Spanish city opens electric car research centre

The southern Spanish city of Malaga on Thursday opened a centre to develop electric cars in a project backed by Japanese automaker Mitsubishi and Spanish utility Endesa.

The research centre, installed in a former tobacco factory, is part of a pilot project with a budget of 60 million euros ($78 million) "aimed at achieving mass access to e-mobility," Endesa said in a statement.

Malaga, a port city of just over half a million people, will serve as en experiment to study the impact of the the use of electric vehicles on the city and determine what would be needed to develop the widespread use of this type of car, the company added.

Electric cars have been made available to the 160 people involved in the project, while 229 charging points have been installed in city, mainly at homes and workplaces of participants.

"The use of electric vehicles in Malaga will provide comprehensive information on the impact of these vehicles, and the requirements for a large-scale implementation of electric vehicles in society," the statement said.

The study centre also has an educational space open to the public, which aims to familiarise people with the electric car.

Spain's Crown Prince Felipe officially inaugurated the centre accompanied by Industry Minister Jose Manuel Soria and Endesa president Borja Prado.