Destination Italy, departing from Savona with Enel X on the electric bus of the future

From 16 to 18 July Savona tested the first municipal e-bus service, an example of the integrated offer for electric buses that Enel X is making available to all Italy’s local government bodies

Published on 29 July 2020

Electric public transport in Savona with the first municipal e-bus

All aboard the full electric zero-emission bus along the streets of Savona and the stretch of the Ligurian coast between Finale Ligure and Varazze. For three days, from 16 to 18 July, residents and tourists were able to experience for themselves, free of charge, the comfort of sustainable public transport on board an IVECO BUS e-Way adorned with the purple logo of Enel X. The trial came about as part of the wider project to foster the transition towards electric public transport in our towns and cities, and promote the innovation developed by the Italian e-mobility sector.

The initiative, which is supported by Savona’s Municipal Council and promoted by Enel X, IVECO BUS and the local public transport company TPL Linea, with the collaboration of Savona Campus - University of Genoa, is part of the pathway leading Italy’s urban centres towards a more sustainable future and the goals of the UN’s 2030 Agenda, in which we are on the frontline in the promotion of electric mobility in both the private and public sectors.

The electric bus as a service

Electric public transport is the heart of the smart city. With a confidence justified by our expertise in the energy sector and in private sustainable mobility, we are flanking local government bodies in the process of renewing their fleets with integrated solutions for green transport. “The average age of bus fleets in Italy is 12.3 years compared with the EU average of 7 years,” explains Sonia Sandei, Head of New Business at Enel X, “it is necessary therefore, to accelerate the process of replacing these vehicles with electric buses in order to benefit the environment and boost the overall efficiency of the transport system.”

The transition to electric transport is, nevertheless, a complex process that requires an integrated approach that cannot rely merely on replacing each of the traditional combustion-engine vehicles with electric buses at the end of their useful life. For this reason, Sandei went on to say, Enel X is offering Public Transport Companies and local government bodies an integrated solution of the e-bus as a service, providing support in every phase of the electrification project: from strategic consultancy for the electrification of the transport service, to the supply of e-buses and smart electric charging infrastructure, to boosting the energy efficiency of the bus depots and providing digital services for managing smart bus stops and intermodal connections to the city.

Thanks to the innovative character of our “e-bus as a service” offer, Sandei explains, Enel X takes care of all of the project costs for design, installation, management and maintenance over a number of years.

Towards the smart city of the future

The electrification of public transport is just the first step in ensuring towns and cities become increasingly smart. “Ours is a holistic offer that includes not only the e-bus and charging infrastructure, but also the energy upgrade of the depots, smart bus stops equipped with screens, sensors, video surveillance, photovoltaic panels, charging sockets for smartphones and e-bikes. This is in addition to digital solutions such as City Analytics, which monitors, in full respect of privacy legislation, variations in mobility flows in order to plan urban transport as efficiently as possible. This essential service has been made even more relevant by the Covid-19 emergency and the need to plan the transport service in real time,” Sandei says.

The e-buses themselves can be transformed into urban monitoring systems through the installation of environmental sensors, video cameras and other devices to gather information in real time on the state of the buses, the road surfaces, traffic, parking, refuse collection and urban safety. Moreover, it is possible to develop tailored services for tourists, families, the elderly and people with mobility problems, as well as introducing new digital forms of payment such as pay per move, in which you pay only for the kilometres travelled. What’s more, the fast charging points along the bus routes can be transformed into urban electric charging corridors that are open to vehicles of other public and private users, for a new clean, functional and fair form of mobility.

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