Portugal on track to meet EU targets on electric cars

 In Electrical and Transport Systems, News

Portugal’s Minister for the Environment and Climate Action, Duarte Cordeiro said that the country was on track to meet EU targets on phasing out fossil fuel driven vehicles and replacing them with electric vehicles by 2035.

Speaking at the International Club of Portugal (ICPT) on Wednesday, Duarte Cordeiro said that there had been a “very rapid growth in the electric cars sector” in Portugal.

The minister said that Portugal was on track to meet the proposal approved by the European Parliament to prohibit the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2035.

“Portugal has a proposal for a Basic Climate Law that has already established a target which is identical (to the EU law) that has just been approved”, he told the online news site New Men, adding “a law that our country has to get adapted and approved.”

Duarte Cordeiro added that the greatest challenges had to do with commercialisation and not usage. “This will throw up challenges in adapting essentially what is the productive capacity of our country” as manufacturers  in the automative sector, and if we can manage the transition process to other car production models that do not rely on fossil fuels”.

But according to the minister, Portugal is on the right track and proof of this is the growth in electric car purchases.

Whilst in Portugal there are still more diesel driven cars (59.1%) and petrol driven cars (36.8%), electric vehicles still only represent 0.8% of all vehicles on the roads.

The Automobile Association of Portugal (ACAP) states that in January 2023 2,258 electric cars were sold in Portugal compared to 962 sold in January 2022. (+134.7%)

And taking into account this growth rate, when asked about how infrastructure for electric vehicle charing points was going and would develop in the light of European ambitions for 2035, Duarte Cordeiro said that charging points were increasing and would keep pace with the increasing number of electric vehicles.

“In 2020 we had a ratio of one charge point for every 18 cars, now we have one charge point for every 22 cars”.

However, the statement means in practice that while there are more electric cars, the number of charging points has remained the same. “At present we have electric chargers in 103 municipalities up and down the country”, he said.