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Italy - Research

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Italy remains strongly involved in EU-level research projects on EVs, HEVs, and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs). Many Italian research organizations and industries have been involved in such European projects dealing with research and demonstration of these electrically-propelled vehicles and related technologies: “Horizon 2020” (https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/), “Civitas” (http://www.civitas.eu/), “Life” (http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/), “Connecting Europe Facility” (https://ec.europa.eu/inea/en/connecting-europe-facility), “Urbact” (http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/atlas/programmes/2014-2020/europe/2014tc16rfir003), “Smart Cities and Communities European Innovation Partnership” (http://ec.europa.eu/eip/smartcities/index_en.htm), “Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan Award” (https://eu-smartcities.eu/content/first-eu-sustainable-urban-mobility-plan-award-local-authorities-now-open-submissions) and many others.

The national research programs and projects on alternative fuel vehicles continue. Various entities in Italy conducting research into electric-drive and fuel cell vehicles include academia, research organizations, component and vehicle manufacturers and assemblers, electric utilities, and large fleet users. Among others, relevant research activities are carried out by ENEA, the National Council of Research (CNR), Research on Energy Systems (RSE), various universities (e.g., Bologna, Camerino, Genoa, L’Aquila, Milan, Rome, Turin, and others), and the industry (e.g., FCA, IVECO, Ansaldo Electric Drives, Breda Menarini, Piaggio, Eldor, FIAM, FIB, Magneti Marelli, STMicroelectronics and others).

In 2016, the Italian National Agency on New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) continued the activity relating to the “Sustainable Electric Mobility” Project, included in the National Research Program for the Electrical System founded by the Ministry of Economic Development. This activity includes studies and researches to realize support instruments for planning and/or evaluating electric mobility and developing innovative technologies for charging infrastructures, especially the investigation of the impacts of electric mobility on the transport system in urban context and the development of useful instruments for Local Public Transport (LPT), companies or the local administrations.

The National Research Council of Italy (CNR) has been studying the development of an electric mobility/energy production integrated system from renewable energetic sources/storage/management for several years. The application of this study is the integration of alternative sustainable mobility systems, Intelligent Transport System (ITS) by the means of an ICT platform directed to systems, infrastructures and electric vehicles, FC and hybrid (FC and battery) vehicles. Another field is the experimental study of the management of energetic flows inside the hybrid propeller: it gives information to build simulation models of the energetic flows and pollutants generation. This study wants to define and experimentally evaluate the best control strategies for the optimal management of the propulsion system.

“Research on Energy Systems” (RSE) has been working for several years on electric mobility, not only vehicles but especially their impacts on the grid and the optimization of mobility in the context of the wider energetic scenario.