Reggio Emilia, with a mix of national and local funding, decided to set up different pilot projects in order to promote and spread the use of electric vehicles.
Since the economic sustainability of other logistic solutions, given the quite small size of the city and the relative small goods flow in the urban area, would have been a target difficult to reach, urban logistic policies focused on the promotion of the use of electric vehicles for commercial purposes. Electric transport in an urban environment is essential for obtaining good air quality and reduces carbon footprint, noise pollution and boosts the economy. All these factors led the City of Reggio Emilia to focus on this solution to improve air quality, promote the development of an innovative mobility policy and provide citizens and businesses with a high level service.
The start of the electrical experience of the city of Reggio Emilia dates back to 2001, when the Municipality of Reggio Emilia decided to set up different pilot projects in order to promote and spread the use of electric vehicles as a realistic transport alternative.
The Municipality set up a different business model characterized by a public-private partnership and the creation of a company offering a complete service of short and long term rent and maintenance. Along with the replacement of the conventionally fuelled car fleets of local public institutions, a commercial electric vehicle fleet has been made available for small commercial operators. Commercial segment is indeed of particular interest: vehicles are used more regularly than private cars and deliveries are frequent and with short/mid distance

Resources needed

Public contribution for the first years, then the scheme runs with no public fundings
Other Resources needed:
infrastructural: a location with parking possibilities and a tool and repair shop
human resources: 10 between operation and marketing managers, technicians for the repair/mainteinance

Evidence of success

The effort and long-lasting engagement of the City has allowed to achieve notable results:
- expansion of the public charging network to 23 chargers
- 450 vehicles in the city for commercial and private use
- great reduction of the impact of private cars and vans in terms of pollution, fuel consumption, noise and significant environmental and economic savings
- creation of a high Evs acceptance level in the city
- creation of a leading company at national level managing the long term rent.

Difficulties encountered

Main challenges:
barriers and misconceptions over Evs at the beginning of 2000
investigate key factors for the acceptance of e-vehicles
developing the managing and business models, as it was something pioneering
developing tailored solutions for supply, fleet provisioning and servicing

Potential for learning or transfer

The key of success of Reggio Emilia experience with Evs are:
the combination of national eco-incentives and local public authorithy initiatives which created a coordinated and strongly coherent approach across the national and local level
the replacement of the City conventionally fuelled car fleet with Evs, with the municipality setting an example by acting as responsible and pioneering
the offer of a long and short term e-car sharing, for the promotion of electric mobility as a service and part of the daily mobility habits
the creation of a public company for purchase and management of the rent service offering a global service for users
the development of a business plan with different stages in order to consolidate the results before moving to the next step and increasing the number of vehicles/targeting a new segment
the promotion among suitable actors in order to getting the involvement and participation of key target groups to the diffusion of an Evs mindset.

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Main institution
Municipality of Reggio Emilia
Emilia-Romagna, Italy (Italia)
Start Date
April 2004
End Date


Cristina Pellegrini Please login to contact the author.

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Ana Isabel Cardoso

ADENE - Portuguese Energy Agency