Electricity drives the future

Electricity drives the future

From Brussels to the Vatican, electricity is at the centre of the world of motors: the goal is decarbonising mobility, for an Earth-friendly sustainable future 

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From the Vatican to Brussels, the focus on two events held at end of May: the presentation in Brussels of  ‘100 Italian e-mobility stories‘, the document-book produced by Enel and Symbola Foundation and the #CO2FreeForum/Laudato si’, held at the Vatican.

 

Sustainable Mobility for Europe and the Earth

At the Car Museum in Brussels, in the heart of the history of motors, Enel's Chief Executive Officer Francesco Starace, and Symbola Foundation's President Ermete Realacci presented a book that collects a hundred Italian stories of technology, innovation, creativity and design, which make the creation of a new green mobility model possible.

A book that narrates how Italy’s experience in the motor industry can keep its level of excellence by designing a different future for mobility, imagining and achieving the car of the future, silent and without emissions. Time is ripe for pushing the accelerator on the development of electric mobility. The evolution of electricity and motor storage technologies, the growing spread of clean energy sources and smart grids, smart energy distribution networks, environmental targets, new lifestyles and the increasing consumer awareness about environmental issues have paved the way for a new age of transport, more sustainable and efficient.

Only with regard to Italy, if one considers the entire process, including electricity generation with the current generation mix (with a 40% renewable share of electricity), an electric car generates less than half of the total CO2 emissions that a similar petrol/diesel vehicle would produce

In addition, at the local level, electric cars do not produce pollutants such as thin powders, organic volatile compounds and SOx, and can drastically reduce noise pollution in cities.

Key factor for the success and spread of electric cars is the creation of a countrywide charging infrastructure. In this field, Enel is continually seeking cutting-edge solutions. A goal that the Group is pursuing through partnerships with major automotive world players, as well as innovative startups. Enel's collaboration with Formula E, the world championship of electric single-seaters, and with the Milan Polytechnic, aimed to design a widespread infrastructure for electric vehicle charging stations in Italy, granting a greater range to electric vehicles throughout the country, are part of this context.

 

An impetus for decarbonisation From the Laudato si’ Encyclical

From Brussels to the Vatican City, the focus is on the decarbonisation of mobility. The event "#CO2 Freeforum / Laudato si', Sustainability between communication and innovation", promoted by the Opel automotive company in a partnership with Enel, with the patronage of the Vatican Communications Secretariat, also centered on the evolution towards a sustainable mobility model. An action that is essential to welcome the appeal to protect the Earth launched by Pope Francis in 2015 with the Encyclical Laudato si’.

"The urgent challenge of protecting our common home involves the concern of joining the whole human family in seeking a sustainable and integral development, since we know that things can change". This was the call made by the Holy Father in the Encyclical, to the whole of humanity asked "to become aware of the need for changes in lifestyles, production and consumption, to fight this warming or, at least, the human causes that produce or accentuate it".

Enel's new approach to energy production is in line with this position. It focusses on renewable sources, committing to producing zero-carbon energy by 2050 in every one of its plants, and on the digital transformation of distribution networks, to allow a more conscious use of energy, spread distributed generation, energy efficiency and large-scale dissemination of electric cars.

The ongoing transformation in the transport sector is heading in this direction. "The automotive industry will change over the next five years, more than it has changed in the last fifty," emphasised Karl-Thomas Neumann, President of the Opel Boards, during the event, quoting Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO of General Motors.

The future of mobility, according to Neumann, includes robot taxis, car sharing and electricity. A vision shared by Enel's Director of Innovation and Sustainability Ernesto Ciorra, who at the Vatican event illustrated the concept of Open Innovability, the open approach that, combining innovation and sustainability, promotes the development of innovative technologies to support corporate strategies. This is the approach that has led Enel  to see electric vehicles as distributed storage system to support the power grid, developed with the innovative Vehicle2Grid technology, instead of a mere means of transport.

Electric and sustainable mobility were also discussed by the Pope with Enel's manager at the hearing held on May 31 at the Vatican. Pope Francis himself wanted to see firsthand Enel's electric mobility. A walk at the Vatican and a wish: taking a close look at the technology that will allow the full spread of electric vehicles.

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