Florence aims to become one of Italy’s most cutting-edge smart cities with the help of local energy company, Enel.
An agreement between Enel and the Municipality of Florence has resulted in the installation of four fast recharge plus stations which can recharge electric taxis in 20 minutes. The stations are located in Piazza Francia, Via del Cavallaccio, Controviale Guidoni and Piazzale Donatello. Another two will be installed-one at Via Venosta and the other in a location yet to be decided.
The stations can recharge at 22 to 43kW AC and 50kW DC. The recharge process is managed remotely by an electric mobility management system which also provides real-time data on the location of the recharge columns, the recharge status, reservation opportunities and other services.
The construction of the recharge system forms part of a bigger project that sees a partnership between the Municipality of Florence and Enel and envisages investments for over €30m in three pilot locations. Out of this, €25m is financed by the European Commission and the rest by private investors.
Another two fast recharge plus stations are soon to be installed near the Firenze Nord and Firenze Sud tollbooths as part of the European EVA+ project, for which Enel won the contract along with a consortium of car manufacturers and the main Austrian utility. The project involves the installation of 200 fast recharge points along the main motorway arteries between Austria and Italy. These two columns will not only be available to taxi drivers, but to all drivers of electric vehicles.
Florence has an infrastructure of 179 Enel recharge stations for public use. The city has the highest number of recharge stations in Italy. The infrastructure consists of pole stations that generate a slow 3.3kW charge or a 22kW quick charge, thereby ensuring that the latest vehicles can be powered as well as those already in circulation with smart and interoperable recharges. Interoperability is important for electric vehicle owners who are able to use the electric recharge card supplied by the energy retail company at any recharge station regardless of the company with which it is contracted.
The Municipality of Florence and Enel have also responded to the EU UIA (Urban Innovative Action) call with their Furba (Florence Urban Rapid Bus Transport) project, which plans to activate a public transport corridor using four all-electric buses 18m in length to guarantee service every five minutes.
As part of this project, Enel will be installing a fast recharge 350kW station with a pantograph, capable of delivering a full recharge to an electric bus battery in ten minutes, in addition to a 50kW V2G station making it possible to optimise energy inside the bus park by using the energy generated by 10kW photovoltaic panels.
Over the next five years €10m will be invested in the Novoli, Piagge and Cascine areas. This plan is aimed at improving energy efficiency (smart grids, smart lighting, district heating for more than 700 users with seasonal solar storage, 600 smart info devices), sustainable mobility (conversion of the motors of 100 taxis into electric motors, broadening the fast recharge columns network, app for citizens and tourists), ICT and IoT (urban control centre with a common platform for the three pilot cities, smart benches, smart waste), resilience and security (smart grids, video surveillance, SOS).
The partnership between the Municipality of Florence and Enel is also active on the ultra-broadband front with Open Fiber, the Enel and Cdp joint venture for the creation of infrastructure covering the whole of Italy using FTTH (fibre to the home) technology. By 2019 about four-fifths of premises in Florence will be cabled, with an investment of some €50m.