Spain will invest 4.3 billion euros ($ 5.111 billion) to start producing electric vehicles and batteries, mostly as part of a major national spending program funded by EU recovery funds, the government said on Monday.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said in a presentation that the government-led plan, which aims to encourage private investment, would include the entire production chain from the extraction of lithium to the assembly of battery cells and the manufacture of electric vehicles.
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“It is important for Spain to react and anticipate this transformation in the European Automotive sector,” they said, adding that the private sector could contribute an additional 15 billion euros to the initiative, according to government estimates. After Germany, Spain is the second largest car producer in Europe and the eighth in the world.
As the industry faces tectonics on its way to electric vehicles and greater technological integration, Spain is working against Germany and France to review supply chains and reorganize manufacturing bases.
With the new investment program, which is part of a 13 billion-euro package aimed at sustainable mobility, Sanchez expects the sector’s contribution to economic production to reach 15% by 2030, now around 10%.
The program will include 1 billion euros to boost cargo infrastructure, Sanchez added.
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As one of the main beneficiaries of the EU’s € 750 billion ($ 908 billion) recovery scheme, Spain will receive around € 70 billion in subsidies by 2026 to help revive the economy hard hit by the COVID-19 crisis.
Although a few private sector bidders have appeared to publicly seek a share of the fund, Volkswagen’s Spanish brand SEAT and Iberdrola Utility have formed an Alliance to bid.
Their participation would be part of a wider project they are planning, covering all elements of electric vehicle production from mining to battery production, and the manufacture of the finished vehicle at SEAT’s assembly plant outside Barcelona.
This story has been published without text changes from a wireless agency feed.