This is a new interview, as part of ELVITEN interview series, in which we present ELVITEN partner – Promalaga, their role and contribution to the project implementation, as well as their view on urban mobility.

Enjoy the reading!

A short introduction of your organisation.

The Empresa Municipal de Iniciativas y Actividades Empresariales S.A. (Promalaga) is a local public authority in Malaga City (Spain). Their main functions amongst its ample scope of activities are the development, deployment and promotion of economic and social activities contributing to the economical, tourism, technological and social growth in the city of Malaga and its surrounding areas. They also aim to promote and develop activities to generate stable and quality jobs, with projected direct socio-economic industry of Malaga and contribute to the reform of the production model of Malaga and Spain through the support and consolidation companies that produce products and services of high value added.

As our leitmotif, we intend for this endeavour to become a hallmark of the city, where innovation and technology must be everyday processes. We can see this in the progress we have made in recent years with the University, the Technology Park, the different public administrations, and the private business by means of public-private collaboration. The city is turning into a real urban laboratory and has defined its Smart City strategy. The city boasts state of the art aviation, railway, and seaport infrastructure as well as an extensive network of roads and highways that make it a privileged location.

Its main objective is to become the main tool for helping the different economic sectors of Malaga and its surrounding areas, which will enable the new challenges posed in the context of an open economy. The technological development of their productive sectors is regarded as a key factor of growth and sustainability of their economy. Particularly, the Municipal Incubator Network has been configured as one of the main instruments that the City Council has to promote the creation and consolidation of companies, employment and support for entrepreneurs.

What is your task and responsibility in the ELVITEN project?

The activities that are carried out by Promálaga in the ELVITEN project are aimed to introducing a new and clean electric light vehicle in the city of Malaga. Thanks to the implementation of Kyburz black boxes in the vehicles, it can achieve a wide study of trip data such as locating every EL-V, collecting the speed, the number of trips and the trip duration. To attract users, regional media campaigns has been made. Promálaga has taken part in the design and development of several ELVITEN associated apps that the EL-V users can use: The Booking App for the reservation of EL-V’s charge points; Digital Coach; Smart App and ELVIGAME. The impacts in terms of environmental awareness, our actions include the traffic modelling and setting the terms of emission and energy savings. Promálaga has contribute to produce different guidelines. The manufacturers can start designing new and more attractive EL-V generations, and through public administrations and other stakeholders can raise awareness in terms of sustainability.

Promálaga is responsible of carrying out the pilot demonstration in the city of Malaga. The pilot has counted 40 L1eA vehicles and users have been selected based on their mobility habits so they could use the vehicles for two-month periods. In total, almost 200 users have passed through the pilot, and 6,000 trips have been generated.

What was your interest in joining the ELVITEN project?

The Spanish coasts are especially sensitive to the effects of the climate change, such as the increase of the ocean temperatures, the rising of the sea level or the impacts of the coastal erosion. In recent years, there has been a great demographic increase in the Mediterranean area, by the Spanish population but also by tourists, entailing a change in the land use due to the growth of urbanizations on the coast. All of this turns the coastline into a vulnerable and threatened area in the environmental and socio-economic sense. In the light of this situation, Malaga has begun to organize reforms on the promenades to promote mobility on the coast, allowing the existence of a continuity in the maritime axis of the city, connecting this way different districts.

By joining the ELVITEN Project, Malaga obtains information about a clean urban transport system, while reducing harmful gas emissions and the non-renewable energy consumption. With the introduction of new, clean forms of mobility, we aim to support the citizens’ awareness of sustainable development.

What is your opinion on Electric-Light Vehicles?

Light Electric Vehicles provide an extensive series of advantages for sustainable development, mainly described as drastically reducing of the emission of CO2, Nox, NMHC and PM gases, and the collaboration with the reduction of atmospheric and acoustic pollution. With the existing plans of electrifying transport, as well as the proposals that are being carried out to facilitate the acquisition of electric vehicles through incentives (subsidies, tax reductions), Europe is approaching a market with cheaper costs in terms of environmental impact, but also regarding to production and maintenance. The cities are moving at different speeds to transform their fleet from polluting vehicles to more environmentally friendly vehicles. Mobility managers must use the tools at their disposal to facilitate and accelerate this transition and achieve results in a shorter time frame.

Could you explain the impact of EL-Vs on urban mobility?

An 81% of the vehicles (PCs and LCVs) in Malaga are Euro 5, achieving the approved measures regarding the amounts of emissions allowed with respect to transport in the European Union. However, the use of alternative fuels is still at a 1%. Given this, Malaga is included in the European objectives for 2050 to electrify transport and implement the 30% of the countries’ vehicle fleet as electric.

What do you think about the future market for urban mobility?

Urban mobility is rapidly expanding the possibilities of using electric vehicles. Since 2015, the Spanish government established the “Plan MOVES”, which in May of 2020 has updated a budget of 65 million euros, 70% of which is intended to subsidize the purchase of ecological vehicles. Barcelona and Valencia will launch in mid-June a series of incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles, under the so-called “Plan de Fomento de Uso de la Bicicleta”. Along with this, it is contemplated the improvement of the itineraries and connections between municipalities to shorten distances and allow to carry out these routes by bicycle. Other cities include tax deductions for the purchase of electric vehicles.

Faced with COVID-19, the Ministry of Transport is currently studying the need to adjust the concentration of travellers in public transport. This, together with the increase in teleworking, supports the possibility of traveling at different times than the peak hours, and is as well an opportunity to promote the use of electric vehicles. Several companies are acting to participate in the sustainable development: ENDESA plans to install 2,000 charging points for electric vehicles; the national post company plans to renew its fleet with electric vans.  All these advances make it clear that the Spanish market seeks to get closer to a sustainable transport model for the environmental development.

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