Tell us something about this institution or company. What does it deal with, what are its values, how many employees do you have, etc?
In Spain, the public administrative structure is structured on three levels: national, regional, and local. Cieza city council is part of this last third level, whose main functions are to provide the closest and most immediate services to the citizenship and which may vary according to the size of the city. The municipality of Cieza provides services in culture, education, social services, sports, waste management, street lighting, public cleaning, parks and gardens, police, and urban planning, among others. The number of workers is about 250-300. One of its responsibilities is to improve the urban environment, which implies carrying out actions to improve air quality. This is why mobility policies and the transition from conventional to alternative vehicles have vital importance.
Why did your company decide to get involved in the E-MOB project?
The city of Cieza has extensive experience in sustainability policies. Back in 2005, the environmental department was set up, and, since then, regional and national recognition has been obtained. Cieza has signed the Aalborg Charter and is a Covenant of Mayor's member. In addition, it has elaborated a high-quality Sustainable Urban Development Strategy, awarded by a national call. One of the objectives of this last document is to promote policies for the transition to a carbon economy, in which e-mob will play a major role.
Have you participated in any project related to the electromobility in the past?
No, this is the first one.
What are your expectations from the E-MOB project?
To obtain quality and useful information on the appropriate steps to be taken in the implementation of electromobility policies in the municipality, and make it available to policymakers, the citizenship and the private sector. This has the final aim of promoting a low carbon economy in Cieza.
What is the situation in your country with the topic of the electromobility?
At the national level, a strong impulse is foreseen for the extension of the use of the electric vehicle in the coming years, supporting the implementation of charging points and subsidizing the purchase of vehicles. At the regional level, there are many regions that have launched subsidies for the implementation of charging points.
However, at the local level, the situation differs from large cities to small municipalities. In large cities, electric vehicles are beginning to be incorporated into the public transport and service fleets, and small municipalities tend to wait until large municipalities have succeeded in their policy implementation before starting to make investments.
What challenges do you face with the development of electromobility in your country?
Mainly the regulation for an efficient incorporation of mass-use electric mobility systems such as e-scooters, e-bikes or e-motorbikes in city mobility, which will play a key role in the future. In addition, to clearly regulate the installation of charging points in old neighbourhood communities. Another vital aspect is the reduction of costs in the implementation of charging points on public roads, especially those associated with the term of power and the availability of sufficient power for its establishment.
According to you, what is the biggest challenge in developing electromobility? Is it batteries for vehicles, disposal of used batteries, lack of resources for battery production?
Without any doubt, and referring to the electric vehicle, the performance of the batteries, their cost, reliability and duration.
Do you think society is ready to use electric vehicles?
Yes, not to do it massively from one day to the next, but for sure to do it gradually. The possibilities for users to switch to the electric vehicle are much greater than society thinks. In this sense, it is very important to do a good job of communication and information.
Do you think that fossil fuel vehicles will be replaced by electric vehicles in the future?
Without any doubt.
Mobility has been reduced in many countries due to the COVID - 19. What is the situation in your country? How do you fight the COVID - 19 virus?
In Spain, the COVID-19 has had a strong impact. Mobility has been drastically reduced due to the state of alarm (which has caused a great improvement in the air quality of cities). In Spain the most important measures have been focused on reducing the mobility of the population.
What is your vision of the city in the future in terms of the use of electric vehicles in urban mobility?
Europe is moving decisively towards zero emission in the year 2050, and, in this sense the new European Green Deal will mean a decisive commitment for a decarbonised Europe. In this sense, the transition from conventional to electric vehicles will be a reality in the coming years.