By David MacDonald I t’s on likeDonkey Kong! At the endof June, theChief Execu- tive Officer of Europe’s largest utility, Enel SpA, announced that his electric company will invest close to €300 million – or $431 million CAD – in the electric car game in Italy. Francesco Starace says that Enel SpA’s 12,000 nation- wide recharging columns are a natural investment for any prudent electric company. He believes that when long range, family-sized electric cars become cheap – a benchmark arguably reached already by Tesla and the Model 3 – that the automotive industry in countries like China, Japan, and most of North America will be ready for production numbers in the millions, though he didn’t comment directly on the reliability of existing nationwide infrastructures in terms of recharging columns in those locales. European automobile makers have some catching up to do, according to Starace. But his business advice doesn’t end there. He has amessage for the automotive giants, too – particularly European companies.
of adoption of electric cars will do it at their own risk, said Starace, whose plan will roll-out over the next two and a half years. “This is something that can kick-start the diffusion of electric cars because it will remove one of the major problems for a potential buyer, which is, “can I charge my car?” Starace told Bloomberg. Starace is also keeping the option open to market as many as 30,000 private recharging columns to the likes of hotels and restaurants throughout Italy. All said and done, the Enel SpA nationwide system could conceivably sustain up to 300,000 electric cars, according to Starace. There is also the potential for Enel SpA to integrate “vehi- cle-to- grid” technology in some locations in Italy. This is where electric cars become batteries on-the- go and interact with local power grids – they literally help to keep the power flow balanced while promoting renewable energy, according to Bloomberg. Source: Bloomberg
“I firmly believe that car manufacturers who ignore the pace
SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE • JULY 2017
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