The promotion of electric vehicles is a priority for the Madrid City Council, being considered as a key measure to improve the city air quality and also to reduce CO2 emissions, under the scenario of growing shares of renewables in the energy mix. In 2009, Madrid signed the European cities agreement to reduce the GHG emissions, the ‘Covenant of Majors’, setting a CO2 target of 20% reduction by 2020.

Madrid, through its Air Quality Plan 2011-2015 has set a group of nine measures specifically focused in e-mobility, including the development of a strategic framework for the promotion of electric vehicles, mobility advantages for cleaner vehicles, vehicles tax incentives or voluntary agreements with the private sector.

Besides, the promotion of electric vehicles will figure prominently as a strategic measure in the reviewed city´s Climate and Sustainable Energy Action Plan to achieve the aforementioned CO2 target. The new Climate and Energy Plan for the period 2013-2020 is expected to be approved by the first semester of 2013.

What is it?

The accomplishments of the Madrid´s strategy to promote electric vehicles include:

  • Development of a public charge point system, with the involvement of the private sector through public-private partnerships.
  • Establishment of fiscal incentives to promote the use of electric vehicles.
  • Introduction of electric vehicles in the municipal fleet and taxis.
  • Promotion of electric mobility in the freight sector.
  • Participation in national and European projects for the promotion of electric vehicles.
  • Communication of electric mobility actions. 

How does it work?

The city council through the Energy Agency of Madrid promotes both public and private initiatives to develop a network of charging points and to increase the number of electric vehicles in the city.

With regard to the network of charging points, it should be noted that Madrid was chosen by the Spanish Ministry of Industry in 2009, among other Spanish municipalities, to implement a pilot electric car infrastructure project, resulting in the implementation of a public charge point system of 24 on-street points. The municipal effort to develop an electric car charging infrastructure also includes the 67 charging points located in 4 parking lots owned by the municipal company, Madrid Movilidad, S.A.

The use of electric vehicles is also promoted through measures such as exemption from the municipal street parking regulation (unlimited free parking is available for electric and plug-in electric hybrid vehicles), free recharge at the 24 street points (until the end of the first semester of 2013), a 75% reduction of the municipal tax on motor vehicles (during the first 6 years for hybrids and permanent for electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) or discount on the annual fee for freight operations for hybrids (free for electric and plug-in electric vehicles). Subsidies were also given in 2011 and 2012 for the renewal of taxi vehicles (emitting less than 160 gr CO2/Km).
The municipal administration also plays a major role on the promotion of electric vehicles through the acquisition of electric vehicles in the municipal fleet. This can be accomplished through renting contracts, direct acquisition or through municipal contracts.

  • Renting. The Energy Agency of Madrid promotes electric vehicles including environmental clauses in the renting contracts for the municipal fleet. Clauses about CO2 emissions limits are present among bid specifications and fleets including electric vehicles obtain higher scores.
  • Direct acquisition. This is the preferred option to acquire expensive and complex vehicles (buses, tow trucks, fire trucks, …). As an example, the Municipal Transport Company includes restrictions on CO2 emission limits and acquires both hybrid and electric buses.
  • Contractors fleet. Electric vehicles are also introduced including clauses during the procurement of municipal services (waste management, maintenance of green areas, maintenance of street furniture, …)

In addition, the Madrid city council also collaborates with private companies to promote electric vehicles, highlighting two initiatives: reaching a voluntary agreement with freight companies towards achieving 6% clean vehicle technology of their total fleet by 2012 and creating a forum of companies involved in the development of electric vehicles (Foro de Movilidad eléctrica) .

Finally, it should be noted that Madrid participates with other European cities in European projects and initiatives to promote electric vehicles: EVUE (Electric vehicles in urban Europe), FR-EVUE (Freight electric vehicles in urban Europe), MADEV (Madrid Electric Vehicle) and the Green eMotion initiative. For the past three years, Madrid has participated at the EVUE project that is a transnational exchange and learning programme among nine European cities and their electric vehicle strategies and approaches.


The municipal electric vehicle fleet currently consists of near 180 electric vehicles and 7 plug-in hybrid vehicles. It is estimated that around 400 electric vehicles circulating in Madrid are privately owned whereas a total of 1,700 taxis are hybrid vehicles.

With regard to the charge point system, there were 438 points by the end of 2012, including 25 on-street points.

Next steps

Two important ordinances are currently under review, expected to be approved in 2013, with the aim of boosting clean technologies in road transportation such as electric vehicles. The new Mobility Ordinance will limit access of freight vehicles to the Low Emission Zone by 2020 (the vehicles will have to comply with Euro 6 standards) whereas the Taxi Ordinance will no allow circulating of taxis emitting more that 160 g CO2/Km, creating a label for ‘Ecotaxis’ that currently complies with these limits.