Electric Vehicles in Italy: What You Should Know

September 12, 2022
Electric vehicles in Italy

A major part of the European Green Deal is a plan adopted by the EU to reduce the continent’s net carbon emissions from the 1990 levels by 55% by 2035 and make it wholly carbon-neutral by 2050. To achieve this, the EU has imposed strict rules on managing the most influential sectors—particularly the transport sector.

As of 2022, 12% of the EU’s carbon emissions come from passenger vehicles and 2.5% from light commercial vehicles or vans—a total of 14.5%. Of course, this level demonstrates the annual reduction that the EU member states experience. In perspective, the EU transport sector accounted for 27% of the net carbon emissions in 2020. This growth can be credited to the regulations introduced to curb the proliferation of internal combustion engine vehicles and, by contrast, promote the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs).

Italy stands out among the countries that these regulations have propelled, and demonstrably so. Following the introduction of these policies, over 32,000 units of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) were sold in Italy in 2020, consequently tripling the country’s previous market size. A similar result was indicated in the plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) market—with over 27,000 units sold, a four-fold increase from the previous year’s sales.

The Growth of EVs in Italy in the Past Decade

While it is plausible to say that the current boom in the Italian EV scene started within the last two to three years, the expansion of the market has been in the works for much longer than that.

The charts below show that Italy registered only 524 BEVs and 153 PHEVs in 2012. However, from then onwards, there has been a uniform annual increase, creating a nearly perfect positive correlation between sales volumes and the years.

The second chart further illustrates the continuous cumulative annual increase of EV sales in Italy between 2017 and 2022.

Chart showing the growth of EV sales in Italy between 2012 and 2016

Source: Statista

Chart illustrating the growth of EV sales in Italy from 2017 to 2022

Source: Cleantechnica

EV Market Share in Italy

The growth of EV volume in Italy has directly affected the Italian EV market value, expectedly so. With a positive trend in the market over the past decade, Italy has witnessed over 1000% expansion in resizing its EV market share, according to the following chart.

In 2012, Italy’s EV market share was a meagre 0.04%. However, when parallels are drawn between that and the market share in 2021—4.6%, this margin represents one of the biggest market growths in Europe.

Chart representing the Italian EV market expansion between 2010 and 2021

Source: Statista

EV Policies in Italy

As part of the plan developed to bolster the adoption of EVs, the Italian government set the following legislations and policies to further aid the growth of EVs in the country.

  1. Directive Alternative Fuel Initiative (DAFI)

DAFI was introduced in Italy in January 2017 to implement regulations on alternative options to fossil fuels with the singular focus of curbing the spread of greenhouse gases in the transportation sector while strengthening the Italian eMobility system.

The initiative is subdivided into three major frameworks:

  • Strategic framework— this framework directs the institution of a special body, the National Strategic Framework (NSF), for establishing and progressing markets in the transportation sector responsible for alternative energy sources. The NSF stands at the centre of natural gas regulations, its use, importation, and sales.
  • Charging stationsin addition to the strategic framework, the Italian also makes room for effective EV charging. This framework works in synergy with the NSF in that it not only mandates the adequate supply of charging stations and electricity; its results also depend on the effectiveness of the NSF.
  • Additional technical specifications— this framework is concerned with technical specifications, guidelines, and strict obedience associated with charging stations and EVs.
  1. Ownership Tax Benefits

In Italy, EV owners are insulated against the usual annual ownership tax for five years from the date of first registration. When this period elapses, they enjoy a 75% reduction in the tax that ICEV owners are subjected to.

EV Charging Stations in Italy

One of the primary propellers of EVs in any given geographical area is the availability of resources that aid their sustainability. One of these resources is the charging station, and in this area, Italy has recorded immense growth.

As of 2013, about 1,356 accessible charging stations were available in Italy. By the end of 2020, Italy had installed around 16,000 charging stations— a figure projected to double by 2030.

