At what point of the night? , one might wonder when looking at the crossover of Italian cars towards European commitments to sHighest Petrol and Diesel in 2035. A confidential document from the Ministry of Economic Development and its sharing in the last table with trade unions and trade associations outlines the challenge we face: in our country 101 out of 900 companies are at high risk of closure because they specialize in power generation, car unit with internal combustion destined to disappear. They are 8.5 billion and 26 thousand workers, in the balance due to the lack of money and the ability to reconvert. On the contrary, reports from the ministry, led by Giancarlo Giorgetti, indicate that there are companies with high potential because they work with batteries, connectivity and autonomous driving, but they are only 40.
The latest Anfia Component Monitor gives an idea of our delay: the supply chain includes 2,200 companies, 160,000 employees and the percentage of suppliers who describe themselves as concentrated in the gasoline and diesel engines segment respectively 72.8% and 77.9%. The problem is not that the supply chain accounts for a third of the internal combustion engine, but that the electric car gets a high added value – says Marco Stella, head of the Anfia component group -. The additional component available, which is in the battery elements, squeezes out the rest as the car becomes simpler and lighter, with fewer components. The main manufacturer, Stellantis, currently produces only two vehicles full electric: 500E and Ducato. The ambitious business plan, even if the launch and ramp-up of new models (Maserati Grecale, Alfa Tonale, Maserati Gt and Gran Turismo) suffer from a shortage of microchips. As for the selected rail: The range will be fully electrified by 2027. A similar trend has been taken by Volkswagen. Therefore, manufacturers are on the move, also driven by targets on emissions and electricity quotas to be achieved by the European Union.
The price weighs heavily on the range of new cars. So we need political help. In Italy, 8.7 billion until 2030 is included in the car fund, separate from NRP resources, a strategy that has caused discontent among more than a few insiders. In Italy, an electric car costs an average of 20-30% more than a car powered by an internal combustion engine. Since the average price of a conventional car is about 25 thousand euros (Federauto data) we are talking about a price that fluctuates between 30 thousand and 37 thousand euros. Too much for an average consumer who can spend an average of 8000 euros: in general for polluting cars, from 4 euros up. Italy has 20 million vehicles in circulation, more than 50% of the fleet consists of 38.8 million vehicles with an average age of 11.8 years.
With the rising cost of living and uncertain economic scenario, the lion’s share of purchases are made by used cars, which are nothing more than electric. In Italy 4.5 million cars were sold in 2021: 3 million used and 1.5 million new. New cars are mainly bought by companies. Those used are purchased by individuals. If companies buy more, they can bring electric cars to market used, on average, after 30 months. However, the self-employed cannot deduct VAT, and this also contributes to the collapse of registrations to 1960s levels.
On electricity there is a new topic of obsolescence. “The young electrician who still is,” says Adolfo Di Stefani Cosentino, Federauto President. While for a conventional car, the residual value is about 50-52% after two and a half years, are we sure that an electric car will have the same value after the same time? The share of the electric car market in Italy was 8.5% last year: 79,000 hybrid cars and 77,000 electric cars. The market this year is even worse: expectations are that no more than 1.5 million cars will be registered. Before the pandemic, our number was 1.8-1.9 million. But it’s clear that the mobility paradigm must change between now and 2035. The Motus-E Association still counts at least 10 million fewer cars on the road. But we wouldn’t have reached 28 million electricity by that date. You will resist the share of green biofuel cars. To comply with the government’s written climate plan, we must reach 50% of the electricity market share in 2028: that means at least 700,000 electric vehicles registered annually.
Stella adds another problematic aspect: we need to intercept more value, if we want to be able to rebuild other technologies and other areas, we cannot rely on China for chemistry. Its association with European component manufacturers and the PWC have calculated that approximately 73,000 jobs will be at risk in Italy, of which 63,000 will be at risk in 2025-2030: and will not be offset by the approximately 6,000 new jobs that electric mobility will create. For the production of batteries, we will need a Giga plant that is currently located in Italy only on paper. That of Termoli promised by Stellantis is still forgotten, even more mysterious than Italvolt without customers and orders.
The main node remains the infrastructure: electric vehicle charging poles, as of March 2022, are around 27,800 across Italy. Despite the increasing number, it is still few: we should reach at least 110,000 in a few years. However, there is no national plan that sets the minimum percentage of spaces to be electrified in parking areas. We need a rule that specifies the percentages of places that car parks should allocate to recharge cars. Carlalberto Guglielminotti, at the helm of Nhoa’s leader in electric mobility says: The proposals linked to the Pnrr funds are going in the right direction, but there is still much work to be done on the texts of the executive decrees: Legislative momentum will wind up leaving the responsibility of electrifying the country to a few players .
There is uncertainty about the authorization to install new medium voltage substations. So far, the power distributor, whether it’s Enel, Acea, Unareti or Iren, is the actor who decides the timing and approval, so everything depends on his investment. There isn’t even a supply of electrical power needed for quick installations with capacities in excess of 50 kilowatts useful for quick recharging. Dedicated incentives will be needed to install storage systems that are still missing, just as licenses (and technical activities) winding up to connect charging points to substations and finally to Terna’s distribution network with cables that often go through state-owned cables or private land.