GOV'T-PUSHED EVs fail spectacularly in Spain:
It was supposed to be the centrepiece of Spain's green agenda: within four years a million electric cars would take to the roads, with battery top-up points sprouting up in petrol stations and disused telephone booths across the country.Zapatero seems to be some kind of reverse Midas. Everything he touches becomes worthless.
"Electric vehicles are on their way," said prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero as he unveiled the plans in April. "Let us get ahead and get them here sooner."
But figures released today showed that Zapatero's green dream is some way from realisation: in the first seven months of the year, only 16 electric cars were registered for use on Spanish roads. Even that was a sixteenfold increase on 2009, when just one electric car was registered.
Although the plan also includes subsidies for hybrid electric and petrol-driven cars, makers said they only planned to sell half a dozen of these in Spain this year, according to the ABC newspaper.
That makes the stated goal of having 2,000 electric vehicles circulating by the end of this year almost unachievable. Next year's target had been to get 20,000 electric and hybrid cars on the road.
The failed attempt to kickstart Spain's electric car market comes despite pledges of 80m euros of subsidies for those who buy by the end of next year – with the government funding 20% of the purchase, or up to 6,000 euros, on each car.