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The European Commission adopted this past mid-July a package of proposals to make EU policies on climate, energy, land use, transportation and taxation suitable for reducing the net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to the 1990’s levels.

Long-Term Decarbonization Strategy, National Recovery and Resilience Plan (Pnrr), Next Generation EU, National Energy and Climate Plan. These are the most significant economic and environmental measures implemented for Italy, which will affect the development of markets and supply chains, air and water pollution, recycling and circularity, health and protection of natural resources.

We are increasingly into the year 2021 with the awareness of the numerous expectations we have: defeating the virus and gaining herd immunity, starting a solid economic recovery, having the opportunity to give a new economic push to the country thanks to an excellent Recovery Plan, being able to finally hug each other and shake hands, smiling more and without a mask.

After four years in the company of Donald Trump, Joe Biden’s term will begin next January, and he promises to have a significant from an environmental point of view. The outgoing president has always been opposed to the fight against climate change, so much so that he insisted that the US left out from the Paris Treaty and the final cancellation of the Clean Power Plan, created in 2015.

The decline of sales in the auto market decreases. If July had totaled 136,455 registrations, 11% less than in the same month of 2019, in August we are at 88,801, so only 0.4% less than in the same month of 2019.

According to the international consulting firm Deloitte, an analysis focused on the automotive sector would reveal a short to medium term slowdown in the global transition to electric mobility.

With the conversion into law of the Sostegni bis decree for car incentives has been approved.

The National Recovery and Resilience Plan (Pnrr) was presented to the European Commission at the end of April. This is a milestone: it is in fact the investment program prepared by the Government as part of the EU Next Generation, the tool to respond to the pandemic crisis caused by Covid-19. While we wait to know what it will translate into, let’s take a closer look at it. The Plan wishes to be the tool that, through a series of actions and interventions, aims to make Italy a more equitable, green and inclusive country.

A nation with a more competitive, dynamic and innovative economy, able to face environmental, technological and social challenges now and in the future. The overall strategy mobilizes more than 222 billion euros and supports 6 missions: Digitization, Innovation, Competitiveness and Culture (49.2 billions); Green Revolution and Ecological Transition (68.6 billions, the largest sum invested); Infrastructure for Sustainable Mobility (31.4 billions); Education and Research (31.9 billions); Inclusion and Cohesion (22.4 billions); and Health (18.5 billions).

This past December 1st, the year of the Italian Presidency of the G20 was inaugurated, which will culminate in the Summit of Heads of State and Government to be held in Rome October 30th and 31st, 2021.

The car market is seriously in crisis, so much that the trade associations Anfia, Federauto and Unrae have issued a joint announcement asking for help

The auto market is showing a slight improvement, but we are still far from recovering, after the forced and disastrous halt imposed by the pandemic.

Energy policy. This troubled spring has anyway seen the restart of an important step for the future of alternative fuels. On April 6th, as foreseen in the Green Deal, the process for the Dafi Directive’s started, with the examination on the infrastructure for the supply of alternative fuels at European level, together with a new consultation launched by the Commission open to citizens and stakeholders.

There are still too few ecological circulating cars: considering all of the alternative propulsions available, we reach 10.7% of the fleet in circulation, compared to 9.8% in 2019.

Socogas Group of Fidenza opened in the past few weeks a new service station that supplies liquid methane (LNG) and gaseous methane (L-CNG).

It is a well known and appreciated company on a national level, with over 200 employees in many locations and with a lot of companies affiliated to it. The plant is located less than 1 km from the Fidenza Salsomaggiore Terme A1 freeway exit. Exactly it is at the 1,840 OK of the Stare road 12 nearby the Fidenza Outlet Village and Fidenza Shopping Center.

The plant is Continuously supplied of liquefied natural gas, and independent from the methane pipeline network, so it is able to offer both liquid methane (LNG) for heavy vehicles,
and gaseous methane (L-CNG), obtained from the regasification of liquid methane, for cars and vans.

The offer is completed by petrol, diesel, LPG and an area dedicated for recharging electric and hybrid plug-in vehicles.

