MADRID – The Spanish government approves a €50 million ($59 million) plan to subsidize alternative mobility.

The goal is to increase the nationwide fleet of vehicles powered by alternative energies, and to “contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas and greenhouse-gas emissions, thus advancing in the attainment of climate-change objectives and in the improvement” of air quality in cities,

says the plan’s administrator, the Institute for the Diversification and Saving of Energy (IDEA).

The MOVALT (from ‘alternative mobility’ in Spanish) program “will also contribute to increased savings and diversification of energy sources in transport, with the consequent reduction of Spain’s oil dependency,” IDEA says.

The program initially will distribute €20 million ($23.6 million) to subsidize alternatively fueled vehicles including electric, plug-in hybrid, hydrogen-fuel-cell, liquid-propane-gas, compressed-natural-gas and liquefied-natural-gas vehicles. Subsidies will range from €500 ($590) to €18,000 ($21,200).

The vehicles must be new or less than nine months old, and beneficiaries of the subsidies may be individuals, self-employed persons, businesses of all sizes and public administrations. The first orders for such vehicles were placed about five months ago.

Unlike Spain’s past subsidy plans, MOVALT does not require the scrapping of an old vehicle.

MOVALT funding includes another €15 million ($17.7 million) to promote the installation of electric-vehicle charging infrastructure by government agencies and private companies.

A third stage of the plan, to be launched later, sets aside €15 million to support R&D

initiatives addressing efficient and sustainable mobility.

MOVALT has been well received by the auto industry. But Marco Toro, CEO of Nissan Spain, notes EVs account for only 0.3% of vehicle sales in the country and says to be effective, the subsidies should be provided for at least four years.