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How the automotive industry needs face the crisis in component supplies

How the automotive industry needs face the crisis in component supplies

The large car producers – like Volkswagen, General Motors, Daimler Mercedes Benz and Stellantis – need to be able to face the global crisis in semi-conductors also for the years to come, strategically redesigning their cars and finding effective alternatives to components that are becoming difficult to obtain.

At the same time, delays in the supply chains from the Far East will persist in 2022: as a matter of fact, the production capacity of microprocessors will remain limited in the long-term since the large oriental producers seem not to be interested in investing their capital to increase the volume of supplies of semi-conductors (used above all in latest-generation car models). Car manufacturers will, therefore, have to make great efforts to monitor supplies, manage the continuous delays of future deliveries and search for alternative ways to stem the crisis as soon as possible.

The automotive industry will have to accelerate the technological transition towards more advanced and centralised electronic architectures, avoiding as far as possible components which are obsolete or being discontinued and, in addition, no longer interesting for the core-business of electronic giants such as TSMC, Samsung, Intel and Global Foundries.

In 2021, the shortage of chips created line stoppages in the production chains of many vehicles, reducing deliveries to below even those of 2020, the year of the forced closure of factories due to the health emergency. Of all the car manufacturers, Stellantis NV seems to be the Group that has been most hit by the chip shortage.

At strategic level, the vehicles of the future will have to be redesigned with multifunctional on-board computers, thereby reducing the number of electronic components necessary for each vehicle. Vehicle control electronic architectures which contain latest-generation chips will, therefore, need to be rapidly introduced.

Current vehicles, in fact, have a decentralised electronic system, with many separate semiconductors that control single functions: today, vehicles contain on average 1,400 electronic components subject to supply shortages which can lead to complete line stoppages, also with the absence of a single chip.

According to the statistics, in 2021 alone, the components crisis caused sector losses for 210 billion dollars of sales.

The experts forecast that in the next few years there will also be shortages in the supply of resins, metals and rubber. For this reason, Reinova is ready to support its partners in the validation of better and alternative solutions, guaranteeing in this way production continuity. The industry will have to face any possible shortages in a strategic and structured way, using the services of consultancy companies able to test and compare the performances of new technologies.

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Motor Valley Fest 2022: an opportunity for reviewing the latest developments in electric mobility

Motor Valley Fest 2022: an opportunity for reviewing the latest developments in electric mobility

On 8 June 2022, the EU Parliament confirmed the stop of sales of cars with internal combustion engines from 2035. The only exception admitted concerns car manufacturers that produce fewer than 10,000 cars per year, to which an extra 12 months are conceded and, therefore, for which the obligation starts from 2036.  

The new Regulation, moreover, has to go through a further and complex approval procedure on the part of the European Council: the “Fit for 55″* package proposed by the European Commission in July 2021, with the objective of further strengthening the “Green Deal”, that is, the EU’s measures to contrast climate change through the limitation of greenhouse gas emissions.

These clear changes imposed on the European car industry are not a complete surprise, as almost all experts and managers in the sector have been saying for some years during sector conferences that private vehicles in the future will be electric, connected and, when the law permits, also self-driven.

Acknowledgement of this political decision will open up predictable scenarios for the Italian and European car industry which, in recent decades, has produced vehicles and components using ICE (internal combustion engine) technology, with engines powered by diesel, petrol and gas.

Market analysis by McKinsey & Company: the experts’ view

During the Motor Valley Fest 2022 in Modena, the speakers expressed their concern regarding the energy transition in progress: there was a sense of edginess on the part of sports car manufacturers and in the supply chain of traditional components, particularly piston engines.

In this regard, the market analysis presented by McKinsey & Company and dedicated to the sports and luxury sector, is very interesting. The analysis, in fact, highlights a Motor Valley luxury and premium car industry which is already undergoing great change, even before the legal obligations imposed by any new EU regulation: the electrification of automobiles and relatively low environmental impact are intangible elements yet concrete requirements for the future purchases of the reference clientele, which is apparently increasingly of a younger age. The lower age of the average customer of Motor Valley Car Manufacturers like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Dallara, Ducati and Pagani obliges the industry to seriously consider the culture, also environmental, which is characteristic of people today in their twenties and thirties.