According to the data released by Acea, in the entire European Union including the EFTA countries and the United Kingdom, a total of 3,080,751 cars were registered in the first quarter of 2021. It is a + 0.9% compared to the same period in 2020. This year, after a heavy decrease in January (-25.7%) and February (-20.3%). Instead, March 2021 registered a positive trend in the European auto market, an increase of + 62.7% – equal to 1,387,924 units sold – compared to March 2020, which recorded exceptionally low volumes (-51.8%) due to the Covid-19 initial restrictions. In comparison with March 2019, however, the third month of 2021 is down by 22%, meaning that the strong losses of March 2020 were only partially offset. Volumes of alternative fuels cars sold are growing, with electric, hybrid and plug-in cars dominating the scene, while LPG and methane cars remain primarily an Italian choice for drivers.

In 2020, the Italian car market affected by the Covid-19 crisis totaled just over 1.38 million in sales, a -28% compared to the previous year: 535,000 cars are missing.

The health emergency has brought many changes in people’s lives, substantially affecting the mobility sector as well.

In Italy there are 3,896,923 cars powered by alternative propulsion and fuels.

In the EU, electricity produced from renewable sources overcomed the one produced from fossil sources for the first time in 2020.

Istat presents the eighth edition of the fair and sustainable well-being project’s report (BES), ten years after its start. The report analyses 12 areas of concern: Health; Education and training; Balance between work and free time; Economic well-being; Social relationships;
Politics and institutions; Safety; Personal well-being; Landscape and cultural heritage; Environment; Innovation, Research and creativity;
Quality of services. The report shows that, throughout the country, the concern that people share the most is related to the consequences of climate change and the increase of the greenhouse effect. This worry has been increasing steadily in the percentage of people
affected by it, growing from 58.7% in 2014 to over 70% in the last two years. Awareness on this topic is high among citizens of all
ages, young people included.

Valeo’s challeng, company operating in automotive electrification worldwide, it is not to build bicycles, but to equip them with its electric assistance solution, obtaining an electric assistance system for bikes, combining performance, efficiency, comfort, ease of use and reduction of emissions by CO₂.

Scientists from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (Knmi) used the data received from the satellite Copernicus Sentinel-5P to monitor pollution in Europe.

Discovering bio-methane, our editorial staff visited the company “Sesa SpA” facilities in Este, which collects solid urban waste in the municipalities of the Padua surroundings.

Costa Crociere took possession of the Costa Smeralda, a new cruise ship powered by liquefied natural gas, from the Meyer naval shipyard in Turku (Finland).

Agenda

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The Bologna Fair district will host from October 6th to the 8th a pool of events starring the world of water, energy and innovation.

The Special Automotive Webinar by #FORUMAutoMotive – an initiative promoted by the journalist Pierluigi Bonora – has inaugurated the year 2021 on January 15th, analyzing scenarios involving hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Two events – the 1st Green Prix Città di Merate held on October 10th and 11th and the 1st Valtellina Ecogreen held on October 24th and
25th

Oil&nonoil was one of the few trade fairs that took place in Italy before the new stop imposed by the pandemic.

The 15th edition of Oil&nonOil took place from October 21st to 23rd.

The green economy world has never stopped, in spite of the difficulties, even in the year of the pandemic. Confirmation arrives from Ecomondo and Key Energy, the Italian Exhibition Group expos dedicated, respectively, to the recovery of material and sustainable development and to renewable energies, which will run from Tuesday 3rd November, until Sunday 15th November on the IEG digital platform.

The Advanced Driver Assistance Systems are more and more performing and evolving rapidly.

Among the latest novelties we can find Audi’ s evolution of the Car-to-X platform (real-time information on road surface condition and adhesion variations are detected and shared), the Coffee Break Alert system by the New Citroën C3, which warns the driver after two hours of driving at a speed higher than 65 km/h.

In order to improve nocturnal vision, the new Lexus LS has implemented the BladeScanTM Adaptive High-Beam System (AHS).

The new Opel Corsa-e corrects itself: its system of Lane Keeping Assist with Active Drive Assist applies steering corrections if the vehicle inadvertently leaves the lane.

We are getting used to see scooters that parade, not too slowly, on our streets.

After the research carried out in 2019, the Italian Automobile Club and Bosch presented a new study – carried out by the Filippo Caracciolo Foundation in collaboration with the Turin’ Polytechnic Institute – aimed at demonstrating the effectiveness of the braking assistance system in rear-end accidents.

