AVERE is starting to champion Electromobility Ambassadors in a new series dedicated to people and organizations whose work is truly helping the widespread uptake of electromobility in Europe and across the world.
To kick off this series, we interviewed Dr. Arturo Pérez de Lucia, Director General of AEDIVE, the Spanish Business Association for the Boosting and Development of the Electric Vehicle Market, a long-standing member of AVERE. AEDIVE recently celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2020. In the past ten years they have grown substantially and now represent the entire e-mobility value chain in Spain, and have successfully advanced the e-mobility market in the country.
Arturo, thank you for joining us today and thank for all your and AEDIVE work to promote electromobility. What is the e-mobility market like today in Spain and how do you see its future?
I am always very optimistic about electromobility and its future. But I have good reasons to be. At the beginning of this year we started to see a real boost in EV uptake, combined with an increase in the number of public fast charging infrastructure, which reflected the ambitious target the country had set for 2020. It is true this came to a standstill in March due to COVID19.
Now we are gradually returning to normality and looking at the silver lining, we have been experiencing a real environmental revival due to the lockdown. This has shown the need to clean up the air quality, especially in cities. In Spain unless the government does not take concrete action, Co2 emissions will rise drastically as people return to work.
What do you think the Spanish government can do to support e-mobiilty?
The Spanish government has recently proposed an ambitious draft climate law aiming to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The Parliament has yet to approve it, but once approved, all new vehicles on the road will need to be zero emission by 2040. Nowadays nobody doubts that a green recovery can produce greater returns on public spending and produce more jobs, in the short and in the long term, when compared to the alternative of investing in the fossil fuel economy.
For example, the draft climate law estimates that it will generate over two hundred billion euros in investment, create up to three hundred and fifty thousand new jobs, and boost the country’s economic growth by 1.8 per cent over the next decade. For this reason we supported the recent letter by AVERE on the post-COVID recovery, sent to the European Commission which highlights how electrified transport is the most effective way to meet the short and long-term climate and CO2 emissions targets for Europe.
Nonetheless we must be aware of the risks, as the path forward will not be easy. Some politicians in Europe believe that we should scale back the regulatory ambitions on initiatives like the European Green Deal. There’s evidently a fear of what’s coming but the electric revolution in the automotive sector is inevitable and started way before the COVID-19 crisis.
What is needed to ensure mass EV uptake across Europe and the world?
We need to coordinate and align policies and industry efforts. Policymakers and businesses need to work hand-in-hand towards this goal. We need to send the right signals to the end user. Consumers need the right information and the benefits of the green technologies on the market. We also need fiscal policies in line with and that allow us to meet the targets of decarbonisation. Everyone believes that electromobility is the future, but we need the appropriate tax incentives to make it a reality. We also need to bolster Europe’s industrial competitiveness in order to compete with the rest of the world. For example in Spain we have a very strong offer of green technologies when it comes to electric cars, vans, motorbikes but also charging infrastructure.
Can you tell us more about AEDIVE’s work in the sector?
AEDIVE is the Spanish business Association for the momentum of e-mobility in the Iberian market. We started in 2010, so we are celebrating out tenth anniversary. With almost 160 members, between large and medium-sized companies and start ups, we represent all the industrial, technological organisations along the e-mobility value chain.
We work with the public administration to boost favourable e-mobility legislation, EV subsidies, projects and more. We work with companies to accelerate their growth, as well as provide them with information related to public tenders, vehicle registrations, and patents. We try to explain what e-mobility means for our common future and we work for its internationalization in Europe and Latin America so as to promote Spain’s industrial growth.
I am personally very proud to be part of this Association. When we started ten years ago we only had twelve companies, but now we are a very big family, and still growing every day.
What are your ongoing and upcoming projects to help the growth electromobility?
Our immediate goal is to help achieve the goals of the climate law by the Spanish Government since it is focused on the decarbonisation of the transport sector by boosting the market for electric vehicles. We want to help the public sector and the industry to showcase Spain as a promising market for global e-mobility investments.
The effects of the COVID-19 era will continue to negatively impact European citizens for the foreseeable future. As people fear for their jobs and health, we expect to see a decline in the use of public transport and an increase in the use of private vehicles, which are for the most part traditional fossil-fuelled cars. This is bad for the environment, for our health and for road safety. This is why we want to boost e-mobility shared services as a solution at a very competitive price for consumers.
You are very well-known across Spain as the face of AEDIVE. How did you achieve this?
I am a journalist by training and I like communication. I think it is very important to send the right message, for example by being active on social media. In my point of view, one of the main barriers for e-mobility is not the lack of information, but misinformation, what in Spain we call “toxic information”. We need to send the right messages and overcome this barrier. For this reason I really do try to be as present as possible. People have even joked that I have a body double.
How was AEDIVE founded?
The Association was founded by a group of small companies, and when they needed someone to run it, I was lucky enough to be the top candidate. In the beginning we also focused only on charging-related issues, but, as of 2013, we started including the whole value chain like car manufacturers and all other companies involved in the market. Managing AEDIVE has been a multifaceted experience, stressful, but also exciting and interesting. I look forward to even more exciting decades of working in the e-mobility sector in Spain.
How has the broader cooperation with AVERE and its European network helped e-mobility in your country?
It is an essential nexus of cooperation between the different e-mobility associations in Europe so that we can always be on top of the latest developments in the sector. AVERE is the perfect channel to do so. Moreover, through AVERE we have direct access to insights into European decision-making processes and legislation and have the opportunity to provide our input and advocate on behalf of the Spanish e-mobility sector. AVERE also enables us to offer our members concrete added value, which is very important to us.
Any final thoughts?
I really encourage AVERE to continue promoting e-mobility at the European level. This is an exciting time to be part of this market, particularly for those of use who started ten years ago and saw how quickly the market evolved.
The most important value of the electric vehicle is not just its capacity of moving goods and people with zero emissions, but also the synergies it has with the renewable energy sector and its ability to act as a source of distributed generation and energy storage. Thank you for inviting me to be part of this experience.