McKinsey’s research also highlights the importance of exclusivity in design, electronics, software and infotainmentfor new luxury cars, in which breath-taking performance, acceleration, maximum speed and road-hold need to be increasingly combined with a practically perfect digital interface with the user.

From the sample of potential customers analysed by McKinsey, it appears that 58% consider the environmental sustainability of the luxury item to be essential, considering it, at times, as among the main reasons for the purchase, especially when talking of a “Made in Motor Valley” hyper car.

At the same time, while the technical limitations imposed by “Fit for 55” are oriented towards sales in member countries of the EU, there is a large quantity of potential customers of the luxury sector that live and travel with their cars in large metropolises outside the EU where, on the other hand, local public administrations have significantly accelerated, with particular severity, already from 2024, motorised traffic restrictions, especially for vehicles with diesel engines.

Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A., has declared that there is great opportunity, within the Motor Valley’s industrial fabric, for a possible development of batteries and components for high-performance electric motor bikes and cars, with reduced weight and high energy density. To respond to the growing demand for electric motor bikes and sports cars, the energy transition offers new opportunities for automotive suppliers specialized in product niches which have developed particularly in Emilia-Romagna in the lasy 70 years.

McKinsey confirms, moreover, that the energy transition is generating new opportunities for producers of electro-mechanical hybrid transmissions for electric vehicles, batteries, battery management systems (BMS), inverters “Domain control units”, “Head–up” displays and sensors like LiDAR and radar for ADAS. At the same time, these electrified elements will be flanked by stable areas, such as structural parts of the bodywork, air-conditioning systems, wheels, tyres and seats.

Enrico Galliera, Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer of Ferrari S.p.A., during his talk at Motor Valley Fest, offered further points of reflection on the strategic commercial importance of electrification, also of sports vehicles. The current purchasers of Ferrari cars seem to complain of the fact that endothermic sports engines are too noisy and cause noise pollution in residential areas.  It therefore becomes advantageous to be able to offer high-performance automobiles, possibly hybrid, which can, therefore, be both electric, absolutely silent in urban use, but high-performance in sports use through the use of traditional motorization.

As proof of the fact that Emilia-Romagna is today one of the Italian regions most oriented towards innovated experimentation for the world automotive industry, Mate Rimac, leader and founder of Rimac Automobili, expressed, during the Conference, the intention to establish a car factory right in the heart of the Motor Valley.

There are other interesting findings in McKinsey’s analysis linked to the various automobile segments: the curve of sports and luxury has been rising exponentially at least since 2012, arriving at reaching, in 2021, the remarkable number of 125,000 cars sold (in 2012 the number was only 75,000). This figure is inversely proportional to the sales registered in the global car market, with peak falls in the European generalist market.

McKinsey, finally, urges the automotive sector to invest in product marketing and to constantly search for factors of competitiveness in new vehicles, raising the perceived value, with the objective of attracting potential new customers. Industrial consultants and organisations will, therefore, be required, which are able to interpret and apply what will be the evolution in demand, with due diversification of strategies in global markets.  

For the Motor Valley, there are six technological vehicle areas where it can excel at world level: high-performance batteries, light materials, aerodynamics, bio-fuels, on-board CAD software and Infotainment. Another sector of possible differentiation is shared mass mobility, micro-mobility, carsharing, e-scooters, mopeds, and e-bikes.

Reinova is a centre of technological excellence, with the necessary expertise for the electrical transition of vehicles and mobility. Reinova’s role is that of facilitating and speeding up the validation of electrical and electronic components of batteries, strategic for the electrification and intended also for sports, luxury and off-road cars, with production volumes which are medium/small and/or below 10,000 vehicles per year. Thanks to its continuous presence and vision on international markets, Reinova supports its partners in research that aims to create solid foundations on which to develop strategic choices.


