Many future scenarios currently hypothesize that the diffusion of CAVs will mostly take place in terms of electric, shared vehicles within Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) frameworks. Indeed, together with such a diffusion of shared ECAVs deep transformations in urban-level mobility patterns would occur as well. For instance, ECAVs would no longer be parked for 95% of the time but would increase their running time, to serve one customer after the other. Such a transformation would in turn require to rethink the role and function of urban spaces and the interactions with and between components of the electric grid system, and to define new business models, to be adopted by power and transport providers and possibly also by totally new players.
To support urban and regional institutions in tackling these critical challenges and steering the transition towards ECAVs, EVA aims at identifying the characteristics of innovative territorial infrastructures capable of effectively supporting these emerging technologies in road mobility.
The project will start by identifying the most likely future scenarios for the diffusion of ECAVs, on varying the diffusion of EVs and possible ownership schemes for CAVs (private vs shared property). Then, the two most likely scenarios will be simulated in two case studies (pilot sites), by means of regional traffic and grid models, and their effects will be evaluated against a Business As Usual scenario, which only envisions the diffusion of EVs.
Throughout project activities, local stakeholders and communities will be actively engaged in workshops and discussion meetings. This will allowi to highlight the pros and cons of different scenarios and will later favour the adoption and/or acceptance of the envisioned infrastructure solutions.
Overall, this process will allow to explore and assess:
how future diffusion of ECAVs will affect urban planning and design, particularly under a Sharing Economy framework;
how to manage peaks in power demand due to a wide diffusion of electric mobility in the smart grid system, by exploiting vehicle-to-grid (V2G) and vehicle-to-home (V2H) power strategies;
how to optimize EVs charging station infrastructures avoiding investment in fast obsolescing ones; and
how to modify and adapt current business models for energy and mobility providers, in order to better benefit from the new conditions.
As final project outcome, in Summer 2022, the project will develop a set of guidelines aimed at supporting regional authorities in the transition towards ECAVs and at optimizing the related infrastructures.
Analyses performed in the EVA project focus on two regional pilot sites:
The region of Canton Ticino, Southern Switzerland
A wide area with four small-to-medium size urban agglomerations that constitute an urban continuum characterized by sprawl, while the remaining mountain areas are characterized by low population density.
The province of Bolzano, Northern Italy
A small-to-medium sized city and its surroundings, characterized by polycentric small density settlements.