Infrastructures and incentives to revamp the automotive sector
Twenty-nine extraordinary commissioners to kick-start 57 public projects that have been delayed by design issues or complex administrative procedures
Twenty-nine extraordinary commissioners to kick-start 57 public projects that have been delayed by design issues or complex administrative procedures. Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, recently signed the necessary appointment decrees. Of these public works, thirty-three have to do with transport: sixteen railway projects, worth 60.8-billion-euro, fourteen road works, worth 10.9 billion, and three have been reserved to harbours, worth 1.7 billion. The first twenty construction sites will open this year, fifty in 2022 and another 37 the following year. Public road works include the Statale 106 Ionica, E78 Grosseto-Fano, Statale 4 Salaria, Statale 20 Colle del Tenda, Statale 16 Adriatica and Statale 89 Garganica. On the other hand, the harbours interested by upgrades are Genoa, Livorno and Palermo.
Speaking of freight services, the commercial vehicle market recorded a new growth in April (+9.2%) with 17,000 newly registered vehicles compared to 15,562 in the same period of 2019, comparing these figures with April 2020 would be quite pointless. According to estimates (Unrae Studies and Statistics Centre), the first quarter of 2021 scored a +2.1% with 63,000 commercial vehicles registered, compared to 61,683 in January-April 2019. Analysing the market structure during the first quarter - compared with 2019 due to the insignificant comparison with 2020 and with data still susceptible to slight adjustments in the next two months, due to registration delays – a positive trend is confirmed for private owners (+1.7%) which means 23.1% of the total share. Long-term rental is down 10.6%, with a 21.1% share, while short-term rental has recovered ground (+9.4%), gaining a few decimal points and reaching 5.1% of the total. Corporate fleets experience the best increase in volume (+5.6%) rising to 45.8% share.
In addition, if we divide the figures by fuels, petrol vehicles fell by 40%, losing 2 points of share, thus stopping at 3.2% of the total; diesel, with a slight contraction in volumes, cover 86.4% of the market. LPG was stable at 2.3% share, while a drop of more than half the volumes brought CNG powered vehicles to 1.9% share. The growth of hybrid vehicles continues unwavering, at 5.3% of the market, while in the first quarter, EVs reached almost 1% share of the total. “The market remains positive thanks to government incentives," said Michele Crisci, president of Unrae, the Association of Foreign Automobile Manufacturers, "and the funds earmarked for non-electric vehicles was exhausted in just a few days, accelerating the process of replacing older vehicles that, according to the latest Unrae estimates, at the end of 2020, out of a total of 4,025,000 commercial vehicles in circulation, still represented a 46% share, most of which pre-euro 4 vehicles, i.e. more than 15 years old. "In light of the evident benefits of new low-emission vehicles in terms of both environment protection, road safety and for the State's coffers - insists Crisci - Unrae urgently requests the refinancing of scrapping incentives in favour of non-electric vehicles. The allocation should allow coverage at least until the end of June, a period already provided for by the Budget Law that introduced the incentives".
Moving on to passenger transport, an initiative with a significant economic and social impact comes from Rome: twenty new 18-metre Iveco Bus Urbanway purchased by Roma Capitale as part of the Atac fleet renewal plan. These vehicles are part of the orders made in the last months of 2020 on Consip platform for a total of 82 new buses. The Mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, together with the CEO of Atac, Giovanni Mottura, and deputy mayor, Pietro Calabrese, visited the headquarters of Romana Diesel, Iveco dealer, to present the new buses at the presence of Iveco Bus top management. The 20 18-metre buses are all destined to the Atac depot at Tor Sapienza and will be used on lines running along the city's main roads. They are high-capacity buses to comply with anti-Covid regulations, essential for longer routes where it is important to ensure greater capacity and social distancing.