Spain’s new climate change law comes into force in 2023 and towns and cities with more than 50,000 residents will have to make a series of changes to lower their CO2 emissions.
When the new measures come into effect, each town will have to implement a low emission zone (ZBE) with around 150 Spanish municipalities thought to be affected by the change.
Each municipality will have until December 31, 2023, to implement their low emission zones.
Some towns and cities with more than 20,000 inhabitants will also have to comply with the new measures and implement their own green zones.
According to data from Spain's National Institute of Statistics (INE), around 25 million people reside in the municipalities where the low emission zones will be brought in, accounting for around 53% of the Spanish population.
Legal action can be taken by the central government against any of the municipalities that exceed the maximum emission levels.
Naturally, drivers of traditional combustion engine vehicles will be the first to be targeted, with around three in every four drivers expected to be impacted.
Spain’s traffic authorities, the DGT, will look to restrict the oldest and most polluting vehicle models first.
Although it is unclear at this time what rules and measures each of the municipalities will put in place, it could mean that only the most environmentally friendly vehicles will be able to circulate in specific areas.
Hybrid and electric vehicles will most likely get preferential treatment and will therefore be able to circulate within the designated ZBEs. However, conventional category C and B diesel and petrol-engined vehicles will not be so lucky and be restricted the most.
Hybrid vehicles currently account for around 18.4% of vehicles on the road with electric vehicles representing 3.9%.
Following the successful implementation of low emission zones in Madrid and Barcelona, it is thought these vehicles will benefit the most from the new measures in other towns and cities in Spain.
With around one in four new vehicles being leased, many believe that making it easier for people to lease hybrid and electric vehicles could be another solution to driving down pollution levels.
However, Spain currently lacks the infrastructure for these forms of vehicles with only a low number of charging points available in towns and cities.