Fit for 55 – is the climate reform package proposed by the European Commission on 14/07/2021, the objective of which is to reduce, by 2030, total missions of CO2 provoked by the European economy by 55% compared to those in 1990. The European Green Deal provides for total climate neutrality in 2050.

ICE – Internal Combustion Engine. Diesel, gas-oil, petrol or gas (LPG or CNG) combustion engine.

BMS – Battery Management System. Able to manage the charging and balancing of single cells

LiDAR – Light Detection and Ranging – is the technology that measures the distance from an object by illuminating it with a laser light, which is then able to provide high-resolution three-dimensional information on the surrounding environment.Domain control unit – new computerised vehicle control systems

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Reinova & Block Harbor Cybersecurity: a strategic partnership against digital piracy

Reinova & Block Harbor Cybersecurity: a strategic partnership against digital piracy

With the constant increase of electronic and mechatronic of component checks and the development of increasingly connected vehicles, the need to develop products and services that ensure maximum digital security becomes paramount.

Block Harbor Cybersecurity already partners with leading automotive manufacturers, while Reinova is specialised in consulting services for technical research and development, testing, component validation, vehicle software and battery packs. Reinova’s customers require security in connected vehicles and this partnership with Block Harbour Cybersecurity will provide the expertise and support to achieve due protection from cyber-attacks on automotive systems.

Block Harbor Cybersecurity employs Reinova labs to test vehicles and implement continuous improvements with the aim of avoiding attacks from hackers and progressively optimising vehicle operation. At the operational level, the R&D team is committed to searching for up-to-date, secure and appropriate software solutions to counter the looming uncertainty, perceived throughout the world, caused by IT piracy. It will, therefore, be imperative for the entire automotive supply chain to constantly seek appropriate solutions to make vehicles and their components, especially those connected to the network, increasingly the victim of cyber-attacks by trained hackers, safer and more efficient.

Fight against cyber-hackers for automotive security: from 1 June 2022 the legal obligations kick in

2021 was a turning point for connected cars, especially regarding minimum cyber security requirements: the European Union actually approved UNR 155, which came into force on June 1st, 2022, marking a deadline for cyber security regulatory obligations and the automotive industry.

The networking of vehicles makes them part of a complex and integrated system, where connectivity also enables highly sophisticated continuous testing methods for verifying and validating the digital safety of vehicles. Cyber security is necessary for connected vehicles since the most important driving parameters, such as braking, acceleration, steering and all other car functions, including air conditioning and lights, can be changed remotely.

A very high level of attention to cybersecurity has spread even in the US, all the way to the White House, which has shown a concrete interest in cybersecurity by putting pressure on leading Silicon Valley companies – such as Google, Juniper Networks, Mandiant AT&T, Cloudflare, VMware, and Lumen – to improve collaboration between the private companies themselves and the US Government. The goal is to protect both state and private strategic infrastructures: the Biden administration, therefore, intends to enhance the cyber security of the government itself, as well as of companies and the whole private business, considering that a wide range of strategic assets could fall victim of cyber-attacks.

Moreover, cyber-criticality has further increased since the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine and the consequence of the Russian Government’s tougher attitude towards the West. Private industry, according to the US government, needs to do more to eliminate and limit the damage of hacker attacks, which operate against geopolitical as well as corporate, individual, private, collective, and social targets. It was not until 6 December 2020 that the massive damage caused by the ‘SolarWinds’ computer espionage campaign developed by Russian government hackers, who exploited a flaw in the software of at least nine US government agencies and about 100 private companies, became publicly known, revealing the extremely high vulnerability of many IT systems. From then on, the US government decreed the highest alert against cyber-attacks.

The spread of connected, electric and self-driven vehicles will also depend on cyber security

Regardless of whether the vehicles of the future will be electric or autonomous, their connection to the network and their complete control by sophisticated software are already concrete, real and very important facts today, both for safety reasons, such as reporting accidents and malfunctions, and because they make it possible to anticipate technical anomalies and continuously improve the functioning of the vehicle throughout its entire life cycle.

