Italy - On the Road and Deployments

By Country

On the road

Out of a total number of more than 51 million vehicles on the road in Italy at the end of 2009, about 19,000 were hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) while another 228,000 EVs were on the road, though all but 10,000 of these were motorized bicycles or motorcycles.

EVs and HEVs available for purchase in Italy cover the full spectrum of categories, including power-assisted bikes, scooters (with two, three, or four wheels), light- and heavy-duty pure electric and hybrid buses, and electric boats. Hundreds of EV and HEV models are now available on the market. Retail prices range from a few hundred euros for power-assisted bikes to hundreds of thousands of euros for hybrid buses. An EV still costs about two or three times more than a conventional vehicle while HEVs have much less of a price differential.

Italy has seen some success stories of EVs and HEVs in public fleets over the past decade thanks to large public subsidies introduced by various ministries. An exemplary case is the Municipality of Reggio Emilia that fully electrified its fleet of around 400 EVs that carry out a variety of services in the center city. This project earned a great deal of recognition from its citizens and the national and international EV community.

However, more recently electric utilities and the large car manufacturers have become interested in the business opportunities offered by EVs and HEVs. Therefore, there is increased need to better analyze the level of maturity of EV and HEV technology and to test in real-world conditions how well these vehicles can integrate into the transport system and electricity network. Both technical issues (charging mode, plug standards, safety aspects) and non-technical issues (business models for the charging service, tariffs to be applied, and the implied regulatory aspects) need to be tested.


Three large EV deployment projects been running or started in 2010. The EU Zero Regio project finished during the year. The E-Mobility Project involves both ENEL, the largest Italian electric utility, and Daimler, which worked together to install a large charging infrastructure and an adequate fleet in three cities of different size and traffic conditions. Finally, the project E-Moving is another collaboration between an electric utility, A2A, and a car maker, Renault that also demonstrates charging infrastructure and EVs in two cities of different size.

Zero Regio

This EU project tested hydrogen fueling stations and FCEV in Frankfurt and in Mantova. In this city a multi-fuel station was first approved and then installed for fueling three Panda Hydrogen vehicles.

Despite a large number of problems related to the homologation and circulation permission experienced by the project, the final results have been extremely interesting:

  • The total distance traveled by the demonstration cars was about 33,000 km.
  • The overall H2 consumption was 352 kg.
  • The average fuel consumption was about 1 kg H2 per 100 km.
  • The three vehicles ran for 880 hours without any technical problem or accident.


E-Mobility in Rome. Image courtesy of ENEA.

The E-Mobility project is based on collaboration between ENEL and Daimler (Smart).
ENEL has built up more than 400 charging points in three Italian cities (Milan, Pisa, and Rome) and Daimler has made 100 EV Smart cars available for rental, equally shared among the three cities. Drivers selected to test the cars will pay a monthly rental fee (€450) for the Smart and a monthly flat rate (€25) for any electricity consumption during charging.






A Renault EV in Milan. Image courtesy of ENEA.

The E-Moving project sees the collaboration between A2A, an electric utility based in Lombardy Region, and Renault, supplying EVs. A2A plans to build 270 charging points in two Italian cities (Brescia and Milan), and Renault will supply 60 EVs of various types (passenger cars and vans). The 200 charging points in Milan will be partially public (64) and partially private (136), while the other 70 charging points will be installed in Brescia.