What are your thoughts on how the E-CHARGE 2023 show went and what were your personal highlights?

E-CHARGE 2023 is the result of a long team effort and the willingness of many companies to meet in order to define the future of the market. 

The success is due to the great foresight of all of them and their technological successes but also to their vision of a compact and well-defined market with serious and skilled operators.

The important moments were many, especially every handshake between us, the operators and the public: seeing the satisfaction in their eyes was the greatest gratification.

What were the most eye-catching new EV charging technologies showcased at E-Charge?

The exhibitors have brought really interesting news, such as the latest charging station developed by Alhof-Huber+Suhner, which guarantees 100km of autonomy with just 3 minutes of charging, or the MegaCharger by Plus International - the first charger in the world with a power of 2MW able of charging an electric truck in just 25 minutes (compared to the 3 and a half hours previously needed), presented in world premiere at the fair - which allows for the first time to equate electric heavy mobility to long-range fuel mobility.

Another innovative solution for the electrification of the freight transport of the "Last Mile" was proposed by OneWedge with the Electric Plazas: private car parks equipped with charging systems used in subscription by operators which are located mainly in areas with high urbanization. With this solution, electrifying 1,000 vans means avoiding the release into the atmosphere of 7,500 tons of CO2 per year.

Very interesting is also the agreement signed by On Charge with “I Borghi più belli d’Italia”, association of small Italian towns of strong historical and artistic interest, to bring the charging network in small towns and promote sustainable tourism. 

A1Charge presented at the fair its latest product, the A1 8500C, able not only to smartly control the parking area to increase efficiency and safety, but also to monitor air quality (PM 10, PM 2.5, NOX, O3, AQI, CO2). 

These are all very important innovations, which demonstrate how E-CHARGE is really a showcase of technologies and innovation for the world of EV charging.

Italy has an impressive EV charging infrastructure, with a higher ratio of chargers per EV than Norway, but a relatively low number of EVs compared to other major European countries. What can be done to increase EV ownership in Italy?

In Italy the passion for the car is much stronger and rooted than in many other countries. The culture of mobility itself has always been traditionalist: for many people it is difficult to manage a change in their habits, especially if these are comfortable and handed down for a long time.

In this scenario we can say that electric mobility has been very well welcomed by the Italian public (certainly conservative but also environmentally friendly). The real obstacle remains the ineffective regulations, the great bureaucracy and access to credit, now limited in all markets.

E-CHARGE aims to support technological information and cultural and social development of the public: only with the diffusion of the real technological values and the communication of the real effects on the market we can prospect an improvement in the sales data of electric vehicles (which will then feed economically the continuous diffusion of the charging network).

Valentna CantoniE-CHARGE exhibition manager Valentna Cantoni (right) says: "In Italy the passion for the car is much stronger and rooted than in many other countries."

What are the main ways that Italy's EV charging infrastructure can be improved?

The use of renewable energy communities will soon be a major technological action that will push the electricity grid itself to a new level of optimization and efficiency. VtoX technologies will probably also be an excellent form of incentive to use electric cars.

We need to improve positioning on the territory and, thanks to revamping, we need to increase energy efficiency.

Probably also the use of advanced digital payments will be an aid to the more massive spread of the public network.

For private grids, however, we will have to review the strictly bureaucratic rules, as well as taxation itself on the use of private charging.

The E-Tech Europe 2024 show, also being staged in Bologna and co-located with E-Charge 2024, is just six months away on 7-8 May next year. Why are you organising this event so quickly after this month's E-Charge 2023, what are its aims and who should attend?

The 2024 edition of E-TECH EUROPE and E-CHARGE will be full of news: first of all, the world of on-board and off-board finally meet in one big high-tech event.

The entire world of car is now subject to continuous and sudden changes and evolutions. The speed of evolution is now similar to the one it interested the world of consumer electronics a couple of decades ago, and we will have to live in the upcoming years with technologies continuously evolving. 

We hope to continue to evolve and assist the market on the technological front, investing resources that enable companies to improve their performance and increase their presence in the Italian and international markets. 

All those who actively participate in the car charging market will be interested in participating in the E-TECH EUROPE and E-CHARGE 2024 project.