Spain is entrusting the takeoff of the electric car to purchase aid. It will not work

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The expansion of the electric car is generating many doubts in our country, where its sales, despite growing, have not yet taken off and its market penetration is anecdotal. Among the causes, a poor recharging network and some purchase incentives they don’t seem to work. What differentiates us from other countries where these vehicles are growing? Is it just a rent issue or is there something else?

In recent months, some voices from manufacturers and their associations have asked the Government for a greater commitment to taxation and electric cars. Wayne Griffiths, president of Seat, has been one of the executives who has gotten the most wet, pointing to the Plan Moves as unpragmatic and warning that “electric car project It’s not just from Seat, it’s from the whole country”.

In a similar line, Francisco Pérez Botello, president of Volkswagen Group Spain Distribution, took a position just a few days ago. At the company’s Economic Forum, he called for a VAT “zero” for electric and reduced for plug-in hybrids, as a measure to boost sales. These are measures that some European countries have already taken and that Griffiths has also defended with the following words: “there you have to pay a percentage of the value of the car per month as tax. For an average car of 40,000 euros it could be 200 euros per month: that’s zero if it’s an electric car.

With the Moves III Plan, those looking for an electric car can discount 4,500 or 7,000 euros from the final price (if they scrap an old vehicle), provided that the new car has a price of less than 45,000 euros. Other countries around us also apply similar aid, but are they decisive for the implementation of the electric car?

Tesla Model 3 2018 1600 06

Norway, the mirror to look at?

In no country in the world are so many electric cars bought as Norway and in none is their penetration so high. In 2021, 113,751 electric cars were sold in Norway, 65% of total vehicles sold, reaching a peak of 73.8% in the month of November. According to ACEA data, the penetration of this technology in its car fleet is 12.1%Some 413,362 of the total 3,416,216 vehicles that move on its roads are electric.

The success is such that they are already taking measures not to die from it. And it is that the electric ones do not pay VAT on the purchase (25% in Norway). As registration tax is paid based on CO2 emissions, they are also exempt. The result is a hole of 1,878 million euros in the country’s annual income and measures are already being considered to tax this type of vehicle.

On the table is the possibility of reapply VAT to those cars with prices above 600,000 crowns (58,700 euros). It is a measure that will only force you to pay for the most expensive electric ones, since you can find models such as the Audi Q4 e-tron 50 for 382,500 crowns (37,869 euros). In fact, buying an electric car is much cheaper than doing the same with a combustion vehicle with the same performance, since an increase of 25% in its price will have to be added to this.

Norway Electric Car

Rent question?

There is no doubt that the average income of a country is one of the most important obstacles for the expansion of the electric car, but this is not the only one nor, as we will see later, decisive. Taking into account the sales data of electric vehicles provided by ACEA, the aid provided by each country and their income level, we discover that encourage purchase it can be a help, but not the only weapon to be applied.

In fact, of the ten countries that sold the most cars in 2021, Spain is the second nation that provides the most direct and linear purchase aid (we will see this later) through its Plan Moves III, but these are not enough for the electric cars remain affordable for citizens. Next, we leave you a table with the direct aid that is provided in the countries where more electric cars are sold and how many annual salaries are needed to buy the most expensive electric vehicle that can be chosen.


EVs sold

Average annual income

Help to buy an EV

necessary salary



52,104 euros.

9,000 euros for cars with a maximum price of 40,000 euros. (31,000 euros contributed by the buyer)

0.59 times the annual salary.



38,188 euros.

7,000 euros for cars with a maximum price of 45,000 euros. (38,000 euros contributed by the buyer)

0.99 times the annual salary.



30,233 euros.

6,000 euros for cars with a maximum price of 51,000 euros. (45,000 euros contributes the buyer)

1.48 times the annual salary.



48,658 euros.

3,000 euros for cars with a maximum price of 60,000 euros. (57,000 euros contributed by the buyer)

1.17 times the annual salary.



26,934 euros.

7,000 euros for cars with a maximum price of 45,000 euros. (38,000 euros contributed by the buyer)

1.41 times the annual salary.

