A moving story
Mi Muovo Elettrico (I Am e-Moving) is Emilia-Romagna’s innovative strategy for electromobility. Tommaso Simeoni discovers that it’s more than just a case of adding charging points.
Mi Muovo Elettrico is an electromobility programme launched by Italy’s Emilia Romagna Region in 2010 to develop the infrastructural network. The goal was very ambitious: to develop a plan with charging points for electric vehicles all around the region of 4.5m inhabitants and not only in an urban context.
The idea is based on two principles:
- the interoperability on a regional scale
- the integration of all available mobility services.
The final goal of the programme was to promote and disseminate the principles and benefits of e-mobility at the regional level. The Emilia-Romagna Regional Government signed agreements with the three electricity providers operating in the region – ENEL, HERA and IREN – and also with the main municipal administrations. According to these agreements an innovative charging points network, included in the “Mi Muovo” integrated ticketing chip card, was set up and e-providers were bound to realize the infrastructure (Mi Muovo Elettrico is therefore a free programme for the public authorities) and to cooperate with each other to ensure the interoperability of the network. Now users can recharge electric vehicles regardless of the energy provider.
With the “green corridor” mainly located on the south east-north west historical Via Emilia axis, it is today possible to use the electric vehicles in the entire territory.
Besides the public and private partnership agreements, the Emilia-Romagna Region fosters electric mobility also through:
- incentives for the procurement of low impact buses (electric, trolleys, hybrids, natural gas and LPG powered). Trolleys circulate today in Parma, Modena, Bologna and Rimini for a total amount of a 120-vehicle fleet;
- incentives for the purchase of e-vehicles (included scooters and e-bikes);
- communication and information campaigns to raise awareness;
- the promotion of the use of eco-compatible vehicles.
RESTRICTED ZONES ACCESS
In line with the regional policies to reduce congestion, pollution and CO2 emissions, moreover the Region promotes e-mobility through the harmonization of the rules for access and parking inside the limited access areas, achieved in October 2012 though an agreement with the main cities. Electric cars have free access and can park for free within the restricted zone access h24 on blue stripes in all the Region.
THE E-VEHICLE CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE
The charging points are the key elements of the project and they need to:
- have interoperable standards;
- be placed in good location, near to LPT services or point of interest (cinemas, shopping centres…);
- display high level of technology, in order to guarantee the access to the smart grid.
Interoperability is the key-issue in the “Mi Muovo Elettrico” plan. It is now possible to charge electric vehicles all across the region regardless of the electricity provider, and to use the regional mobility chip card “Mi Muovo” held by Public Transport users, and bike sharing and car sharing subscribers.
In order to ensure an adequate coverage of the infrastructure, the location and the number of charging points have been defined in cooperation with the municipalities.
In order to facilitate the access to already circulating vehicles fleets, the charging points use two different plug typologies, SCAME and MENNEKES. The innovative technologies adopted allow the flexible energy flows management at the various grid knots. In this framework, it will be possible for every smart access to the network, such as, for instance, the charging points for e-cars, to communicate with the entire grid and to adapt the performance according to the system needs. In the future, an electric car connected to a charging point will be able on the one hand to recharge the battery and, potentially, also to upload electricity to the grid.
CERTIFICATED ELECTRICITY GENERATED FROM RENEWABLE SOURCES
Aiming at reinforcing the commitment for environmental sustainability, all the above mentioned agreements signed by the Emilia-Romagna Region with private and institutional partners, foresee that the charging electricity must be generated from renewable sources, so that e-mobility can be completely zero-emission.
TOWARDS ELECTROMOBILITY IN 2020
It is not so easy to provide a forecast in this complex economic period, but we believe that the market share of electric vehicles (including hybrid plug-in) will reach 5-10% of new registrations in urban area by 2020. For this reason is very important to create the right conditions for the development of electromobility.
An international standardization of the electric plug and the type of recharging system is very much needed. In most recent years, the users are more likely to use a fast charge system, because the main manifacturers give the possibility to rent the battery. More fast charge systems are needed, and these stations have to foresee payment system for occasional users that do not require specific subscription, as it is the case today.
Interoperability also must be guaranteed, starting at the national level, and in case of different operators there should be the possibility to recharge a vehicles, without a specific subscription.
The cooperation between privates and public authorities reduces the risk of an over installation of charging points and thus preserves the territory. Most of the users charge the cars at home, and during the nighttime, and charging points are used only in case of need during long distance trips, or for intensive use of electric vehicles.
Connecting electromobility with green energy makes e-mobility completely zero-emission. Specific indications and incentives on this direction may be given from the European Commission.
New standardised services may be developed in order to make it possible to book the charging point, and to inform the user when the charge is finished.
The author is Tommaso Simeoni is Technical Manager from Regione Emilia-Romagna, Italy (firstname.lastname@example.org)