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Market research for electric mobility
Omar Imberti
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The deployment of charging infrastructure across the European continent is a task that is still pending for most member countries. The efforts that each territory is making are uneven, and implementation times often do not correspond to the real needs of these countries.

Thus, in its Green Pact, the European Union estimated that at least one million charging points would need to be installed throughout the EU by 2025 to accompany the development of electric vehicles and achieve their definitive implementation. However, the governing body admits that it lacks an overall strategic roadmap for electromobility.

Currently, 70% of registered charging points in Europe are concentrated in three countries: the Netherlands, France and Germany. The rest are scattered across Europe. In this sense, many countries argue that there is a lack of coordination between administrations, or the difficulty of legally integrating these laws into their own national laws.

Just like other European countries, this is also what is happening in Italy. The issue of fast charging stations on motorways in this European country can be paradoxical. As of today, there are as many as three state laws that require it. Specifically, the most recent one is the 2021 budget law, which obliged concessionaires to install them before June of this year. However, not only has this not occurred, but the deadlines are being missed due to a series of discussions between various governing bodies and agencies.

This is a situation that needs to be addressed urgently, because electric mobility will struggle to take off without charging stations on motorways.

In Italy, 21,000 recharging points are planned for installation, each located at a distance of around 50 km. This is a sufficient rate, as current batteries can guarantee a significant range of more than 400 km. Achieving this within the stipulated time frame would undoubtedly be a great result. However, this initiative is currently blocked by bureaucracy alone.

From The Motorway To Home

A good public charging network will be necessary, but let us not forget that the domestic charging network also plays a fundamental role and must evolve in parallel to achieve the implementation of electric vehicles.

According to Enea, 93% of Italian households only have a 3 kW grid connection. This is why, here at Scame Parre we have developed solutions such as the wallbox with Power Management, which makes it possible to modulate the electric car’s charging process according to the active domestic loads. This device is also capable of intercepting and boosting the contributions of the photovoltaic installation.

For the tertiary sector, in addition to the possibility of using this power management system, we have also developed a load balancing system for three-phase versions up to 22 kW, which allows the available power to be subdivided according to the cars being charged. We also have the ability to control and manage the stations remotely thanks to a management system that allows several charging stations to be controlled and managed at the same time on a single platform.

In terms of fast charging, at Scame Parre, we decided to acquire Magnum Cap last May. This Portuguese company is very focused on this technology and will allow us to offer these solutions as well.

A Lifetime Dedicated To Innovation

At our company, we have a strong vocation for innovation. That is why, at the end of the 1990s, CIVES asked us to develop what would later become the world’s first connector specifically dedicated to electric vehicles. This is a connector that was later formalized in the EN 62196/2 standard as a type 3A connector, and which is hailed today as the standard for light vehicles such as scooters and quadricycles.

In those years there was certainly no talk of electric mobility, and until the middle of the first decade of the 2000s there was little interest in it, although the first electric and hybrid vehicles, such as the PIAGGIO MP3, were beginning to appear. So, we began to hypothesize about alternative mobility solutions.

However, the real turning point was undoubtedly the arrival of lithium batteries, which enabled technological development to allow the entire automotive world to develop truly effective and efficient products and solutions.

At Scame Parre, we master all the processes: from design to production, including industrialisation. We do everything in-house, including firmware and software. This not only ensures high reliability, but also allows us to make all stations communicate with each other, creating an interconnected ecosystem.

In this respect, future developments also take these features into account. So, even adding an older Scame station to a system will enable its integrated management.

When E-mobility Is The Logical Way Forward

In the 2000s, we opted for e-mobility because of the skills we already had in the company, especially in the field of electrical engineering, and the need to evolve in terms of electronics to create charging stations, which were part of the company’s overall strategy.

On the other hand, the world of LPG and methane or fossil fuels has never been in our business model, both because of the distribution models that are far from our purposes and also because of our technological expertise.