As can be seen in the table, buying the most expensive electric that can be accessed with aid in our environment only requires a greater effort in Italy, where almost one and a half annual wages have to be spent to get hold of it. In Spain it is necessary to invest 1.41 times the annual salary and we are very far from Germany, where the impact of the aid is much less (their income is much higher) and, despite everything, they only need to dedicate a little more than half of the annual salary to get the most expensive electric car that they can access with a greater discount. Of course, in the latter case it should be noted that Germany provides aid of 7,500 euros for the purchase of electric vehicles that exceed 40,000 euros.

Plan Moves III

These data lead us to look elsewhere. Specifically where there is a greater penetration of electric vehicles in sales and which, however, grant other types of aid.

Help beyond the purchase

As we have seen, Norway is the country where more electrics are sold and yet does not have linear aid in the purchase of an electric one, you simply stop paying VAT. A similar decision is applied in Denmark, where electric cars pay 40% of the registration tax.

This case is very peculiar because the registration tax in Denmark it is 105% of the value of the vehicle when the price of these is less than 81,700 euros. Above this barrier, the registration tax is 150%. And before 2017 it was 180%. That is, for each car that is bought, a driver has to pay for another entire car. This does not happen in the case of an electric, for which the registration tax is reduced to 40% or a maximum of 22,838 euros.

Only 0.5% of the cars used in Europe are electric: the long way to go

But in addition to this great discount, another of the great Danish incentives is that the “green tax” that punishes the most polluting vehicles is not paid and the road tax is reduced to a minimum: 330 crowns (44.33 euros). To this must be added that the gasoline and diesel car owners They have to face one of the highest prices in Europecurrently at 1.87 euros per liter of gasoline and 1.64 euros per liter of diesel.

Other countries where electric cars are making their way are also committed to significantly reducing the taxes that owners must pay in the coming years. In the Netherlands, the second country with the most electric cars in proportion to the total volume, an aid of 3,350 euros is provided for the purchase (with an average income of 54,843 euros) but, in addition, no registration or circulation taxes are paid . In Germany, in addition to the purchase aid, the driver also does not pay road tax for 10 years. In Italy, where almost 44,000 more electric cars were sold in 2021, road tax is also not paid for five years and, subsequently, only 25% of it is paid.

And let’s not forget the chargers

Until now we have focused the shot on the purchase subsidies and the taxes that we must pay for each car over the years, but there is a common denominator in all the countries where more electric cars are sold and circulate: they all have a major charger density. With data from ACEA and electromapsWe have obtained the following data.


EVs in circulation




413,362 EV cars.

2,981 chargers.

209.73 km.


313,655 EV cars.

22,800 chargers.

15.68 km.


269,666 EV cars.

14,130 chargers.

38.86 km.


204,968 EV cars.

58,358 chargers.



62,012 EV cars.

2,448 chargers.

182.77 km.


50,701 EV cars.

5,797 chargers.

14.47 km.


44,999 EV cars.

8,223 chargers.

36.73 km.


37,767 EV cars.

1,289 chargers.

33.30 km.


29,707 EV cars.

9,610 chargers.

52.65 km.

As you can see, once again Spain gets the worst data, this time in the density of available chargers. Only Norway and Sweden have a very poor public recharging network, but several conditions must be taken into account:

  • They are countries with a much lower population density. Spain has a population density of 94.8 inhabitants per km2. This figure is 13.51 inhabitants/km2 in Norway and 25.4 inhabitants/km2, so they have a much larger unpopulated area.
  • They are countries with a much higher income and higher prices for fuel. In Sweden, a liter of gasoline is being paid at 1.78 euros and diesel at 2.03 euros.

In the rest of the countries, where more electricity is used or where they have more penetration in the market, there is a less number of km2 per charger. Germany or Austria are good examples of this. The Netherlands has so many chargers that it has more public sockets than kilometers of extension in the country. The country that comes closest to our data is Italy and, despite everything, there is almost 16 km2 of difference for each charger.

Electric and plug-in hybrids grow 66% in Europe and already represent one in five cars sold in 2021

Analyzing all the data, we verify that the explosion of the electric car does not have so much to do with income (which also) and a lot with the tax aid that extend over time and the recharge network available. Where this is greater and where the tax exemption extends for a longer period, electric cars are more common, despite the fact that purchase aids have a lower weight in the income/aid ratio.

The expansion of the electric car is generating many doubts in our country, where its sales, despite growing, have not…

The expansion of the electric car is generating many doubts in our country, where its sales, despite growing, have not…

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