In 2011, the Basque Country will have an electrical vehicle charging point network, a pioneering venture in Spain
The Basque Government and REPSOL have established a protocol of intentions for a collaboration between the company and the Basque Energy Board
The Lehendakari, Patxi Lopez, highlighted the need for the public and private sectors to collaborate in times of crisis and considered that this network of charging points will offer the industrial sector "a wide range of opportunities for technical development and innovation".
The Basque Government will lead the construction of the first network of electrical power charging points in the Basque Country. In 2011, the network of Petronor service stations will offer this service, the first of its kind in Spain, and will place the Basque Country in a leading position in this sector. The Lehendakari, Patxi Lopez, reiterated the "clear" commitment of the Basque Government to innovation and declared that this agreement is indicative of "the desire of the Basque Government not to miss any opportunity". He went on to insist that, "We intend to create the best possible conditions for this new industry in order to compete at a global level in this new market".
The Lehendakari, Patxi Lopez, signed the collaboration agreement between the Basque Energy Board and the oil company which will give impetus to this project, together with the Minister for Industry, Innovation, Commerce and Tourism, Bernabé Unda, and the president of the oil company Repsol, Antonio Brufau. According to the collaboration agreement, both entities declare their intention to undertake the studies and development plans required for the demonstration, construction and operation of electrical vehicle charging points within the territory of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country.
Lopez expressed his "most enthusiastic" support for "this pioneering project of the Basque Government, the first of its kind in Spain and possibly in the world, to develop a network of electrical car charging points in collaboration with the Spanish leader in the distribution of petrol for conventional vehicles". Lopez highlighted the importance of an understanding between the public and private sectors, especially in times of crisis and expressed his conviction that this agreement "will bring benefits for the Basque Country".
For the Basque Government, this agreement will offer the industrial sector "a wide range of opportunities for technological development and innovation". He explained that, "The network of electrical charging points to be set up in the Basque Country, will help us to implement a more efficacious, efficient and sustainable means of transport and will provide us with a new model of urban mobility in our territory". In this way, the Basque Government will place at the disposal of the Basque automotive, electrical equipment and electronics sectors a dual proposal to foster the development of this market through research, as the agreement seeks to encourage the public-private model, "which will serve as an example for many other projects in the future", as "only through collaboration will it be possible to bring a number of other projects to a successful conclusion and to make determined progress towards a new economic model based on innovation and knowledge", he concluded.
Another of the benefits of this agreement are its energy-saving aspects. Over recent years, the transport sector has become the second largest energy consumer in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country, after the industrial sector. Lopez pointed out that this sector depends upon oil, and therefore, on foreign markets, "for which we pay a high energy bill, and, what is worse, with a high level of CO2 emissions". He went on to declare, "With the network of electrical charging points to be set up in the Basque Country, we will facilitate the implementation of a more efficacious, efficient and sustainable means of transport and develop a new model of urban mobility in our territory".
The agreement will be developed in two stages. During the first stage, which is expected to be completed by June 2010, a number of preliminary studies and tasks will be carried out so that, during the second stage, a company can be formed for the construction and operation of electrical charging points and/or the replacement of previously-defined electrical vehicle batteries. Deployment of this recharging network will begin in 2011 and will gradually extend to every part of our territory according to the established investment plan.
The Industry Minister, Bernabé Unda, explained that the Basque Energy Board intends to develop a design and implementation project for the basic network of charging points "in order to guarantee the mobility of political vehicles in the Basque Country". The intention is to provide the Basque Country with an electrical vehicle charging point infrastructure to create incentives and foster the gradual introduction of this kind of vehicles in this country.
The president of Repsol, Antonio Brufau, recalled that, according to forecasts, energy consumption will continue to increase over the next decades and therefore "companies in this sector must face the challenge of guaranteeing supplies in a sustainable and competitive manner". "This obliges us to seek on a permanent basis lines of technological progress that will allow us to cope with this demand ", he explained.