A few days ago I read a piece of news on my home city, Turin (NW Italy): due to the high level of pollution, the city council intends to create an “Environmental” Limited Traffic Zone in addition to the existing LTZ that covers the city centre.
The new area would be much larger than the existing one and would include limitations to vehicles classified in an identified range of emission categories and up to Euro 5 diesel engines.
This measure would require the installation of 80 additional ANPR cameras and the development of an IT-based dashboard that would allow to display the vehicles number plates captured and, in case, issue fines. The entire system will have an estimated cost of hundred of thousands Euros.
Every limitation to the use of private vehicles can be successful only if a proportionate improvement of the public transport service is put in place at the same time. On top of it, as many politicians say that using electric vehicles may help solve the pollution problem (I don’t much agree, see my opinion in the DEC 2022 editorial), the cost of purchasing EVs should be kept lower than the current price.
On “The Times” newspaper published on 30th Jan 2023, there is an interesting article: “Give middle classes help to buy a used electric car, say experts” that states exactly this principle and focuses also on second-hand EVs that continue to have too higher a cost. With this current worrying inflation rate, energy crises, lack of raw materials, etc. giving the responsibility of reducing the pollution concentration to citizens only is asking a bit too much. Taking into account also the rocketed increase of the electricity price during the last 9 months, charging an EV may not be as convenient as it used to be.
If we would like to give this help and buy EVs, we have to remember two arguable examples concerning the EVs ecosystem: batteries gigafactories in Europe. BRITISHVOLT, which seemed to be the new UK glorious step forward to electrification, failed dramatically (source: Financial Times, 28/01/2023) and the Italian ITALVOLT, which was said to be installed in the older Olivetti factory located in a town close to Turin, doesn’t seem to ever find the right moment to take off (source: Il Sole 24 Ore, 24/01/2023).
As many say, being visionary is good, but with the right dose of rationality, otherwise dreams do not come true.
EPN Consulting Ltd. Founder & CEO, London
EPN Consulting Research & Innovation Ltd. Founder and CEO, Dublin