Earth Day 2017, the Green road towards e-mobility

Earth Day 2017, the Green road towards e-mobility

Electric mobility is a solution within everyone’s reach to make cities more liveable and the use of energy more efficient, while also contributing to the green future of the planet. This is a strategic choice that Enel shares with Formula E to promote Earth Day 2017

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How can we make our lifestyles more sustainable? This is the question repeated every spring in the run up to Earth Day, which is approaching its fiftieth anniversary.

In the United States on 22 April 1970, 20 million American activists mobilized to support the need to safeguard the Earth’s natural resources. The initiative Earth Day, which was ratified by the United Nations, has since become a global event. Today it involves 193 countries all over the world to raise awareness about environmental issues through the coordination of the Earth Day Network.

 

Switch to green energy

The main aim of Earth day is to raise awareness about a lifestyle that is healthy, respectful of the environment and helps people to make a change in this direction through individual choices and small actions. The promotion of green technology for an efficient use of energy is one aspect of this and electric mobility represents one of the solutions that is within the reach of everyone.

Fossil fuels used in the transportation of people and goods are responsible for 23% of CO2 pollution on a global level (Source IEA). These percentages rise even further if we focus on highly urbanized and industrialized countries and areas: in the 27 member states of the EU, pollution linked to transport makes up over 30%, while in the USA the figure exceeds 34%.

Switching to electric cars is, therefore, a question of efficiency and sustainability, beginning with those who live in the city, where today the majority of the population and productive activities are concentrated.

For Enel, electric mobility is a key feature of a new model for the city and sustainable transport capable of combining the protection of the environment, energy efficiency and economic savings. With this conviction, through partnerships and constant research for innovative solutions, we are working on the creation of systems and services for simple and rapid recharging in order to encourage the take up of this technology on a large scale.

This aim is connected to a strategy of growth that orients business towards the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.

Electric mobility is one of the technologies capable of contributing to the success of SDGs 11 and 13, dedicated to the sustainable development of cities and the fight against climate change. According to the analysis of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the development of innovative solutions for the fulfilment of these two goals could generate, on a global level, an economic value of 3.7 trillion dollars per year between today and 2030, of which 2 trillion would come from sustainable mobility alone.

 

Accelerating towards the future: the laboratory of Formula E

Our company is working on a number of fronts in order to achieve this goal: one of these is the partnership with Formula E, the global championship for electric single-seat vehicles.

Formula E brings together the automotive sector’s largest companies committed to the development of electric motors and it takes the competition to racing tracks adapted specially in the world’s largest urban centres, from Mexico City to London, promoting a model for zero decibel mobility and almost zero emissions of CO2.

In this context Enel has the possibility to test intelligent solutions for micro-networks and storage, integrating production from renewable sources and optimizing the use of energy in extreme conditions through systems of energy management.

These technological solutions may have been designed for electric single-seat vehicles but already are finding uses in the world’s cities and are being made available to people.

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An electrifying journey towards sustainability

For more than ten years we have been on a journey in the sector of sustainable mobility. We began with the installation of the first recharging stations, moving on to integrated projects for the creation of genuine fast recharge and multiservice networks. Our aim is to provide people with the possibility to choose a convenient new transport model.

On this front, in addition to the partnership with Formula E, there is also the collaboration with diverse automobile companies including Mercedes, BMW and Nissan and European-wide initiatives such as EVA+, for the creation of a network for electric refuelling on the main connecting routes between Italy and Austria. On a national level, from Italy and Spain to Colombia and Chile, we have been promoting innovative services for the creation of fully electric company fleets, green tourism and car sharing.

The perfect example of our commitment, however, is the development of the Vehicle to Grid (V2G) technology. The V2G system, created in collaboration with Nissan and the Californian start up Nuvve, enables the transformation of parked electric cars into mobile energy generators that interact in a form of ‘dialogue’ with the distribution network.

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The technological platform, currently operating a pilot project in Denmark, establishes the installation of bidirectional recharging infrastructure (from the network to the vehicle and from the vehicle to the network) which, compared with mono-directional (network to vehicle) systems, enables the car to transfer energy stored in its battery to the electricity network acting like a mobile energy plant. The utility company thus becomes also an energy manager while the owner of the electric car becomes a key player in the activities of balancing the network.

Energy becomes circular, integrating renewables and making the network more efficient: making the switch to clean energy electric vehicles is getting easier and easier. The Earth’s resources are being protected and sustainable mobility is painting the world’s roads green.

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