Florence is the eighth biggest Italian city, chief town of Tuscany in the centre of Italy. Considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is one of the most popular Italian touristic destination and its historical centre was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. Its economy is characterised by a strong manufacturing and tertiary sector (with tourism as top income item).
Florence has a huge number of daily city users, mostly tourists, staying for an average of slightly more than 3 days.
Rated as the 2nd Smart City in Italy according to the 2019 ICity rank , Florence can be considered as the most compact and global city in Italy, focusing on transport network modernisation.
The municipality of Florence has a strong cooperation in place with the Metropolitan City in terms of mobility policies.
The high vulnerability of the historical centre and its architectural constraints are key points for the city that must be considered in the deployment of the charging infrastructure.
Florence is an urban node of the TEN-T Scandinavian-Mediterranean corridor. The closest core Railroad Terminal (RRT) is Prato, 20 km away from Florence.
Florence is a replicator city within USER-CHI.
Florence is active in collaborative networks (New Covenant of Mayors, Global Covenant of Mayors, Conference of Parties COP21) created to face social, environmental and sustainability challenges. The city is working on a comprehensive project, integrating technologies and “info mobility”, to ultimately transform Florence into an environment-friendly and compact city.
Since the 90’s, Florence strongly invested in e-mobility thanks to the development of charging infrastructure for EVs focusing on both private and shared cars and taxis, the latter being served by six ultra-fast recharging station reserved to them. Nowadays, Florence counts with nearly 200 public multivendor charging stations. This network uses open protocols for communication, availability data are published as open data on the city web portal. Two e-car sharing companies operate in the city with a total of 220 e-vehicles while the licensed e-taxi fleet counts 74 units.
The most relevant projects in the domain of e-mobility are summarised below.
Public charging stations network deployment (completed)
Through a project funded by the Tuscany region with POR funds, 173 public multivendor charging stations were installed on the municipal road network with a total of 350 plugs available.
EVA+ (Electric Vehicles Arteries in Italy and Austria) is a project co-financed by the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility programme which aimed at building a comprehensive, cross-border network of public fast charging stations for electric cars in Italy and Austria. This network is based on multi-standard chargers and include innovative ICT solutions to provide easy access and service to all vehicles and customers. Florence is one of the cities that is taking part as pilot location. Two stations were installed in this framework.
REPLICATE (REnaissance of Places with Innovative Citizenship and TEchnolgy) (installed but not already active, almost completed)
REPLICATE is a European Union research and development project funded by the Horizon 2020 Programme that aims to deploy integrated energy, mobility, and ICT solutions in city districts. Florence is one of the lighthouse cities alongside San Sebastian and Bristol. The project is focused on increasing the quality of life for citizens across Europe by demonstrating the impact of innovative technologies used to co-create smart city services with citizens and prove the optimal process for replicating successes within cities and across cities. One of the main objectives is the implementation of e-mobility with regards to taxi fleet, recharge points and implementing the mobility services. Six fast recharge stations for taxi drivers, a booking app for taxis for fast recharge stations, e-mobility info-point managed by the taxi associations to raise awareness among their members about the opportunities given by choosing electric vehicles, 27 multivendor recharging stations in the city, are four of the project outputs.
Municipal e-car sharing (completed)
A municipal e-car sharing project was funded by the regional local council in the framework of the air pollution reduction plan. The municipal fleet has been renewed by replacing 85 vehicles with electric vehicles and 60 reserved charging stations have been installed.
Municipal e-bike sharing – partnership with Ducati Energia spa (completed)
This is a pilot project for a corporate e-bike sharing system, promoted by the ministry of the environment in partnership with Ducati Energia spa, to encourage the use of alternative and ecological means of transport for the journeys necessary to carry out the work activities of the municipality. The ministry has provided the municipality of Florence with 50 e-bikes, equipped with recharging racks that have been placed in parking areas of the municipal offices. The project involved the deployment of a data acquisition system for monitoring the parameters of use and consumption of the bikes.
Ele.C.Tra project, funded by IEE programme. (completed)
The overall objective of the Electric City Transport (Ele.C.Tra.) project was promoting a new urban mobility model. The EleCTra project’s goal was to give useful solutions to accessibility needs of citizens (house-work, house-school, house-keeping transfers, etc..) that cannot be fully solved by public transport local systems.