One of the objectives that the European Union has imposed to its member states is to reach 17% of energy produced from renewable energy sources – such as solar and wind power – by 2020. Italy has largely succeeded by reaching the share of 17.8% of clean energy.
This is a surprising result if we think of how many times Italy has missed out on important opportunities for growth due to its bureaucratic slowness and the lack of adequate infrastructure compared to the best EU countries.
Developing the renewables industry as much as possible also means investing in electric mobility, which is not only electric cars but also city mobility such as electric scooters, bicycles and buses.
The efficiency of electric cars
Remaining on the topic of electric cars, it should be noted that in the short term an electric car is more sustainable than a car with an endothermic engine because it does not create additional local CO2 emissions, making it actually more efficient.
In fact, an electric engine has an efficiency that is 90% higher compared to a maximum 30% for a petrol engine, reaching 40% through a hybrid petrol/electric system.
From the point of view of gas emissions, the advantage of electric cars is to have zero emissions at the exhaust pipe, so they are suitable for use in the city, because they favour the reduction of the local pollution rate, which is dangerous for the health of citizens.
Let’s imagine the city of Milan without its traditional means of transport and with the exclusive presence of public and private transport with electric propulsion.
We do not know if the sky would return to the blue as it once was, also due to other polluting elements such as obsolete domestic heating systems, but probably the air would soon become healthier and more breathable, making the city more livable.
Unfortunately, however, it is not all that simple, because if it is true that at the local level emissions drop to zero, to power electric cars it is necessary to produce electricity and, if the production is not made with renewable energy, you only move pollution from one place to another. Therefore, it is desirable to:
- Produce renewable energy on a large scale (large plants). This can help and supply the national electricity system.
- Produce domestic renewable energy favouring microgeneration, for example our vertical micro wind turbine. This would help because it would reduce the energy demand to the energy grid.
If we can imagine hundreds of thousands of buildings (homes and offices) powered by solar and domestic wind power, we could understand that the amount of energy that would be required from the national grid would be little, which is energy that we could subtract from the energy production from fossil sources.
The commitment of some car manufacturers
The Volkswagen group, which was severely hit by the Diesel Gate scandal, has in recent years greatly encouraged the renewable energy sector, above all to increase the sustainability of the production department, managing to reduce the environmental impact of the brand by 40%. In short, the electric car itself is important, but the entire production cycle must have a low environmental impact, otherwise the efforts asked to citizens are useless.
This decarbonisation strategy is mainly based on the use of energy from renewable sources and the Zwickau production site is an example of this.
This plant located in a small town in Saxony has reduced its CO2 emissions by 66% in 10 years, thanks to both clean energy and low-impact cogeneration plants. With this in mind, the VW group has itself become an energy player, in fact it supplies electricity to households and small businesses through its subsidiary Elli Group GmbH.
Audi, which is also part of the Volkswagen group, puts its commitment into this campaign to promote renewable energy and does so by supporting the construction of wind farms, so as to become a CO2-neutral mobility provider by 2025. Also here the basic idea is to increase electric mobility but at the same time produce the necessary energy through clean sources, otherwise the effort will be useless because it would simply be a different way to produce pollution in other areas and places.