Public and private transport now head in one direction, as so does electric boating. While in Italy the market and the diffusion of electric cars are growing steadily, on other fronts our country is seriously lagging behind. And it is not just a question of culture and knowledge of these alternatives.
Unfortunately, even from a regulatory point of view, things are not going better, with public bodies even denying access to important calls for proposals. We refer in particular to those for the purchase of boats for the transport of people. Although there are small private entrepreneurs in Italy who have been using electric propulsion for some time to transport tourists on the water, the risk of losing the crucial funds of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan is currently really high.
Electric boating abroad
Yet, in other parts of the world, electric boating for the transport of people is the new frontier to which everyone is looking. For example, the city of Bangkok in Thailand has launched a major program to deploy around 30 fully electric ferries.
In the port of Kochi in India, the goal is to electrify the entire city ferry network with a truly massive investment, in the same view of city transport.
Not to forget that in the next few years the Norwegian fjords will be navigable only by electric boats. In addition, Portugal and Denmark already have electric-only ferries in operation.
The absence of public electric boating in Italy
If we search for the path related to this important innovation in Italy, we simply have to say that it doesn’t exist. In fact, there are no services for the transport of people on boats with electric propulsion managed directly or indirectly by the state.
Furthermore, the current calls for proposals exclude electric boating from some important opportunities. This is the content of a letter sent by Assonautica (Italian National association for leisure boating) to the Ministry of Ecological Transition.
The regulatory folds of the tender notices
Although not expressly mentioned, many of these notices refer only to hybrid propulsion vehicles. No reference to electric boating. The reference is, for example, to the “Isole verdi” (Green islands) initiative for the connection with ecological vehicles of 19 Italian islands.
The need to unblock electric boating in Italy
At this point, it is absolutely necessary for the government to give a real impetus to this important transition. In fact, we must not forget that really important figures are at stake in terms of NRRP funding. Many ongoing projects are precluded to electric boating by current regulations, for example for business vessels.
It is therefore absolutely essential that even the regulations and modernization projects of naval fleets for the transport of people provide for the strong use of electric boating.