Legend has it that Galileo once said, “And yet it moves.” Although battery-powered electric cars currently represent only 0.16% of the market in Italy, according to estimates by UNRAE (the national association of foreign car sales reps in Italy), the figures show a clear trend towards zero-emission mobility. The desire to support this transition has led to the foundation of MOTUS-E, a non-profit organisation promoted by Enel X with ALD Automotive Italy, ABB, the Volkswagen Group Italy, Allianz, Cobat and the Milan Polytechnic.
The presentation took place on 6 June in Rome at the Loft on the LUISS university campus, and outlined a threefold approach: facilitating the transition from the monopoly of vehicles using traditional fuel to sustainable transport, promoting e-mobility and publicising the benefits of safeguarding the environment. Promoting change means working through an authoritative representative for institutional stakeholders, thereby creating an effective synergy between operators in the sector, the academic world, the industrial supply chain, consumers and trends in public opinion.
MOTUS-E responds to all these requirements, as it operates as a platform for dialogue that represents everyone’s interests but also enables the organisation of round tables based on technology, economics and sharing best practice in the context of digital transformation.
In the opinion of the CEO of Enel X Francesco Venturini, who spoke at the Rome launch, the association “brings together and represents all stakeholders interested in the development and success of e-mobility, and also supports the transition in Italy towards the mobility of the future, something that has already happened in other countries.” A crucial presence within MOTUS-E is that of universities and research centres, whose task it is to develop new skills and expertise through dedicated courses, and to design training methods with the support of internal research and analyses.
The data presented at the launch of MOTUS-E depict an e-mobility scenario with ample room for growth, supported by the increasing range offered by batteries, shorter charge times and the use of renewable energy, making the entire Well-to-Wheel process more sustainable (the Well-to-Wheel index is used to assess propulsion technology and fuels from the point of view of efficiency and environmental impact). There are still only a relatively small number of electric cars on Italy’s roads, around 11,500, serviced by 4,200 public charge stations - one for every 14,000 inhabitants, as opposed to one for every 1,660 in the Netherlands. Germany provides a point of reference, with 22,000 charging stations, a number Italy will approach in the next few years through the National Plan launched by Enel, which envisages a network of 14,000 stations by 2022. The push for renewal will then focus on conventional vehicles: the average age of the 37 million currently on the road is 11 years, and 20.4% of these don’t meet the Euro3 emissions standards.
The e-mobility revolution is now under way in Italy, too, and MOTUS-E provides a new instrument for accelerating its development.