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EU Urban Mobility Observatory
News article28 March 20183 min read

Barcelona’s sustainable mobility strategy features a prominent role for electric vehicles

Barcelona recently published its Electric Mobility Strategy 2018-2024 including a range of measures and ambitious targets for development of electromobility in the city.

By 2024, 80% of the municipal fleet should be electric - as well as 100 buses and 800 taxis. In addition, the strategy aims to increase the number of electric private cars and motorcycles up to a combined total of 24,000.  The number of electric vehicles and motorcycles currently registered remains below 2,000, which demonstrates how ambitious the Strategy aims to be.

The Councillor for Mobility, Mercedes Vidal, presented the new strategy at a press conference on 14 March, 2017 stating it would help secure the transition of Barcelona towards sustainable mobility and zero emissions and to maintain Barcelona position "as a leading city in electric mobility".  Vidal stressed that the strategy is considered to be evolutionary and adaptable to the social, economic and energy market changes. Meanwhile intermediate targets have been set as "it is necessary to continue advancing".

Public procurement plays a key role in increasing the share of electric vehicles (EVs) in the municipal electric fleet from 35% in 2018, to 50% in 2020 and to 80% in 2024. The municipal fleet consists of about 1,500 vehicles that are used the provision of a range of municipal services. Public procurement regulations and policies adopted by the Municipality stipulate EVs will be used for renewal of the fleet wherever possible.

In public transport, the strategy specifically targets the buses of Transportes Metropolitanos de Barcelona (TMB), aiming to have 25 fully electric by 2020 and 100 by 2024. It is expected that by that time electric bus technology has evolved sufficiently to allow a commitment to purchasing only zero-emission buses from 2025 onwards to reach a 100% electric fleet in 2040.

Besides procurement, cooperation is also sought with school and tourist bus operators to identify measures to promote the use of EVs, such as facilitating recharging points for  tourist and airport buses. In addition, the strategy includes proposals to investigate opportunities to better utilise power from the subway to recharge EVs at the night and even utilise energy recovered from subway or tram braking to recharge the fleet during the day.
Another focal area of the Electric Mobility Strategy is the taxi sector. As of 2019 no new taxi licences will be issued for diesel vehicles, whereas from 2024 onwards only electric taxis can apply for a taxi licences. At the same time, the strategy foresees an increase in the number of (exclusive) charging points for taxis throughout the city. Also, the City Council and Institut Metropolità del Taxi (IMET) have agreed to investigate other measures that would favour electric taxis (e.g. priority queuing at taxi stands, in airport parking, etc.). It is expected that the measures will make it possible to meet the target of 200 electric taxis in 2020 and 800 in 2024.
Finally, the strategy details a range of measures to promote private use of electric vehicles. The number and access to charging infrastructure will be increased significantly by almost tripling the number of public charging points at underground public parking spaces and giving EVs free access to these spaces.

The City Council is also set to investigate the possibility of offering subsidies for electric vehicles, road tax discounts and discounts on tolls. For goods vehicles, the strategy also foresees introduction of vehicle access restrictions for conventional vehicles in the city.

The combination of measures outlined above should help to achieve the target of 6,000 private cars and 6,000 electric motorcycles by 2020 and increase the number of both up to 24,000 in 2024. "We calculate that with the incentives and restrictions of the most polluting vehicles, which will be increasingly demanding, it is a realistic figure", remarked Councillor for Mobility, Mercedes Vidal. With the implementation of the new strategy Barcelona continues to lead the way in adopting measures for promoting electric vehicles in Spain and remains an interesting benchmark model for other cities in the future.

Original document (in Spanish)



Publication date
28 March 2018
  • Clean and energy-efficient vehicles
  • Spain