Thanks to continuous software updates, braking can already be improved in today’s cars (including internal combustion vehicles) by modifying the intervention of the ABS, ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems), stability control, road holding, lane keeping and automatic braking, and anti-collision systems that can avoid accidents without the driver’s timely intervention.

The IT sophistication and the development of increasingly advanced and complete software already present in all latest-generation cars today can have a very positive impact on road safety, including the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, by preventing possible involvement in accidents thanks to the automatic and immediate intervention of the so-called ‘City Safe’, ‘Front Assist’ and ‘City Emergency’ systems, which automatically bring the vehicle to a halt before it hits people, animals or things.

In environmental terms, thanks to continuous software refinements and the optimisation of control and injection units, internal combustion engines can be seen to boast reduced emissions and a marked improvement in their overall performance.

Tesla implements continuous OTA (Over the Air) updates, i.e. of the control firmware and software of its cars: the improvements on Teslas take place while the car is stationary, but the download is done via mobile networks, even while the car is in motion, without the need for a physical connection to the Internet, nor any stopovers in the workshop.

Governments’ current concern about the increasing frequency of cyber-attacks must be a starting point for general prevention from threats that could materialise on the control systems of any vehicle, immobilising it or, worse, preventing it from braking and disabling the steering, generating sabotage and tampering, which is already possible remotely. For these reasons, cyber-attacks should not only be considered a problem for IT experts and combating them should become a priority for any private company.

Reinova constantly works alongside its partners, providing them with research, development, testing and validation services for automotive components and software and complex integrated systems, including battery packs. Reinova’s processes start, first, with an in-depth analysis of the vehicle end-user’s needs. Reinova’s consultancy also leads to the production of the component or software. Reinova develops integrated solutions, thanks to its experience, commitment, and tailor-made services, with the aim of simplifying and speeding up the start-up of industrialisation and production processes – including control software and firmware – while paying particular attention to IT security.

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Hydroelectric energy: electric mobility and battery charging infrastructure

Hydroelectric energy: electric mobility and battery charging infrastructure

Today, accelerating the process of producing electric energy from renewable sources is of vital importance, not only for making electric mobility and the ecological transition more sustainable, as also required by the EU’s “Fit for 55”* scheme, but most of all, for achieving a certain degree of energy independence from those non-European countries that currently have a monopoly of the market. Electric vehicles, moreover, will always have lower indirect emissions if the charging infrastructure is increasingly powered by renewable and stable energy sources which are not affected by weather conditions.

The exploitation of hydraulic energy, that is, mechanical energy produced by water currents, is an ancient mechanism which appears to have been developed, also in Italy, starting from the 9th century: in Alpine and Apennine territories, there was always one or more water mills for a wide range of needs, from the production of flour, from sawmills to olive-presses, as far as arriving at the more recent industrial use for blast furnaces and hammers. It will, therefore, be very important to return to exploiting hydraulic energy, also in the already widespread small micro-hydroelectric plants.

During the last two centuries up to the 1960s, our country growth, also thanks to the easy and unexpensive economic procurement of non-renewable sources. The extraction, transport and combustion of natural gas, together with petroleum and its derivatives have, however, led to many problems: the first problem is the polluting of the air, especially in cities, together with a high level of greenhouse gas emissions, especially of CO2, responsible for extensive environmental damage, such as climate change, drought, food crises and economic dependence on large gas and petroleum producers located in unstable and insecure geographic areas.

The importance of being able to conserve energy

In the last few months, there has been a further worsening in the geopolitical situation linked to the war in Ukraine, causing a worrying energy crisis. For this reason, water reservoirs are becoming an increasingly precious resource linked to the availability of drinking water for civil use, agricultural irrigation and for the production, today indispensable, of electricity which continues to be in short supply due international social-political instability relating to supplier countries of fossil fuels (used in thermoelectric power plants). The sum of all these critical situations forces the West to search for alternative sources, preferably of a natural and renewable nature.

