The European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP SCC) published an interview today with Urban Foresight’s Head of European Projects & Partnerships, Karine Sbirrazzuoli.

The interview with Karine, who leads the electromobility cluster for EIP SCC, is published in full here and is reproduced below:

Karine Sbirrazzuoli works as the Head of European Projects & Partnerships at Urban Foresight, a consulting think tank focused on the smart and sustainable transformation of cities. She represents the EV4SCC or Electromobility Initiative, which links cities and regions to companies for the implementation of innovative electro-mobility solutions and for its replication at scale in key market segments.

Could you describe your Initiative in a few words?
EV4SCC is a Europe-wide platform that is working to create a marketplace for smart electromobility solutions. Led by Urban Foresight and spanning the transport, energy and ICT sectors, EV4SCC represents 59 partners from 19 countries and brings together 15 cities and regions with start-ups, SMEs, research organisations, large companies and NGOs.

EV4SCC provides a platform which gathers public and private organizations to advance solutions for electric mobility. Does it also take citizens into account when it comes to the integration of electric vehicles in smart cities?
By championing the needs of cities, EV4SCC will also voice those of their citizens for better mobility and quality of life. The integration of smart electromobility solutions in urban areas will benefit citizens directly by not only providing clean and quiet modes of transport but also better mobility.

NGOs like European Alternatives, representing citizens, have a role to play in our initiative to facilitate citizen engagement.

What is the status of your initiative right now? What are the main strengths of EV4SCC?
EV4SCC was officially launched on the 28th January 2016, in the presence of Commissioner Violeta Bulc, at the Transport for Smart Cities Conference in Brussels, organised by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG-MOVE).

The EV4SCC platform spans the entire EV value chain and offers a wide range of technology and expertise to advance integrated solutions for electric mobility in smart cities. This includes large companies but also SMEs with specific expertise in ICT, energy, transport and mobility, as well as urban planning, standards, regulation and citizen engagement. It also includes organisations that are working across these disciplines to develop integrated solutions. EV4SCC represents not only large cities or regions such as  the Capital Region of Denmark or Île-de-France (FR) who areat the forefront of developments in electromobility and smart initiatives but also represents smaller cities, such as  the City of Dundee (UK) or Suceava (RO) that are already developing innovative solutions or have major ambitions to exploit the opportunities offered by electromobility.

What are the main challenges for the electric Mobility implementation in public transport?
Challenges to implement electromobility vary from one city to another, depending on their size, their historical heritage, their geographical location… Many cities have already started to electrify their public transport, and their experience, if properly shared, can help cities with a similar profile to replicate or adapt more effectivesolutions to their needs.

EV4SCC wants to support cities and regions to adopt at scale smart electromobility solutions not only in the electrification of public transport but also to serve multi-mobility services, public and private fleets and urban logistics.How will your initiative contribute to the achievement of the EIP Goals?
Electromobility is where ICTs, energy and mobility overlap, which is exactly what the EIP Partnership is focusing on. EV4SCC wishesto provide dedicated expertise, animation and support to accelerate the deployment, replication and adaptation of smart electromobility solutions across Europe. By prioritising the integration of EVs in smart city initiatives, EV4SCC is following the political goal of the SCC EIP to contribute to the 20/20/20 energy and climate targets. Mass introduction of EVs in cities will significantly reduce EU greenhouse gas emission and raise the share of EU energy consumption from renewables.

It is important to stress that when we talk about EVs, we are not referring only to electric cars, but also to electric buses, delivery vans, two wheelers, e-cargo bikes, pedelecs…and smart integrated infrastructure.

How can public and private sectors cooperate?
EV4SCC is a unique initiative welcoming private and public entities, with a common goal of creating a dynamic European Marketplace for Smart electromobility.

We believe that the platform can offer a way to match supply and demand, to overcome market fragmentation and better utilise joint wealth of experience and expertise.

What are the next steps of your initiative?
We have set up targets over a 2-year period.  By the end of 2016, we want to get:

·         50 cities from across Europe to join the platform.
·         50% of SME participation, supporting SME growth and competitiveness.
·         50% increase in the number of active collaborations between EV4SCC partners

and by the end of 2017.

·         50 new projects which will focus on the different key electromobility market segments.

Our initiative is open to public and private sector organisations from across Europe and beyond, wanting to exchange, collaborate and to ultimately create the world’s largest marketplace for smart electromobility solutions.