P.R.I.M.E. gets underway, the e-mobility project for smart recharging.
The Environment Ministry contributes 1,325,800 euros to the P.R.I.M.E. project.
On top of Enel and Mercedes-Benz Italia, the initial research on the benefits of electric mobility will be carried out by the universities of Pisa and Salento, by CEI-CIVES and by Igeam Developpement Durable.

Rome  November 8th, 2011 – P.R.I.M.E., the project jointly funded by the Environment Ministry as part of the “Applications for funding for research projects targeting energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources in urban areas” programme, gets underway.
The project, which requires an overall investment of three million euros, 1,325,800 euros of which is to be provided by the Ministry, will be in the hands of the partnership comprising Enel Ingegneria e Innovazione S.p.A., Enel Distribuzione S.p.A., Mercedes-Benz Italia SpA, the University of Pisa – Department of Energy and Systems Engineering, the University of Salento – Department of Innovation for Engineering, CEI-CIVES and Igeam Developpement Durable S.r.l.

The mobility sector is responsible for approximately one third of all the polluting and climate-changing emissions produced by human activity. New technologies based on the use of electric vehicles now make it possible to reduce this impact by roughly half, improving air quality and cutting noise pollution in urban areas in particular.

In this context, the aim of P.R.I.M.E. is to develop the technology for personal electrical mobility and its associated factors and put this into operation. The Project leverages on the platform developed for “e-mobility Italy” which will be achieved by creating and trialling an innovative recharging infrastructure in the cities of Milan, Pisa and Rome, involving real users of electric vehicles. A parallel study mirroring these trials will be carried out in Lecce, together with the testing of hybrid drive plug-in prototypes.

The research represents the first structured field study in Italy aimed at analysing the benefits of the use of e-mobility. A second line of enquiry will produce a quantitative analysis of the environmental, energy-efficiency and economic benefits that may derive from a significant penetration of electric vehicles into the road transport system.

The integrated approach taken for the project, the range of partners involved and the opportunity to observe and model the performance of the systems and the behaviour of users will make it possible to quantify the environmental and energy efficiency benefits delivered and as well as those achievable on a larger scale.

Once some likely target scenarios for developing this sector have been identified, the impact on the electricity system of the additional demand created by the need to recharge electric cars will be assessed. Finally, the results will be published along with the identification of best administrative and regulatory practices, therefore making it possible to launch a process leading to the uptake of the most effective and practical models.

This project will make a contribution to achieving the EU goals for environmental sustainability, by systematically addressing the challenge to improve the quality of life in cities for everyone and to promote the use of the most advanced technologies and procedures that Europe has to offer.

The partners

Enel Ingegneria e Innovazione S.p.A.

The Enel Group company which focuses on the development of systems and on research and technological innovation. It will handle project coordination and develop the research relating to environmental impact and the potential repercussions of a scenario in which there is widespread uptake of e-mobility on a large scale.

Enel Distribuzione S.p.A.

The Enel Group company responsible for the infrastructure of gas and electricity distribution networks. It manages over 86% of the electricity distribution grid in Italy and is the world leader in cutting-edge systems for remote meter management. This company will deal with developing and creating infrastructure solutions, some 400 recharge points in the pilot-scheme cities, for recharging and analysing their impact on the low tension grids.

Mercedes-Benz Italia S.p.A. - Daimler Group

The world leader in the manufacture of top-of-the range cars and also the largest global producer of commercial vehicles, the company distributes such premium brands as Mercedes Benz and Smart. It will be supplying at least 100 latest generation electric cars and select and monitor the drivers who will be taking part in the e-mobility trials, measuring their levels of satisfaction.

University of Pisa – Department of Electrical and Automation Systems (DSEA)

This department carries out advanced and applied research in the sectors of electrical systems for energy and energy management, automation and robotics, economic and management engineering. The department has established a sound reputation for analysis of the reliability, safety and effectiveness of interconnected electrical systems. It will handle the repercussions of the project in terms of the efficiency and reliability of the national electricity system.


The CEI (Italian Electro-technical Committee) is the institution that sets the technical standards for the electro-technical and electronic sector, supporting research into the standardisation in progress at both national and international level. CIVES (Italian Commission for Electric Road Vehicles) was set up under the aegis of the CEI as the Italian section of AVERE, the body created by the EEC in 1978 to promote all aspects of electric drive vehicles and will contribute to assessing the environmental, energy-efficiency and economic impact of e-mobility in relation to other technology options.

University of Salento – Department of Engineering for Innovation - Energy and Environment Research centre

Focusing on innovative technologies, the research centre is active at an international level in the field of engine-testing, the reduction of polluting emissions and the design of hybrid power-trains. It will handle the application of the research on hybrid vehicles at its base in Lecce.

Igeam Developpement Durable S.r.l.

Specialists in areas related to the environment, health and safety and sustainable development, it engages in international partnerships and publishes studies on environmental technologies and energy efficiency. It will handle analysis of the socio-economic, legislative and regulatory aspects of the project and the publication of guidelines.

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