In 2019, according to the Aci – Istat data, there were 172,183 road accidents with injuries to people in Italy a number slightly lower than in 2018 (-0.2%), with 3,173 victims (killed within 30 days of the event) and 241,384 injured (-0.6%).

The new safety technology developed by Volkswagen, the Local Hazard Warning system (also defined by the car manufacturer as Traffic Hazard Alert), has received the Advanced Award by Euro Nncap. This device allows the cars to communicate with everything around them (Car to Everyone - C2X): i. e. other vehicles, road, obstacles and objects on the roadway.

As the experimental phase is over, the Private eCall, a technological alert service to guarantee urgent medical assistance to motorists involved in road accidents, becomes a systemic project in Italy, thanks to the renewal of the current agreement between Areu and Tsp Association, an organization that brings together the main suppliers of telematic services.

It is simple to install, intuitive to use and convenient for refueling.

Engines evolve and with them gas systems. The kits developed for modern petrol direct injection units are especially the ones that arouse
interest.

BRC Gas Equipment, leader in manufacturing automotive LPG and CNG conversion equipment, is ready to launch Sequent Maestro, the LPG conversion system for vehicles provided with petrol direct injection engine.

The multinational Westport Fuel Systems, which develops low-emission, alternative fuel-efficient transport technologies and headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, published a joint study with AVL (a company that deals with the development and testing of propulsion systems), on the evaluation of the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of internal combustion engines fueled by hydrogen (H2).

Our analysis shows – Mr. David Johnson, Westport Fuel Systems CEO stated – that a hydrogen ICE engine equipped with high efficiency technologies (i.e. H2-HPDI) can outperform electric fuel cell vehicles in terms of TCO. Together with Scania it has been started a research project for the application of HPDI 2.0 hydrogen fuel system to the latest Scania industrial vehicle engine.

The results of the preliminary tests are expected in the second half of 2021. Moreover, from Cherasco, Westport Fuel Systems Italia has recently announced that it is an official member of H2IT, the Italian Association Hydrogen and Fuel Cells.

Bio methane-powered cars do not create any carbon deposits. This is the result obtained by the first monitoring data collected by BioMethER, a project developed thanks to the collaboration between Iren and Volkswagen Group Italia.

The project allowed to analyze the impact of the direct use of bio methane as a fuel for transportation. The tests were carried out in the test room of the Enea della Casaccia Research Center, equipped with a roller bench, on two new vehicles of the same brand – Volkswagen Polo TGI 1.0 90CV – powered 100% with bio methane produced by sewage sludge in Roncocesi’s Iren demonstration plant (Reggio Emilia).

The results showed that after 15,000 kilometers driven on bio methane there was the total absence of carbon residues on the piston crown, a data that suggests less wear on the engine.

Recovery plan: the PNRR (National Recovery and Resilience Plan) provides for incentives to promote environmental sustainability.

Emme Informatica, a software house in Padua, celebrates its twentieth anniversary in 2021.

In this occasion, it takes the opportunity to announce its upcoming services and to confirm its mission: to offer IT tools that improve and simplify the work of the protagonists of the
oil sector, i.e. service, net workers and white pumps. Mrs Maddalena Tanca, partner and head of communication, tells us about and illustrates to us the company.

At the end of December, Renzo Zucchi passed away at the age of 92.

BRC Gas Equipment of Cherasco (now part of the Westport Fuel Systems group)

After the premature death of Mr. Paolo Vettori, an historical protagonist in the natural gas field, Assogasmetano during the General Assembly held in Bologna this past July 1st, has nominated its new board. The President of the National Association of Methane Distributor Companies, founded in 2008 by Mr. Vettori himself, is now the Engineer Mr. Flavio Merigo. The Vice Presidents are Mrs. Costanza Zannoni and Mr. Lucio Ponsanesi. We met the new President and talked about the future association’s activities and about natural gas in general. 

Mr. Paolo Vettori, President of Assogasmetano, the national association of methane transport distribution companies, formed in August 2008, passed away on March23rd. A man who contributed to the making the history of the natural gas transport sector in Italy, where he had been active since 1973.