At present, the components sector is highly developed abroad, especially the sale of connectors and sockets for other charging station manufacturers. We have been proactive in our solutions in this respect, and it is a path that has allowed us to carve out an important role for ourselves internationally.

In Italy, on the other hand, in the domestic market, business is mainly developed on the charging station side, which we sell in both standard and customized versions.

I must clarify that at Scame we are not in the business of managing public charging stations, but we are in the business of producing the hardware and making sure that it is reliable and efficient. Also, making sure that the hardware can recharge all electric cars, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

That is why we make sure that our stations can communicate with all the operators in the market that sell charging services. That said, the incidence of electricity in the production of charging stations is relatively low, in general.

For Scame, energy consumption is relevant as a manufacturing company. Not only for cost reduction reasons, but also–and above all–for sustainability purposes. In this respect, we have been equipped with photovoltaic systems since the early 2000s, and today we have expanded our photovoltaic production, producing about a quarter of the energy we consume from renewable energies.

Smart Grid Is A Great Opportunity For Electric Mobility

The smart grid is a great opportunity for electric mobility. The prediction of the Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC) is that there will be 6 million electric vehicles in Europe by 2030. If this is realized, assuming that each of these vehicles could make half the capacity of a 50 kWh battery available to the grid, i.e. 25 kWh each, this means that we would have a storage potential of 150 GWh. This is an amount that would be enough to support the entire distribution grid.

This is an unmissable opportunity. This is why Scame has been involved for a few years in a European project called Muse Grid, which aims to develop this technology. It should also be noted that in Italy, on January 30th, 2020, a decree was published with the aim of developing this type of solution. The technical standards are now being studied, and we hope to have real cases and not just experiments as soon as possible.

So far, even on the part of car manufacturers, there are few exceptions that allow the implementation of V2G, but even here, developments are rapid. We expect that there will soon be developments that, linked to the implementation and applicability of ISO15118, will enable the use of V2G.

In this respect, we already have the first real application cases both in Denmark and in England.

Beauty And Functionality: A Very Italian Issue

The first Scame stations date back to 2010. After 7 or 8 years of life, we thought it was time to add something to the project that would enhance the experience in the field. On the other hand, we wanted it to be a totally Italian asset in its design, something for which Italy is known for all around the world.

Design is understood not only as an aesthetic aspect, but also as a user experience for the customer. For example, the BE-A columns have illuminated front sockets. The socket in question is illuminated and identifies its status: green, if it is free, or blue, if it is charging. Another issue, for example, is that there is no cover; but, thanks to the unique “one-hand system”, it allows the connector to be inserted or removed from the station with the use of just one hand.

To design these new chargers, we have relied on the Trussardi & Belloni design studio that has the ability to transform the ideas and concepts we want to pursue into objects. In 2022, there will be more important and, in a way, very innovative innovations.

What Does The Future Hold?

We have development plans for the coming years, both in terms of charging stations and related services. This is scheduled maintenance that we can guarantee thanks to the New Mobility Team’s network of qualified installers, which has more than 300 company names throughout Italy.

In 2022, on the other hand, we plan to launch several new series ranging from DC charging to electric bicycles. We are working on innovative projects that we believe will further boost electric mobility.

In this regard, we are interested in the topic of DC home charging, especially in the context of V2H (vehicle-to-home) use, i.e., assuming that the car can be recharged during the day via renewable sources, and at night, the same car battery can act as a storage device to power the home.

On the other hand, our design will continue to rely on the collaboration of Trussardi & Belloni. Their ability to combine beauty and efficiency will be reflected in the new products launching in 2022.

Scame has always worked on sustainability issues since its inception. In the 2000s we installed the first photovoltaic system, in 2003 we obtained ISO 14001 environmental certification, in 2012 we added the first electric vehicle to our fleet, and today 48% of our company vehicles “have the plug”. Of these, 70% are pure electric.

This is why Scame has been included in the Forbes list of the 100 leading companies in sustainability and has been awarded the Sustainability Award. It is about highlighting the fact that for us, electric mobility is not just a business, it is part of our company’s DNA.