Advantages of driving in a zero-emission car
Electric cars are comfortable, silent and leave an emission-free environmental footprint, but its prioritisation in cities also makes it highly profitable: its use implies significant savings in parking and circulation. But not all local authorities have the same policy. We will begin with those that are leading the way: Madrid and Barcelona.
The Madrid City Council is in no doubt: “We are purchasing electric vehicles to include them in our municipal fleet and have adopted a series of measures to promote this type of mobility,” says a spokesperson from the council’s Environment Department. “Tax discounts, free parking without time limitations in green and blue zones, and free access to Residential Priority Areas,” the spokesperson adds. The City Council has also launched a plan to subsidise the purchase of electric vehicles for use as taxis to the tune of €3,000.
There is another advantage for the users of battery-powered cars: “They are exempt from the parking prohibition and circulation restriction measures established in some Spanish cities when the Protocol of measures to be adopted during episodes of high pollution due to nitrogen dioxide is activated,” as in the case of Madrid and Barcelona.
The truth is that in Madrid all these measures are the order of the day. Electric car users, whether owners or beneficiaries of an electric car share do not pay for parking, whether in green or blue zones. Owners save 75% on road tax and do not pay registration tax.
Electric cars can also circulate along the Bus-VAO Lane and, within the city centre, have free access to restricted areas. There is a tendency to think that we only save on fuel, but when the local authorities in the rest of Spain follow suit in adopting this type of measure, the advantages will also be significant outside the capital.
The Directorate-General of Traffic is already sending out the 100% emission-free vehicle card to all the purchasers of electric cars in Spain, so it is just a matter of the measures being extended to all the local authorities.
In Barcelona an attempt is also being made to accelerate the process and, for the time being, with the exception of parking spaces exclusively for residents, electric cars can park free of charge, provided that the regulated time periods and hours of blue and green zones are respected. For this purpose, the blue electric vehicle identification card is required, which also allows free charging or charging at very advantageous prices at any of the 300 charging points installed in Barcelona. And, of course, if you are a resident parking is also allowed in resident parking spaces free of charge. Additionally, the Barcelona City Council, as in Madrid, offers a 75% discount on the annual tax on motor vehicles.
Furthermore, and in this regard Barcelona is at the forefront, the Catalan motorways do not charge toll fees for electric cars provided that they are registered in the EcoviaT portal, where all the free sections for emission-free vehicles or discounts for vehicles with low-emission identification are updated. It is also possible to use the bus-VAO lanes of the C-58 motorway.
The Barcelona City Council also places the sustainable mobility website livebarcelona at users’ disposal which, among other things, informs them about new developments, such as the fact that from July 2017 you can travel throughout Catalonia and recharge your electric car with a single charge card valid for all the municipalities.
Neither can we forget the efforts being made by the Palma de Mallorca City Council, 100% committed to the prioritisation of electric cars. The measures adopted also include free parking in the ORA blue zone without time limit, in addition to the ZAR zone. 26 public charging points have also been installed and electric vehicles obtain a reduction of 75% in motor vehicle tax. Thanks to the ecaR project, it is easy to travel around Mallorca with complete autonomy and peace of mind.
There is still much to be done, but every day more Spanish local authorities are choosing to support electric mobility and improve their infrastructure and legislation to favour positive discrimination. Some are already at the level of these three leading lights while others still have a lot of work to do. We’ll let you know how they are progressing!