Not just a technological revolution but also a momentous cultural shift. With the continuous launch of new electric mobility solutions, people’s habits are also changing. Nowadays, driving an e-car is no longer just a case of choosing an alternative to fossil fuel-powered vehicles, but rather it represents the very future of transportation.
In Italy the priority has become the creation of an infrastructure network that is increasingly efficient and widespread in order to break through the barrier of “range anxiety” – the fear of running out of electricity mid journey. The real turning point in the e-Mobility Revolution was the November 2017 launch in Rome of the National Plan for the installation of a charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. Enel aims to install 7 thousand charging columns all over the country by 2020 and 14 thousand by 2022.
The drive to increase the number of charging points will see Enel making investments in Italy of between 100 and 300 million euros through public and private partnerships. This will simultaneously provide a boost to the EVA+project, the first integrated system for fast charging infrastructure for electric vehicles; the initiative is co-financed by the European Union and serves to facilitate long-distance electric travel along the main road arteries between Italy and Austria.
Nowadays, journeys in electric vehicles can overcome frontiers and other limits because they use technological solutions that increase their autonomy: the 22 kW “Quick” charging columns located mainly in urban areas are now supported by the “Fast” (50k W) and “UltraFast” (up to 350 kW) models in areas beyond the confines of the city. The electro-stop, the possibility to recharge a vehicle in just a matter of minutes, is no longer a pipe dream following the launch and installation of 30 Fast Charge columns in Italy on 1 October 2017.
Thanks to the Vehicle to Grid (v2G) technology, introduced by Enel in Denmark and then rolled out in the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy, electric cars can also be used as mobile batteries that can contribute to balancing the grid by emitting or withdrawing energy from the system as required. In the case of Italy, this project won Enel the Sustainable Development Award at the Ecomondo exhibition in Rimini. At the 43rd edition of the Ambrosetti Forum on Lake Como in September 2017 a detailed study was presented which, for the very first time, mapped out the entire Value Chain for electric mobility in Italy. It acknowledged the key role that the sector is set to play in Italy in the future: with currently 160 thousand companies and 823 thousand jobs, the sector could potentially be generating revenues of up to 303 billion euros by 2030.
With its “Open Power” approach, which is based on innovation and sustainability, Enel continues to play a frontline role in the field of e-mobility. It is an example of the circular economy that today is built on two keystones. Electric vehicles represent “sustainable inputs”, contributing to a reduction in energy consumption and, consequently, fewer harmful emissions. Car sharing, on the other hand, is the application of the key concept of the “product as a service”, in which the company or service provider, rather than selling the car to the customer, directly sells the service of mobility, reducing the number of vehicles in circulation and consequently offering obvious benefits for our cities.
Low emissions for the fight against climate change, a coming of age of electricity storage technology and the increasing use of renewable energy sources and smart grids are three factors that have enabled the electric car to become a new, circular model for mobility.
Enel X has been set up precisely within the sphere of Open Power. The new Enel Group company is dedicated to the development of electric mobility and digital services in order to promote a new way of perceiving and using energy.