Ongoing EV Projects in Italy

The story of the Italian EV market wouldn’t be what it is today without sustainable projects to underpin the very ideas of eMobility and decarbonisation.

The past years in the Italian EV journey have seen several projects come to fruition, and with Italy bound by an obligation to fulfil their part of the European Green Deal, we are set to witness multiple more projects. Below are some of the ongoing EV projects in Italy.

  1. Electreon’s Arena of the Future

A world-leading provider of wireless charging for EVs, Electreon, tested its first inductive highway technology in Italy in December 2021. The 1,050m-long highway in Brescia near the Chiari Ovest exit of the A35 Motorway, 50km away from Milan, was used to charge an IVECO bus and Stellantis’ Fiat Nuova 500 passenger vehicle while driving.

The closed asphalt ring road, which is still undergoing testing, is fed with 1MW of electrical capacity from which EVs absorb energy sufficient to charge their batteries while in motion.

  1. Enel X’s Charging Point Project

In 2019, Enel X—a subsidiary of a prominent green energy consultant, Enel—kickstarted the installation of EV charging points across Italy. The focus of this project was to install 7,000 charging points by the end of 2020 and 14,000 by the end of 2022. Another major objective of this project is to make e-Mobility sustainable for inhabitants of rural settlements by bringing charging points closer.

While the project is still ongoing, Enel X already exceeded its goal earlier this year with 15,000 charging points installed across the country.

  1. Rapid EV Sale

In 2018, the Italian government announced its plans to invest $10 billion as an incentive to put a million EVs on the roads of Italy by the end of 2022.

As of January 2022, Italy had 244,944 EVs in circulation. This figure represents an underachievement of the goal set in 2018, which means the project is very active.

Who are the Major EV Players in Italy?

The fierce competition among EV players makes the Italian EV market the fourth largest in Europe.

By the end of January 2022, Italy had registered 3,658 BEVs for the month alone. These registrations were spread across ten different EV manufacturers, with Dacia Spring topping the chart and Ford Mustang Mach-E at the bottom of the chart.

Number of BEVs registered in January 2022 by models.

Source: Cleantechnica

What is it Like to Own an EV in Italy?

As an EV owner in any part of the world, one of the best things that could happen to you is strong government support—a thing that EV owners have in abundant supply. Below are helpful details to utilise in working your way through your EV ownership in Italy.

Subsidies and Incentives

EV incentives in Italy are split into several categories: charging incentives, private grants, commercial grants, public procurement, tax benefit, and local benefits.

  • Charging incentives— 50% tax reduction distributed uniformly across ten annual instalments on the purchase and installation of EV chargers.
  • Private grants— consumers who purchase vehicles with 60g/km or less CO2 emissions are entitled to incentives.
  • Commercial grants— commercial grants are given to EV owners who purchased their vehicle between January 1 2021, and December 31 2021. 
  • Tax benefits— exemption from paying ownership tax for five years and 75% reduction in tax afterwards. Furthermore, company cars that emit 60g/km or less get a 25% discount.
  • Local benefits— some cities offer free parking to EVs.

Charging Costs

According to Compare the Market, charging an EV in Italy typically costs approximately €0.141 per kWh. Compared to other EU countries, this price appears to be the median. 

Measures are in place to significantly lower charging costs to aid EV owners. The Flexo Smart Charge, for instance, acts as an intermediary between you and utilities. That position helps you optimise your energy usage and decide the most cost-friendly hours to charge.

EV Smart Charging in Italy

Smart charging is a relatively new concept in Italy. In 2021, the Italian government partnered with Siemens Smart Infrastructure to initialise smart charging facilities in Rome.

The project commenced with 23 charging stations that operate on cloud-based charging infrastructure software. 

Wrapping Up

Italy remains one of the best countries to own and operate an EV. Its market growth over the years can be credited to the intentionality of the government.

According to Statista, the Italian EV market is projected to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.53% between 2022 and 2027 and is expected to cap at a value of $21.67 billion. These projections are premised upon the fruitful policies established by the Italian government.

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