At its first Sustainable Mobility Forum in Madrid in the week of 28 September, Nissan called for stronger infrastructure, including as many as 3,500 additional chargers on Spanish roads, to help accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles.

Jean-Pierre Diernaz, director of electric vehicles at Nissan in Europe, and Marco Toro, executive managing director at Nissan Iberia, SA, stressed the importance of greater collaboration between public and private enterprise so that the infrastructure to support zero emission vehicles is improved.

“Fluctuations in sales of electric vehicles demonstrate the impact that government subsidies can have on the introduction of e-mobility in Spain. The real solution is for government and private enterprise to work together to consider both cost of ownership and range anxiety.”

“Successful markets like Norway and the UK have taken a holistic approach, offering purchase subsidies but also investing in public charging infrastructure,” Diernaz said.

In Spain, there are over 1,200 public charge points servicing electric vehicle customers, and that number is expected to rise in 2015. However, in leading markets like the UK (6,500) and Norway (4,100), there are up to four times as many publically available chargers.

Leader and market expert in EV, Nissan reported a 77% increase in sales of its popular Nissan Leaf last year.

Toro added: “Based on the infrastructure available in best-selling markets, it’s clear that electric vehicle drivers will need access to as many as 3,500 additional chargers by 2020, if we’re to replicate the success of more mature EV markets.

“To improve air quality and to respond to the environmental problems that big Spanish cities like Madrid face we need to increase the presence of cleaner modes of transportation. Electric vehicles make it possible to meet today’s high demand for mobility whilst also caring for our surroundings and the environment.”

The comments come as ANFAC (Asociación Española de Fabricantes de Automóviles Turismos y Camiones) announces an 18.5% increase in new car sales across the region. The rise represents the first significant growth the industry has recorded since 2010, and with improving economic conditions, Nissan feels the time is right to seek greater investment in infrastructure.

“We have seen a significant increase in new car sales in the past twelve months, owing to low emission vehicle schemes like the Plan PIVE (Programa de Incentivos al Vehículo Eficiente) grant and Plan MOVELE (Proyectos de Movilidad Eléctrica). However, it is critical that Spain continues to invest in its network of public charge points to encourage customers to make the switch,” said Toro.

“Countries like Norway and the UK, have enjoyed periods of intense growth over the past 24 months, and now is the time to invest in Spain – securing extended incentives schemes, benefits for users and establishing a robust network of charge points.”