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Future Mobility in Rome and Formula E’s Influence

Rome E-Prix will see more discussions about how motorsport can aid future urban mobility…

Photo: Formula E

Leading industry and political figures at this weekend’s Rome E-Prix have outlined the long-term vision of transforming transportation and mobility in one of the world’s great capital cities.

The strategies are set to be discussed at the FIA Smart Cities Forum this Friday as the Italian capital gets ready to host its inaugural E-Prix this weekend.

Rome’s dense infrastructure has a reputation for creating heavy traffic conditions with 840 registered vehicles per 1000 inhabitants, of which 640 are cars.

This degree of motorization is one of the highest in Europe but Rome is tackling the problem in an innovative fashion.

This Friday in Rome leading industry figures from local authorities, international mobility experts, representatives of global industry players, and members of the start‑up community will meet at the Rome E-Prix.

Among the topics that are scheduled to be discussed are the roles that new motorsport technologies that advance sustainable urban development can have for future improvements on urban mobility.

Evidencing high-performance motorsport to pioneer the latest energy and digital technologies the ABB FIA Formula E Championship is aiming to contribute understanding of how the automotive industry can assist in finding innovative solutions to modern transport issues.

“Motorsport contributes both to the development of new-generation cars and integrated systems which are necessary for the implementation of useful solutions for Smart Cities,” said Angelo Sticchi Damiani, former International Race Director and now President of the Automobile Club d’Italia (ACI).

“New technologies are pushed to the limit by sport competitions before being rolled out, offering innovative and reliable features to all road users.”

Mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi, who has been a key figure in ensuring the Rome E-Prix takes place, believes that EV technology will be an important part of Rome’s future prosperity and has committed to more charging infrastructure by 2020.

“As far as the issue of mobility is concerned, we must focus very strongly on the use of electric vehicles, looking with great interest at the development of innovation in this sector,” said Raggi.

“The aim is to place the citizens and their needs right at the centre of the project. This is the reason why we have promoted and still support measures and initiatives to protect the right to health and the green-sustainable economy.

“As to electric vehicles, our minimum objective is to have at least 700 new power columns built by 2020. This is the process we are following for a human scale city.”

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for from 2014-17. Contact Sam



  1. Old Trombone

    April 11, 2018 at 11:34 am

    Dang, that’s a lot of intricate nothing…

    Let’s see what Socrates and Karl Popper would say: Rome is congested by too many personal vehicles. Folks here want to replace the power in those vehicles from one source to another source which is much cleaner. If they are successful, what will we have? A Rome that is congested by too many personal vehicles, which have zero emissions at the vehicle.

    Change? Nope.

    Here’s the hypocrisy hinge – FE made big announcements about how they hold races in city-centers because “Fans can use Public Transport”…

    FE, please please please don’t go down the road of “well important rich people can have Ferrari’s, and we need to make the rules favor Ferrari, but normal folks can only buy the LEGO model”. Please don’t do this to FE.

    • AlsoBen

      April 12, 2018 at 10:51 am

      I don’t think there is any overt hypocrisy here. Formula E is showing off what EVs can do and providing a platform for the cities in question to discuss the future their transportation. EVs are no magic bullet to solve the problem tat cities have and each city will have different problems and different requirements. This is Rome using FE to think about what it needs and how EVs can fit into that solution – which is exactly what FE has set out to do, alongside providing great racing.

      FE’s choice to race in cities has a number of benefits, one of which was that the public can use public transport to get there. The e-mobility revolution in no way stops at personal vehicles and indeed extends to buses, taxis and other innovative solutions.

      Also, as it happens, a city congested with cars that have no tailpipe emissions is in fact a positive change from a city congested with cars that release harmful fumes into the immediate vicinity of human habitation.

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