Mandatory electric car, Italy stands still. Obstacles ahead of 2035 | Milena Gabanelli

In Europe, cars with internal combustion engines will no longer be sold from 2035. We are thus candidates to be the first market in the world. to the electric car. By 2030, Volkswagen expects 50% of its sales to be electric cars, Toyota 30%, Renault 90% and Stellantis 70% in Europe and 40% in the US. A change that involves multi-billion dollar investments, public and private, to start a production of batteries, equip the territory with charging stations and enormously increase the production of energy from renewable sources. We know that too In Italy, over 70,000 jobs will be lost when diesel and petrol engines stop and therefore, what are we doing to create jobs in the new mobility?


To produce more green energy

Electric vehicles circulating in our country today are 236 thousand eaccording to forecasts in Brussels, they will be 6 million by 2030 and 19 million by 2050. It is estimated that at least 10 terawatt hours of energy per year will be needed to charge the 6 million electric cars, out of a total energy consumption of 330 TWh. To charge the 19 million electric cars in 2050, more than 32 TWh will be needed instead, but in the meantime, the total need will have increased to 650 TWh per year. This means that the charging of electric cars in 2030 will have an impact of 3% on the country’s total energy consumption, while in 2050 it will increase to 4.9%. A weight that is not overly cumbersome, the real point is that to resist the transition, the availability of energy must be doubled, as everything will work with an electrical outlet, including boilers. And if we want electric cars to be zero-emission, they must be powered by energy from renewable sources. Today, our energy mix is ​​among the best in Europe with 38% of the energy from renewable energy, but to reach 72% by 2030, it is crucial to immediately implement the mite plans.


Storage and smart grids

The network must also be able to withstand the moments of greatest absorption during the day. Today we have daily peaks around 55 gigawatts. With six million electric cars with small displacement in the lead, which alone draws 22 gigawatts, we have to stick to much higher peaks, otherwise the system skips, just like at home, when you connect washing machine and dishwasher together. This means that we need to find a way to store the energy produced by renewable energy in order to get it out when needed.. We try to make recharging intelligent by programming it within a certain time with the car controlling the absorption: during peak periods, it slows down the retraction or gives up energy to resume it later. But a technology that is still taking its first steps.


Columns: how many are and what is missing

Today we have 26,024 charging points, in 2030 it is expected to reach over 3 million private points and around 100,000 public., of which about 31,500 with fast charging (distributed on highways, highways and city centers). In short, 21,225 will be added to the existing ones today, funded with 740 million from NRP, which will be used to cover 40% of the investment as a non-repayable fund. Money must be spent before 31 December 2025, otherwise we will lose it. Yet the creation of the network of columns is progressing slowly.


1) A national map of public charging points is missing and without this reconnaissance it is difficult to plan the new columns attached to the Pnrr calls. The Ministry of Ecological Transformation undertook to deliver its decree by mid-March.


2) Today, it may happen to connect to a column that does not recharge your car because it belongs to a different operator than the one you subscribe to. It is important that operators enter into interoperability agreements.
3) The person who installs columns must request the Municipality for authorization, but there are 8000 Municipalities, and they are also foreseen where the power does not come. In fact, 13% of the infrastructure can not be used. The municipalities must make rules on a standard basis and in coordination with the electricity grid operators.
4) Today, there are only 90 charging infrastructures on highways. A regulation from 2018 allows for a pillar every 50 kilometers, so a total of 117 in 2023. No concessionaire will start a tender because the Danish Transport Authority in May last year took nine months to define the tender schemes. They are now over, and if competition is to be expected to have positive effects, tenders must be mandatory.
5) Condominiums: installing a charging station in common areas or garages is still very complicated. Procedures are needed to facilitate the operation.


Gigafactory: EU geared up

Today, 70% of batteries are made in Asia and 40% of the added value of an electric car is in the battery. The new battery market in the EU has a value of 250 billion euros per year from 2025 on. The Boston Consulting Group for Motus-e estimates that reaching a production capacity of 740 GWh by 2030 could lead to more than 60,000 new jobs. On December 28, Northvolt Ett produced the first European battery at the factory in Skellefteå in Sweden. The market is there and the major car manufacturers are gearing up to produce them, also because from 2025 they are getting ready to carve out electric cars in large numbers. In Europe, Germany takes the brunt with projects for 411 GWh of installed production capacity. Poland and Hungary are doing well and are able to attract investment from Asian producers as well. Important: batteries are also essential for storing renewable energy production, and the company is expanding to the crucial activity of recycling and testing.


Italy: Industrial policy wanted

Today, the only security is the 8 GWh that Seri Industrial is trying to install with the Faam project in Teverola (in the province of Caserta), but it’s not about car batteries, but for energy storage in the home, industry and public transport. There are currently 120 employees and it is expected to reach 800 by 2024. The ambitious Italvolt project in Scarmagno, near Ivrea: 3.4 billion investments, up to 70 GWh per year, 2024 production start and 3,000 workplaces Work. At present, it is not yet clear who will put the money and who will buy the produced batteries. Stellantis plans to secure a final production capacity of around 260 GWh per year through the construction of 5 gigabytes in North America and Europe. In our country he promised to build it in Termoli (Campobasso) but there is still nothing officially ok. On paper, Fincantieri is also planning the construction of a giant factory in Piedimonte San Germano (Frosinone) for the production of lithium batteries for the new generation of electric cars, buses and commercial vehicles.


Meanwhile, time passes

Federmeccanica, Fim, Fiom and Uilm have appealed to Prime Minister Draghi: implement industrial policies to help with change!. That means finding mechanisms to finance investments: Transforming a diesel carburetor factory into one that produces electric motorcycles requires large capital, which is hard to find in Italy. In order not to close, entrepreneurs need to get busy on their own and without knowing what the country strategy is in the medium term. France and Germany have been making plans for the transition to the automotive industry since 2019, while our Ministry of Economic Development was emptied of its industrial policy experts. When Stellantis was born, again in 2019, the Italian state did not go into the stock structure as the French government did. Now Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti says that Europe and the cessation of the internal combustion engine are to blame. Last December, however, the inter-ministerial committee on ecological change, of which Giorgetti is a member, gave the green light to the 2035 phase-out. The only answer to the problemcurrently, the announcement of a billion euros in scrapping of the old cars, but there is no vision of the future of the automotive industry.

February 14, 2022 | 07:11

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