On the occasion of the Sustainable Development Festival 2021, the Italian Ambassador to Washington D.C. organised a webinar entitled “Driving Energy Transition Through Electric Mobility”. The event – which was held in recent days and also involved Michael Berube, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Sustainable Transportation at the United States Department of Energy – was opened by the Italian Ambassador to the United States, Mariangela Zappia, who stressed that, “The transition towards an economy that produces low CO2 emissions, requires an effort on a multiplicity of fronts, including crucial sectors such as infrastructures and transport, by means of electrification and the increased use of green fuels, such as hydrogen”.
Among other things, Ambassador Zappia pointed out that, “The EU standards call for cutting of emissions by newly registered cars by 55% from 2030, and 100% from 2035. In its PNRR (National Recovery and Resilience Plan) Italy has fully adopted the EU guidelines, earmarking Euro 31,5 billion for the development of sustainable mobility infrastructures, and Euro 68,6 billion for promoting an inclusive, ecological transition”. Referring back to the input to the Italian Parliament by the Nobel Prize winner for physics, Giorgio Parisi, in view of the COP26 on climate, the Ambassador pointed out that the energy transition was an epic challenge, “That cannot be tackled without establishing a sound partnership between the EU and the USA, based on shared values and scientific evidence”.
Input to the webinar included that from Ram Rajagopal, Director of the Stanford Sustainable Systems Lab at Stanford University; Maria Laura Delle Monache, from the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Berkeley; Marcello Canova, from the Center for Automotive Research at Ohio State University; Maurizio Reggiani, Chief Technical Officer at Lamborghini; and Federico Caleno, head of E-Mobility Italy at ENEL X.
Despite the pandemic and the plummeting trend in the mobility sector, the overall outlook for the sector shows a demand for electric vehicles that grew significantly in 2020, which was 43% up on the previous year. Despite the 22% decline in the car market in Europe, in 2020 the number of electric vehicles doubled to a record level of 1,4 million. Meanwhile, there was a slight decline in the USA, probably due to the reduction in federal incentives. Overall, there are about 10 million electric vehicles in the world: 4,5 million in China, 3,2 million in Europe, and 1,8 million in the USA. Estimates forecast that there will be about 200 million electric vehicles by 2030.