This is a new interview, as part of ELVITEN interview series, presenting the Comune di Genova – Municipality of Genova, their role in the project, as well as their view on ELVs and urban mobility.

Enjoy the reading!

A short introduction of your organisation

The Municipality of Genoa (Comune di Genova) is a public administration organised into seven organisational units: General Management, Operational General Management, Areas, Mayor’s organisational units, The General Secretariat Office, Directions, City Halls.

Municipality of Genoa’s focuses are sustainable development, employment, security, tourism, green and blue economy, youth policies and technological development. Genoa also promotes models of sharing economy for all its citizens through e- Government.

What is your task and responsibility in the ELVITEN project?

Genoa is one of ELVITEN demonstration cities, and the Municipality of Genoa has participated in the project to build a demonstrations methodology.

The CdG has participated in the implementation of WP2 “Methodology and preparatory works for the demonstrations”, WP4 “Demonstrations” and WP5 “EL-Vs real usage and acceptance”, and it is the leader of Task 7.2 Stakeholders per business opportunity, and Task 7.5 Suggestions for potential legislative improvement within WP7 “Dynamic business modelling and guidelines for EL-Vs wide uptake”, as well as it leads the Task 8.4 Stakeholder Forum and Liaison activities within WP8 “Communication, Dissemination and Liaison”.

What was your interest in joining the ELVITEN project?

Enable EL-V owners to improve and maximize the use of their vehicles by providing them with more and better organized charge points, via integrated e-charging Hubs and dedicated parking lots in the city centre.

Involve privately owned charge points, to create a charge network all over the city, with attention on the main urban attractor nodes (i.e. railway stations, shopping centres, business district) and on major companies.

Stimulate the use of EL-Vs between ‘last mile’ delivery carriers.

Set up instruments capable to affect and stimulate virtuous behaviour through incentive mechanisms for EL-Vs owners or sharers. Part of the activities in ELVITEN will connect behaviour with incentive mechanism related to green sustainable mobility, interfaced with the wider smart card system of the Municipality.

Greater awareness among private and professional users about the potential of EL-Vs due to daily experience with them.

Overcoming the psychological barriers to adopt EL-Vs by different clusters of users.

Less pollution, traffic, and noise in the city.

What is your opinion on Electric-Light Vehicles?

In recent years, E-Light Vehicles had a strong increase both thanks to new technological development, the availability of a wide range of vehicles on the market and new measures and incentives for e-mobility introduced by public administrations, as well as an evolving regulatory framework. The use of EL-Vs vehicles is useful to contain urban pollution especially on urban scale, to implement new strategies for sustainability and, at the same time, it allows an effective mobility of people in urban areas. The increase of EL-Vs vehicles is also significant for delivery of goods (last mile deliveries) especially in cities like Genoa, with a territory characterized by a large historical centre and narrow streets difficult to reach and with limitations to traditionally powered vehicles and the spread of these vehicles is also booming thanks to sharing mobility.

The recent health emergency situation due to COVID-19 resulted also a change in mobility demand and the consequent need to find sustainable alternatives to the use of public transport and for the delivery of goods, has further increased the need of the diffusion of Electric-Light Vehicles. In line with the provisions of Genova Urban Mobility Plan, however, an intervention on the territory is indispensable for the creation of a network of dedicated charging stations and the definition of a measures to encourage use and incentives to purchase and rewards related to the use. The cost of Electric-Light Vehicles is still quite high, but the availability of incentives and an adequate presence of e-changing stations at urban level will facilitate their expansion.

Could you explain the impact of EL-Vs on urban mobility?

Liguria Region approved a Memorandum of Understanding to develop a charging network for electric mobility in Genoa. In this way, Genoa Municipality improves electric mobility through actions aimed to create infrastructures on urban territory to increase use of e-vehicles. The actions provide useful resources for the improvement of the policy instrument, favouring the transition to the use of non-polluting way of transport for climate protection and the prevention of risks related to climate change.

The actions could be implemented with public and private operators interested to the development and realization of further new e-charging stations in the city, to promote a sustainable urban electric mobility to aim to guarantee a large free use in public spaces aimed to develop a capillary e-charging network on the territory.

In Genoa and in other cities of the Liguria Region, due to the complex orography of the territory, motorcycles and scooters are very used and to favour the use of electric light vehicles could be launched incentive campaigns for the purchase of this type of electric vehicles through specific bonus available for those who scrap polluting vehicles and buy a new electric vehicle (electric bikes, motorcycles and scooters). Moreover, a good communication and dissemination of the actions are very important to the diffusion of e-vehicles.

What do you think about the future market for urban mobility?

In 2016, over 750,000 “electrified” cars were sold worldwide: BEV (pure electric), HEV (hybrid) or PHEV (plug-in hybrid). China is the largest market for electric vehicles, about 40% of world demand (about 340 thousand), double the sales of the USA (160 thousand). In the first 6 months of 2017, sales of BEV, PHEV and FC cars in China, USA, EU and Japan reached 425 thousand (Source: ANFIA). The Italian car park is approximately 37 million cars. If, only hypothetically, all the cars sold from 2018 onwards were “electrified” (BEV, PHEV, FCEV) it would take more than thirteen years to “electrify” the entire car fleet.

In 2030, about 20% of the world circulating fleet could be made up of BEV (battery electric vehicles) with significant differences between countries depending on the policies undertaken (Source: International Energy Agency 2017). As an indication between 2025 and 2030, the break-even between the prices of electric vehicles (BEV) and those with internal combustion power trains could be reached.

The date will mainly depend on:

  • the technological evolution of accumulators
  • the growing demand for batteries
  • by the methods of their reuse and / or disposal
  • from access to raw materials to make them

As experiences in other countries (Denmark, Norway) demonstrate, the spread of “electric only” vehicles is strongly linked to the availability of economic incentives. Fundamental is a widespread diffusion of the charging network (columns). Dynamic inductive charging is being tested and it is not possible today to understand what its future evolution will be.

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