million euros of private investment, which would raise the total amount to the environment of the 24,000 million between 2021 and 2023. As a consequence, it would make it possible to raise the weight of the automotive industry in GDP from the current 10% to 15% in 2030. “It will be one of the largest projects not in Spain, but in Europe, in recent decades,” said Sánchez.
The amount of public investment is divided into 2,975 million euros for a comprehensive line of action for the development and manufacture of electric and connected vehicles, managed directly by Industry; 100 million euros for a sectorial data space programs and 45 million euros to integrate Artificial Intelligence (AI) in value chains.
It also includes a game of 1.1 billion of euros to encourage the acquisition of electric vehicles and charging points – it covers the 800 million euros already announced for the Moves III Plan and another 300 for the future Moves Singulares-, 14 million for the deployment of 5G networks and another 21 million for the promotion of vocational training in the sector. In addition, the Executive will approve tomorrow a CDTI sustainable automotive technology plan, equipped with forty millions of euros.
The president has also advanced the creation of a supervisory body, the Alliance for the electric and connected vehicle, which will be headed by “a person of recognized prestige” and will have as its essential function “the promotion and promotion of the electric and connected vehicle” . The Perte will also have an aspect in the field of training, since all projects will emphasize the acquisition of new digital skills, with a special focus on young people.
Sánchez has also addressed potential vehicle buyers. “Today they are still perceived as high-end vehicles, with limitations on recharging. This Perte is going to change that perception in 180 degrees», Has assured. “We want the leap to electromobility to be for all citizens, and not only reserved for a high-income minority.”
According to the Executive’s estimates, the Perte will have an impact on GDP of more than 18,000 million euros, and will allow the creation of more than 170,000 jobss. Of these, between 68,000 and 141,000 would be in the production of vehicles, another 100,000 in the field of production and installation of recharging points, the acquisition and distribution of clean vehicles and green hydrogen.
The Perte (acronym for strategic recovery project) for the automotive industry, announced in March, encompasses all the infrastructure necessary to produce electric and connected vehicles in Spain, including the manufacture of batteries. It includes both the projected battery factory, with the support of Volkswagen, Seat and Iberdrola –although the Perte is open to other companies– as well as the development of a mobility ecosystem to have infrastructures to recharge electricity and boost demand; as well as the manufacture of electric and connected vehicles.
“Today we are taking a historic step to lead the transformation of the automotive industry,” said the Minister of Industry, Reyes Maroto, during the presentation ceremony at La Moncloa. “This Perte places Spanish industry at the forefront”, he stated.
A project that has been well received by the representatives of the automotive sector present at the event. “It gives a very positive message,” according to the president of Sernauto, the employers’ association of component-producing companies, who highlighted “the opportunity it represents to transform mobility in a beneficial way for all.” Adriano Monés, president of Aedive, recalled for his part the challenges facing Spain in terms of recharging points and the need for “large projects around the production of batteries” to arrive.
He also participated in the event Pedro Mier, president of the Ametic technological association, which has ensured that microelectronics and ICT technologies “are at the core of the revolution in the automotive sector.” “The car is becoming a real computer on wheels,” he assured.
Jose Vicente de los Mozos, president of the Anfac automobile association, personally thanked Reyes Maroto for his commitment. “He told us that the Perte of the electric car would be the first and it has been.” He has valued that “well used” will be “a tool that will drive that transformation in which the industry is already working.” And he has asked to speak of electrification beyond the electric car, to include hybrids and plug-in hybrids “that provide employment in our country.”
However, De los Mozos recalled that in the first half of the year vehicle sales fell more in Spain than in the rest of the major European markets. The man also responsible for Manufacturing at Renault worldwide has demanded that the Perte “become a reality as quickly as possible”, and has asked for this “to have the opinion of the sector for the development of concrete measures”, in addition to actions of “clear and simple” support and “agile project governance”. “We are aware that it is difficult to coordinate different ministries and actors, but it would be a sought-after opportunity if this project stalled due to lack of clear leadership.” It has also requested that binding targets for charging points for electric vehicles be approved by 2030.
After the approval of the Perte, as established by Royal Decree Law 36/2020, a registry of interested companies, step prior to the publication of the call for grants. In the expression of interest, in addition to the leadership of a backbone company, an additional minimum number of five participants and at least 40% of SMEs are established. At least 15 other entities from at least six sectors participate in the project led by Seat, from giants such as Iberdrola or Caixabank to Sayer from Navarra, with 17 employees.
Under the Perte umbrella, Volkswagen has announced its intention to produce 500,000 electric vehicles a year in Spain for all the brands of the consortium, once the arrival of the funds is confirmed. The carmaker is also looking for a location for its next battery plant, which it plans to build in Portugal, Spain or the south of France. Maroto promised that the project would allow the construction of a battery factory in Spain.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism