On 5 October 2017 Piet Holtrop and Chris Smith attended the third Nissan Forum on Mobility (III Foro Nissan de la Movilidad) in Madrid. The event – organized by the multinational carmaker Nissan – aimed to promote discussion and debate on the future of the electric car in Spain, as well as showcase Nissan’s new ‘Leaf’ model. Panelists included members of industry, government, politics and the media.

From a technical and public interest point of view, the event seemed to us to be highly successful. Besides from the high-quality panelists and the introduction of Nissan’s new ‘Leaf’ model, the topics of discussion and moderation touched upon some of the most relevant issues present in the electric car debate. Of particular interest from our point of view, emphasis was placed on the role of the ‘Gestor de Carga’ (roughly translated as ‘Responsible person for charging’). This legal personality is required whenever a person wants to provide electric car recharging services to third persons, even where that recharging is provided for free. Amongst other things, becoming registered as a Gestor de Carga is time consuming, costly and entails onerous ongoing compliance requirements.

This issue is important because, as the panelists acknowledged, one of the key roadblocks to the development of the electric car in Spain is the relative lack of recharging points, especially ‘rapid’ chargers that allow for cars to be fully recharged within 10-15 minutes. The Gestor de Carga figure plays an important role in this roadblock. Although the panelists did not come to a final conclusion on the appropriate or likely future of the Gestor de Carga in Spain, it was encouraging to see the issue front-and-center in a debate of such importance.

Other points of interest included a consensus amongst all panelists on the need for the industry and stakeholders to present a common message. Central to this message needs to be not only a discussion on the environmental benefits of the electric car, but also the esthetic and performance advantages that the latest generation of electric cars can provide.

All in all, a very informative, sleek and entertaining event. We look forward to attending the fourth version next year and working with stakeholders throughout the electric car industry in the future to promote the electric vehicle not only in Spain, but in the whole of Europe.