The electric vehicle: “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city of Rome and around the world)

Published on Friday, 12 August 2016

Revolutionising the automotive market by using electricity as fuel in order to reduce CO2 emissions is a concrete solution for abating greenhouse gases: the main cause of global warming.

Since 2011, United States President Barack Obama has been focusing on electric cars and promoting their development as a tool for fightign climate change. A significant step forward in this direction was taken in July, when the White House adopted an action plan aimed at promoting the use of electric vehicles and their charging infrastructure. This measure will take place jointly with individual states, automotive firms, utility companies and manufacturers of electric vehicle infrastructure, all of which are ready to move towards a greater market diffusion of electric cars fast. The first action that was put into place was the release of 4.5 billion dollars in loan guarantees for whoever wishes to invest in charging infrastructures for electric vehicles. Additonally, the United States Department of Energy  (DOE) and Department of Transport (DOT) have agreed on a new joint plan aimed at establishing – by 2020  - a national network of fast charging stations.

Enel has also long focused on e-mobility. One of the pillars of its strategy is the development of electric mobility by means of cutting-edge technologies, creating a more sustainable model for public and private transportation.

Enel stays true to this mission. In recent days its Market Italy Division installed two charging stations for electric vehicles in St. Peter's Square, Rome, in the heart of the Vatican City. The two stations will be used to charge the BMW i3 vehicles supplied to the Italian Police, who work alongside the Swiss Guards to ensure the safety of the thousands of tourists and pilgrims who every day fill the large square enclosed by Bernini's colonnade.

“We are both drawing up strategic plans on the nationwide roll-out of sustainable mobility, and every single day we make a very real contribution. These points in St. Peter’s Square are an example of our everyday work,” said Nicola Lanzetta, Head of Market Italy.

To help people change their transport habits, there must be a widespread supply network for electric cars that is fast and easy to use, as well as battery systems for e-cars that allow users to cover both short urban routes and longer journeys.

Our Group is involved in the development of all the necessary technologies for the growth of this innovative paradigm, while working on solutions that are available to everyone.

Last year we intensified our activities by promoting partnerships with large companies in the automotive industry (Renault-Nissan, BMW, Opel, Toyota, Citroen, Piaggio, Mercedes-Daimler), in order to create charging systems that are consistent with the technical design of electric vehicles. A further opportunity for innovation will come from the recent partnership with Formula E, the electric car racing championship.

We are also exploring innovative solutions in the UK and in Denmark, with the Vehicle 2 Grid project, conducted in collaboration with Nissan. Other initiatives are under way in Spain and Latin America, including the programme “Electric Mobility in Santiago”, whose target is to create a charging network to encourage new sustainable business models for public transport.

The global e-car market is constantly expanding. Sales of plug-in electric vehicles are expected to increase by 62 percent in North America in 2016. The data was confirmed by both the US Navigant Research team and the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its recent Global EV Outlook 2016 report. In the United Kingdom, according to a study by Nissan reported in The Guardian, by 2020, charging points for electric vehicles will outnumber the country’s traditional petrol stations.

The dream of a new, greener and more sustainable mobility, between the two sides of the Atlantic and urbi et orbi (to the city of Rome and to the world) is now within reach. Enel is committed to making it happen and making it even more exciting.