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The PERTE of the automobile requires the production of vehicles and batteries at the same time

FLIX CHERRY

Madrid

Updated Thursday, July 15, 2021 – 10:13

Aid to projects, which must include the entire value chain, will be resolved by the beginning of 2022

Facilities of the PSA Peugeot car factory First PERTE Injection of 4,295 million for the automotive industry

The Council of Ministers today approved the VEC, the PERTE for the development of the Electric and Connected Vehicle. It had been announced in March and is the first sectoral recovery plan carried out by the Executive in the heat of the EU Next Generation funds. These are its key elements.

WHY IS THE PERTE STARTED?

The Government has always considered the automotive sector as a strategic and transforming sector of the economy due to its tractor effect. We are the second vehicle manufacturers in Europe and ninth in the world; the fourth Spanish export sector (with 15% of the total); generates 11% of the income and has a large territorial structure, with 17 factories installed in 10 Autonomous Communities. Counting the whole car, there are a few 330,000 direct jobs and close to two million indirect ones. In addition, it is undergoing a great revolution, marked by the electric, connected, autonomous and digital car that leads to, instead of an engine, talk about mobility with new agents in the value chain such as energy companies, technology companies or mobility services companies.

In short, the VEC pursues lay the foundations to make Spain a leading electromobility hub in Europe and improve competitiveness against Asia or the US as well; strengthen your industrial autonomy and launch a message to parent companies regarding the allocation of new models. Finally, it also has a key role in achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

WHAT ARE YOUR FUNDS?

The plan is endowed with 4,295 million euros, 90% backed by European funds. Of that amount, 3,160 million are allocated to industrial transformation by manufacturing zero-emission vehicles, their batteries and components, some as sensitive as the famous microprocessors, in addition to creating interdependent collaborative systems. The rest 1,135 million are used to reinforce this change from the demand side, with plans to help the purchase of zero emission cars and for the development of the recharging network (the Moves). In addition, the Climate Change Law, the regulation of recharging services, the development of the 5G network or the digital training of workers. The Executive estimates that this PERTE projects will attend that will mobilize up to 19,700 million private investment additional, which could create up to 140,000 new jobs with a contribution to GDP of between 1% and 1.7% helping to reach the 250,000 electric vehicles registered in 2023, with between 80,000 and 110,000 recharging points deployed.

WHAT PROJECTS CAN BE SUBMITTED?

Quite severe conditions have been set in order to achieve the transformation of the entire value chain. Ace, Each proposal must include three mandatory blocks: manufacture of vehicles, whether new models or adapting existing lines; production of batteries, battery packs or hydrogen cells and assembly of other components such as engines. Likewise, and as additional objectives, the manufacture of recharging systems or microchips.

Each project must be made up of a grouping of companies, with at least five of them tractor units, 40% of SMEs and a provider of R & D & i (which can be a University, for example). And the initiative has to affect at least two Autonomous Communities.

The public-private consortium headed by Seat, Iberdrola and Caixabank to set up a battery plant and in which the State “has a minimum participation to attract investment”, would meet these conditions since it is linked to the production of up to 500,000 VW Group electric cars in Spain since 2025.

WHERE ARE THE BATTERY FACTORIES?

They are considered a strategic element that reinforces the production of vehicles and contributes sovereign by reducing external dependence. But they will not be able to concur independently, for example, the project that was launched in Estremadura, but integrated within a business group. According to the Minister of Industry, Reyes Maroto, the objective is to start “not one, but several”, and both the manufacture of cells and their assembly are contemplated (a much simpler and less valuable project). But the PERTE does not give aid to mining activities, such as lithium extraction. Spain has in Extremadura the second largest mine of this element in Europe, capable of supplying 10 million vehicles.

DEADLINES AND DISTRIBUTION

The call will open in the third quarter of this year and the winning projects are expected to have been chosen in February 2022. This would also fit with the plans of the aforementioned consortium whose objective is to have the battery plant in operation in 2023. A minimum or maximum amount will not be set as possible since “very severe starting conditions are imposed.” Nor will there be a territorial distribution of subsidies. “This tool is not conceived as such. It will be the projects that determine where the funds go and not the State,” they assure in Industry, that they will use the next call of the Automotive Table to reassure the CCAA in this regard. In addition, the minister insisted that neither counting the nationality of the companies: “All the manufacturers that are in Spain are Spanish, although the decision-making centers are outside. Everyone can be part of this PERTE, what we want is a commitment to the country. “

SUPERVISION OF THE PERTE

For the better governance of the VEC, a monitoring table chaired by the head of Industry, although the executive part is led by a vice president “who must be a person of recognized prestige.” It has not yet been decided who he will be, since he is still defining what his profile will be, taking into account that he must be a deep connoisseur of the sector and that he will have to battle with Brussels on behalf of the Industry. This table, which will not have any type of legal structure, will be formed by a working group with up to eight ministries plus the Automotive Board, where are the CCAA, the main associations of the sector and the unions.

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