TERNA SpA*, in its latest bulletin, dated 23/05/2022, offers many interesting points of interest: renewables satisfied, on average, 37% of the electricity demand in April 2022, exceeding 50% over the Easter holiday period (between 16 and 18 April) and recorded a maximum peak of 60.3% on Easter Day, that is, 17 April 2022. In April 2022, moreover, 86% of the Italian electricity demand was met by national production and the remaining 14% by energy imported from abroad.

In Italy, so-called new renewable energy sources, that is, wind energy and photovoltaic energy, are growing strongly (+53.5% and +17,6% respectively). In April 2022, wind energy benefitted from more windy conditions, while photovoltaic production grew both as a result of more sunshine and of the growth of installed power in new plants. As a result, wind and photovoltaic energy generated a quarter, around 25%, of national energy production, a record value for April. 

Problems relating to hydroelectric energy  

In contrast, geothermic and hydroelectric sources are falling (-0.4% and -41% respectively). Hydroelectric production, in fact, is suffering the effects of the drought and the low rainfall that have been persisting now for several months.

In Italy, measures need to be taken regarding the situation of hydroelectricity, the most stable and flexible renewable source (especially at night and during peaks in energy demand). In fact, once the water has passed through the turbines of the power plants and electricity has been produced, it’s possible to release the perfectly clean and drinkable water into the civil distribution network or to use it in agriculture to irrigate the fields.

The tanks of hydroelectric stations are veritable batteries that store electricity which can be conserved for a long time with low environmental impact and without undergoing processes of deterioration. For these reasons, the conservation and correct use of water reserves need to be developed, especially in consideration of the current geopolitical situation which is causing an increase in the prices of energy watts and a difficult procurement of water in many parts of the world.

Energy autonomy, therefore, is taking on increasing importance, also with respect to higher stability in prices. Fossil fuels have already been subject to heavy speculation and being able to conserve more water useable for hydroelectric stations in suitable tanks, replacing gas, petroleum and coal, means having a very effective means of combatting the speculative tactics of the more unscrupulous markets that operate to the detriment of the general community.

For Reinova, the electrification of mobility, of micro-mobility and of work machinery, besides being a natural technical evolution to reduce emissions and to make machines more silent, offers extremely important strategic aspects for using electricity which is self-produced at national level.

*Fit for 55 – is a package of new regulations that involve raising the target of renewable energy production from the current 32% to 40% by 2030. It’s an update of the Renewable Energy Directive. The proposals contained in the Package are structured and affect different sectors: means of transport, renewable energy sources and energy efficiency. It’s possible to predict a strong push for mobility electrification by 2035, in line with this new package of EU regulations.*TERNA S.p.A – owner of the Italian national electricity transmission grid, is one of the main European energy transmission network operators. TERNA manages the Italian high voltage transmission network, one of the most modern and technological in Europe. It is also responsible for the transition and transformation of the electricity market towards sustainability, eco-compatible and renewable sources and guarantees a stable, safe and efficient energy supply to Italian families and businesses. TERNA, in fact, manages 74,855 Km of high voltage electricity lines and 26 interconnections with abroad for an efficient and effective strategic exchange of energy with neighbouring European countries.

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Critical raw material: batteries without cobalt and without other rare metals

Critical raw material: batteries without cobalt and without other rare metals

When referring to electric vehicles the tendency is to believe that the battery cells, the real technological heart of the vehicles, can contain raw materials and rare metals which are difficult to obtain on international markets.

Today’s cell for batteries intended for electrical cars is composed of four elements: cathode, anode, electrolyte and separator. The type of cell is identified by the code of the metals of which the material is composed. For example, the cathode cell is either NCM or LFP: NCM stands for lithium (not included in the code), nickel, cobalt and manganese, while LFP signifies lithium, iron and phosphate.

