Within European cities, where 68% of the EU population lives using 70% of the energy, an integrated and sustainable urban approach is needed. In order to meet the increasingly complex challenges of urban areas new, efficient, and user-friendly technologies and services, in particular in areas of energy, transport, and ICT are required. In the transport sector electric urban mobility and synergy between different transport systems (ITS) and infrastructures must be supported strongly in order to improve life conditions of citizens in terms of i) emissions, ii) services, iii) traffic congestion (an ambitious challenge is reduction of journey times). With the aim of improving the city logistic more efficient peopletransport and freight-distribution systems have to be used, so electro-mobility for transport in the “last mile” must be supported. In the i-NEXT (Innovation for greeN Energy and eXchange in Transportation) project, in which CNR ITAE is directly involved as coordinator, activities are addressed to implementation of new concept modular electric vehicles having different upper-bodies able to be used both for people (public transport) and freight in urban areas. The project aims to develop a not commercial vehicle characterized by new design in which the challenge is to reach the lowest ratio between total weight and load capacity (europallet for freight and seats for people). Other important aspects are to define specific mission of use, range of autonomy, recharge times and cost in terms of batteries and recharge systems technologies. In conclusion synergy of electro-mobility with renewable energy plants and smart grids is essential for sustainability of smart city concept.
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