External Publications
Date: 12/9/2019

On the Role of Electric Vehicles towards Low-carbon Energy Systems: Italy and Germany in comparison

Sara Bellocchi (Department of Industrial Engineering - University of Rome Tor Vergata); Kai Klöckner (School of Business and Economics Chair of Management Accounting - RWTH Aachen University); Michele Manno (Department of Industrial Engineering - University of Rome Tor Vergata); Michel Noussan (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei); Michela Vellini (Department of Industrial Engineering - University of Rome Tor Vergata)
Type: Journal
Published in: Applied Energy, Volume 255, 1 December 2019, 113848
Keywords: RES integration, Electric vehicles, Smart charging, Energy PLAN, Cross-country comparison, CO2 emissions reduction


Electric vehicles can play a major role in the transition towards low-carbon energy systems, but the related increase in electricity demand inevitably affects the strategic planning of the overall energy system as well as the definition of the optimal power generation mix. With this respect, the impact of electric vehicles may vary significantly depending on the composition of both total primary energy supply and electricity generation sector. In this study Italy and Germany are compared to highlight how a similarity in their renewable shares not necessarily leads to similar results in CO2 emissions reduction. Different energy scenarios are simulated with the help of EnergyPLAN software assuming a progressive increase in renewable energy sources capacity and electric vehicles penetration. Results show that, for the German case, the additional electricity required leads to a reduction in CO2 emissions only if renewable capacity increases significantly, whereas the Italian energy system benefits from transport electrification even at low renewable capacity. With a sixfold increase in renewables capacity and assuming a complete electrification of private transportation where electric vehicles charging strategy is regulated to enhance renewable integration, CO2 emissions can be reduced by 22% and 39% for Italy and Germany respectively. However, this comes along with a remarkable renewable surplus, respectively equal to 15% and 28% of the total national production unless large-scale energy storage systems are deployed.

On the Role of Electric Vehicles towards Low-carbon Energy Systems: Italy and Germany in comparison

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