In the current production of battery-run vehicles, cobalt – a rare matter identified in the cathode – is the metal which is the most costly and difficult to obtain as its extraction is subject to unstable and complex social-political dynamics. Most cobalt mines, in fact, are situated in the Democratic Republic of Congo, followed by Russia, Australia, the Philippines and Cuba. The earth’s resources of this rare material amount, however, to around 25 million tons: it’s, therefore, a difficult metal to obtain and is situated in geopolitically unstable countries (with the exception of Australia), but there is a discrete quantity of it available at global level.

It is estimated that around half of the cells intended for the production of vehicles are already of the LFP Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) type. LFPs are already without cobalt and are mostly used for the production of electric vehicles with medium autonomy, but with a significant limitation, that is, low energy density.

The chemical combination currently most used is the NCM (Nickel, Cobalt Oxide and Manganese) type; today’s critical geopolitical situation, however, linked predominantly to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, could cause a possible interruption in the supply chain and procurement of nickel; these are problems which are in addition to the difficulties associated with the extraction of cobalt. Between 2020 and 2021, at world level, there was a 96% increase in the demand for nickel and 95% for cobalt. Indonesia is the country with the highest extraction of nickel in the world, followed by the Philippines, New Caledonia, Russia, Australia, Canada, China, Brazil, Cuba and Guatemala.

Why is the NCM chemical combination currently used?

NCM cells with lithium are of uniform quality and have high energy density; today it’s the combination with the greatest global industrial production capacity, accounting for around 60% of the total. NCM cells are, therefore, today the most used cells in the rechargeable lithium battery sector (source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance).

New chemical combinations for high-performance vehicles

Porsche has developed the use of a silicon anode instead of the trendier graphite one for its high-performance cars, with cells of a different and exclusive chemical composition. Thanks to silicon, in fact, the car maker has achieved improved performances in charging, compactness, energy density and, most of all, thermal management and resistance to high temperature. This element, however, seems to produce a shorter duration of the cells compared to more commonly used and longer-lasting chemicals.

Solid state batteries

Back in 2017 a new “solid state” technology was announced by the Nobel Prize winner for chemistry, John B. Goodenough. The inventor of the lithium battery, together with his current team at Texas University, had apparently invented a cell for glass batteries. The use of glass for battery packs, replacing lithium, would have significant advantages such as greater autonomy, achievable also with reduced charging times, thermal stability and a much longer duration compared to current cells. It seems, moreover, that the cells with glass can resist temperatures as low as -20°C and up to +60°C, therefore needing “thermal management” systems on board cars which are decidedly less heavy, performing and refined compared to those used today to keep the lithium batteries of electric vehicles at a suitable temperature.


Geopolitical tensions, the ease of obtaining raw materials, their market price and the research for chemicals with better performance parameters (higher energy density and longer duration) will give a further innovative push towards the development of better-performing chemicals for the cells of battery packs of the future.

At present, research and development of current batteries has been concentrated on the cathode. It will, therefore, be important to understand if, following the example of Porsche, other competitors will arrive on the market interested in different solutions from graphite.

Thanks to accelerated simulations in the laboratory of the real use of batteries, applicable on different types of vehicles, Reinova is ready to support its partners in finding the best possible solutions in rapid timeframes: from micro-mobility (scooters and e-bikes) to off-highway machinery for agricultural mechanisation and for the earth-moving and construction sector.


LFP = Lithium, Iron, Phosphate; scientifically the combination would be LiFePO4

NCM = Nickel, Cobalt Oxide, Manganese (lithium is not mentioned, but is a base component)

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The advantages of vehicle manufacturers born electric

The advantages of vehicle manufacturers born electric

There has been discussion about the objective difficulties faced by traditional car-makers for some years, especially regarding the strategic choices to be made in order to support the electric transition process.

The first point of weakness of historic car manufacturers is, without doubt, the conflict of interest: companies that have invested in projects for diesel and petrol engines, perhaps still in production or in the course of financial amortization, are certainly having problems in promoting electric cars, generating, in this way, possible situations of cannibalisation inside the company’s same product range.

