View of Portofino

Integrated electric mobility, at sea and on the road

The first infrastructure for recharging electric boats is now operative at Portofino’s Umberto I pier

Electric mobility is now available at sea, with Enel X Way once again leading the way. At Portofino, specifically at the Umberto I pier, the first charging infrastructure for electric boats is now operative. This marks an important step in reaching carbon neutrality goals. And it isn’t just a question of nautical mobility: the agreement that we have signed with the municipality in this resort on Italy’s Ligurian coast also includes a series of charging points for electric cars.

Toward integrated mobility

Furthermore, the nautical electric market is booming with turnover expected to reach $16.2 billion by 2030, and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.9% between 2021 and 2030. This is due to the strong growth of interest in sustainable tourism on the part of clients. Indeed, there is currently high demand for all-electric and hybrid boats in many European countries, but also in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Such is Italy’s leadership in the sector and the relative ease with with which boats can be retrofitted that the Enel Group is positioning itself as a pioneer in this market. Its aim is to veer towardsintegrated mobilityon the road, with both two and four-wheel vehicles.

Nautical electric mobility

Charging column near electric boats

Air (but also noise) pollution in ports has become a major source of concern. Indeed, in 2020 the International Maritime Organization (IMO) imposed a limit of 0.5% m/m for sulfur emissions from fuel: that’s a reduction of 80% with respect to the past. It will oblige owners to use fuel with a low sulfur content, thereby improving air quality in port areas. And in larger areas in the Caribbean, the Baltic, the North Sea and North America, a stricter limit of 0.1% m/m is already in place.

Toward “Carbon Free”

This then is the background for Enel X Way’s initiative to support the “Portofino Carbon Free” project, thanks to which fast charging infrastructure is now available for electric boats at the resort’s Umberto I pier. This infrastructure carried out its “inaugural” recharging in the presence of representatives of the town council, including the mayor Matteo Viacava, and of our company, who joined our Head of Innovability Lorenzo Rambaldi in cutting the ribbon. This “absolute first” is a tangible sign of Enel X Way’s commitment to a future that is increasingly sustainable and respectful of local areas.

Silent sailing

The vessel that was chosen for the ceremony was the Candela Seven (C-7), a 7.7-meter electric hydrofoil that is equipped with specific ailerons under the keel. These cause the craft to lift when it reaches a certain speed, drastically reducing water friction and benefiting efficiency. That’s why this vessel, at a speed of 20 knots (it can reach 30), is capable of traveling 50 nautical miles with its 45 kWh battery. It does so silently, which is unusual for a motorboat. The pleasure boat sector, in which Italy is a leader, is in fact the one with the greatest potential for electric boating, as its vessels are the most suitable for retrofitting.

Charging column near electric boats with people on the pier

Charging points for electric cars in Portofino

Obviously, an initiative like this for electric boats – another one is set to follow on Lake Tahoe in California – wouldn’t make sense if it wasn’t flanked by similar infrastructure for road transport in the same locations. And that’s why Enel X Way, in agreement with local authorities, is always thinking in terms of integrated mobility. In actual fact, Portofino will also have a number of charging points for electric vehicles at the town’s multi-storey parking lot and at the parking lot in Paraggi. These latest installations, together with the 144 charging stations in the province of Genoa and the 234 in the rest of Liguria, take the total up to 466 for the whole region.