Spain hopes to jumpstart electric car industry with EU funds

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Barcelona, Spain – Daniel Sánchez is one of the luckier electric car owners in Spain. With a free recharging station less than a kilometer from his home just north of Barcelona, he can keep his Tesla ready to roll.

“I cannot imagine stopping at a gas station ever again,” the 41-year-old transport company owner said. “We feel like those people who got off a horse-drawn carriage and climbed into a car. There is no going back.”

A man charges his electric car at an electrical charging point in Rivas Vaciamadrid, Spain, Tuesday, June 15, 2021.  Spain is Europe's second-leading car maker but it is lagging behind when it comes to electric cars, a situation that the government aims to change by using around five billion euros of the EU pandemic recovery funds to kickstart the electric car industry.

Other Spaniards are considerably less enthusiastic. The dearth of places to plug in, compared to western and northern Europe, and the price of electric cars have left Spain lagging as the continent races to get greener.

Now the government wants to usher the entire country into this new paradigm.

The ruling left-wing coalition plans to use a chunk of the 140 billion euros ($166 billion) Spain is set to receive from the European Union’s pandemic recovery plan to kickstart its electric car industry.

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