The main players in the sustainable mobility supply chain, including local authorities, companies and associations, met in Milan this past 18 May for e_mob, the National Conference of Electric Mobility, to sign the Metropolitan Charter for Electric Mobility. The Charter is an official effort to develop sustainable mobility, improve air quality and, consequently, the quality of life of motorists and others.
Speakers at the conference included A2A President Giovanni Valotti, and CEO Valerio Camerano, who shared about the Group's experience and vision in this sector.
Electric mobility is, A2A believes, a market that will need to be grounded in collaboration between players in order to develop: cooperation between companies is always useful, but it is crucial when the possibility of success depends on a variety of disparate factors. If these are not developed, the creation or evolution of the market may be halted.
The development of e-mobility depends on a dynamic global approach in which established players act alongside newcomers in automotive, those producing the infrastructure, and those managing the infrastructure (for example, multi-utility companies like A2A). But it also depends on new services, like integrated data management and the supporting software platforms, and finally, institutions: from individual Municipalities to the State, which has played a foundational role in creating the market in European Countries.
A2A knows this scenario well, since the company has been playing a key role in the sector ever since renewables revolutionised the energy market.
There are, in fact, several similarities between the mobility sector - especially sustainable mobility - and the energy sector.
The first similarity is the longevity of companies: A2A, for example, purchased its first hydroelectric plants in Valtellina in 1906, while the top 10 car manufacturers around the world have been in business for over 50 years.
The second similarity is that new players are moving in: while new players in automotive are introducing innovative development models and approaches that focus on adjacent businesses, the revolution in renewables also witnessed the entry of investment funds and small businesses, as well as of individual houses that contribute any energy they don't consume to the grid.
Finally, the legal aspects. The development of renewable energies exploded thanks to robust incentives: in 2016, the A3 component of the energy bill weighed over 14 billion euros on the national level. Similarly, the development of electric cars in Europe is confined to Countries that provide generous incentives like France, Norway and Holland, while our nation is only seeing timid growth in a few happy islands, like Milan: thanks in part to the commitment of the Municipal government, which is progressively creating the necessary conditions to encourage migration to electric cars.
Collaboration, therefore, can and must be vast. Incentives for purchasing electric vehicles, as many European countries show, have been a decisive factor for the conversion of traditional vehicles and for the creation of a more structured development of charging stations across the territory.
The A2A Group: a precious ally in the process for the electrification of transportation
In this setting the A2A Group is already at work setting a solid foundation for development by fully including electric mobility in its Strategic Plan. The group aims to be a precious ally in the electrification of transportation for car-sharing companies, logistics, car manufacturers, public administration and the final user.
A2A is already ideally placed for these goals, through Milan, it manages the most wide reaching urban network in Italy, and the most diversified in terms of the outlets and power available (AC 3.6 kW, 7.2kW, 22 kW; DC 50 kW), and the main public charging network in Italy for 50 kW fast charging stations, with 13 Fast Charge stations installed through a partnership with Nissan and the City of Milan. A2A currently provides the charging service for all the electric car-sharing services operating in Lombardy (DriveNow, Share’Ngo, E-VAI) and is moving forward with an experimental project, E-moving, in collaboration with the Authority for electrical energy, gas and water.
In 2016 alone, the A2A grid provided 90,000 charges, supplying 735 MWh. What's more, a year after the installation of the 13 Fast Charge charging stations - the installation coincided with the 2016 Champions League final - 10,000 charges have been provided, using 140 MWh, equivalent to 850,000 kilometres travelled with 100% renewable energy supplied by A2A Energia.
Investments in Electric Mobility by A2A
Investments in electric mobility by A2A are an absolute necessity for this to become an activity that is stably managed by the Group, which believes that the market can develop. The process started internally, with the company's electric fleet and offices, as a means of testing the new systems and models designed by A2A.
The innovative solutions being implemented serve several objectives:
- new charging infrastructure for future use in public and private settings;
- Developing a smart management algorithm for power charges, to guarantee both the minimum power needed for a slow night-time recharge and a recharge of up to 22 kW during the day. It's an innovative model compared to what is currently available on the market, which makes it possible to reduce the power used without sacrificing the efficiency of the charge. This system, which will be tested on the company fleet at the Group's offices in Via Pontenuovo, Milan, will also be able to modulate the total power that can be taken from the grid given the needs of the grid itself (smart grid)
- key data from vehicles automatically to provide real-time information about battery decay, energy consumption, autonomy, etc.
- Testing a platform for the charging service that A2A will offer to both public and private clients starting in 2018
A2A aims to continue to develop the public grid by investing in new charging stations in the "belt" around Milan, at Malpensa Airport, in Brescia and in the rest of Lombardy.
Sustainable mobility and the Smart City
Sustainable mobility is one of the key components of the smart city, and the use of electric vehicles is one of the main tools for reducing pollution in the city. A2A will continue to pursue its policy for the well-being of the city and to improve the environment we live in , and through A2A Smart City, a company within the Group, A2A hopes to develop services through an open logic that includes interaction with public and private entities. Given the infrastructure and charging services needed, electric mobility fits this vision perfectly.