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March 2023 | Companies

Is Spain prepared for the electric car?

  • Spain has become an important exporter and reference point in the automotive sector for the European market. This is due to its experience, quality, investment, innovation and technology in the sector, among other factors. 
  • The country currently has a powerful industry with great opportunities in the electric car sector. There are ambitious projects focused on the extraction of lithium and the production of batteries that would allow Spain to maintain its position as a major player at European and international level.

Mobility is changing and, with it, the entire automotive sector is undergoing a profound transformation. The electric car is no longer a question of the future, but of the present, which opens the door to new challenges and business opportunities, especially in the manufacture of batteries.  
It is well known that Spain is an important exporter and a benchmark in the European automotive market. In Spain you can find car factories of major car manufacturers such as Renault, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, the Volkswagen Group or the Stellantis Group. Many of them manufacture electric cars. What's more, the volume of electric vehicles being produced across the country is growing. It is an industrial ecosystem capable of meeting the demand of both national and international manufacturers. 
Specifically, Spain has 17 car factories, 15 technology centres and 10 automotive clusters. These are joined by more than 1,000 automotive component production plants belonging to 720 business groups. It is no coincidence that it is the 4th largest producer of components in Europe.  
According to the Spanish Association of Automotive Suppliers (SERNAUTO), to which the Autoparts from Spain initiative belongs: "Spain has a leading innovation ecosystem in the development of products and technologies for electric vehicles. Several experts agree that, by 2025, electric vehicles will be fully competitive". 
The brands that belong to the Autoparts from Spain initiative are taking on the new challenges posed by the electric vehicle to accompany society in the change towards a new form of mobility: 

- Grupo Antolin, one of the world's leading manufacturers of automotive interiors, is developing more integrated products that include further developments in technology and electronics, offering, for example, lighting solutions with greater functions.
- Gestamp, meanwhile, is developing battery boxes that include multi-material solutions with an aluminium frame, steel modules and sandwich material for the cover, designed to make the repair procedure easier and safer.
- Icer Brakes has been working on the development of environmentally friendly e2 pads for electric vehicles. 
- In the same vein, DOGA is developing electric traction motors and in-wheel motors for motorbikes and light vehicles, with a clear focus on sustainable mobility.
- Another example is FAE, which develops components for electric vehicles such as sensors, power converters or heated seat covers. In addition, the company is strongly committed to research and development of future products for hybrid, electric, LPG and even hydrogen vehicles.

Active projects to promote the electric car industry

Spain currently has several projects underway to promote the electric car industry and, more specifically, the production of electric car batteries.

One of the most advanced projects is the exploitation of the first lithium mine in the European Union in terms of production and size.  Another major project that will see the light of day this year is the creation of an energy storage supercapacitor plant that would have a production of 600,000 units per year. This will make it one of the most important facilities of its kind in Europe.

In addition, there are other projects underway, such as the proposal to build a gigafactory for batteries or the possible implementation of a battery plant in Valladolid. If all these projects are successful, Spain will complete the missing link in this "green battle": the extraction of lithium and the production of batteries for electric cars. All of this will make the country's already strong automotive industry even stronger, both at European and international level.

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