Veritable lists of disadvantages regarding electric traction are often drawn up by car dealers. The hostility of dealers relating to the sale of electric cars are effectively boomerangs for those who, while having electric cars in their product range, prefer to promote the easier traditional solution, in clear contrast with the growth trend of the battery-powered vehicle market.

The heart of the modern electric vehicle is now universally recognised: the battery and the control software. Electric car producers have refined the development of projects with particular attention towards solutions that are no longer fundamental for internal combustion engine cars.

Over the years, the concept of the mobility and software service developed by Tesla for its customers has given rise today to the difficulties of competitors, even just to copy the pioneering solutions of the Californian producer, today the leader in the assembly of battery packs, in the development of the charging network and, predictably, in the application of technology for self-driven cars. Tesla’s evolution from a mere producer of cars to a developer of solutions for electric mobility is decidedly singular and unique if compared to practically all the traditional competitors in the automobile sector.

Tesla has always been very focused on launching on the market products and services of a very high level. In contrast, competitors of the brand have often chosen to assign significant resources, through extensive and costly advertising campaigns, to low quality products and to services that do not take account of customers’ real needs.    

In addition, all the followers of Tesla have encountered difficulties, starting from sales in the dealerships, obstructed by those who see the electric car as a threat rather than a new business opportunity and a benefit for the community. Such difficulties have, therefore, permitted Tesla to acquire significant market segments, such as the premium and luxury electric cars markets.

New growth opportunities for urban and short-distance mobility

At the same time, the low-price small and medium-small electric car market seems not to be so appetising for Tesla and the scarce interest in this part of the segment leaves ample space for Chinese car makers and for new urban and private mobility solutions: light quadricycles and micro battery-powered vehicles are, in fact, much better suited and more efficient, even more so if managed with modern digital car-sharing services and shared mobility solutions, already very popular in many Italian cities.   

These new market niches give rise to the possibility of developing start-ups in the sector which could enjoy the advantage of being already full-electric and, therefore, without the “original sin” of having being created first as endothermic vehicles.

A new distribution model for electric cars

In a few years, the Californian colossus has acquired a high level of financial capitalization on the stock exchange compared to its traditional competitors. Tesla has also been able to offer its cars and services online, directly exploiting its solutions, avoiding the inefficiencies of the traditional distribution chains, trade barriers, dealers and intermediaries which often filter and interpret in the own interest the policies of the car makers with whom they are linked.

The importance of a rapid charging infrastructure

More than 14 years have gone by since the launch of the first mass-produced electric automobile, the Tesla Roadster model with a lithium-ion cell battery. The pioneers of mobility electrification understood right from the start that battery-powered vehicles can be easily charged, during the night or while parked, in any electric socket. It was, and still is, however, extremely important to develop a dedicated high-speed charging network that can readily offer a travel experience similar to that for fossil-fuel vehicles.

With a delay of many years, traditional car makers are creating start-ups and forging partnerships with the aim of developing a widespread charging infrastructure, but time is still needed to reach a geographic coverage similar to that of the Tesla Super Chargers, that is, with a power of 250 kW.

Legislative confusion

Also, from a legislative point of view, after the announcement of 14 July 2021 regarding the severe restrictions introduced by the Fit for 55 scheme, any future hesitation on the part of the EU and its most important countries will create further uncertainties in the corporate programs and budgets of traditional car makers.

The principle of technological neutrality, the freedom to choose between different types of traction, the lack of a clear legal imposition of battery-powered electrical technology, and the zero-emissions obligation for private cars, will leave traditional car makers the freedom to propose their different motorisations while allowing for a wider margin of risk of misjudgement and consequent economic damage for companies if the market goes in a direction different from that expected by the historic brands.

Reinova’s role is to orientate its partners towards high quality technical solutions, products and services, and to focus on the maximum satisfaction of customers’ needs, in terms of safety of current and future electric and electrified mobility, with rapid and certain timeframes for their achievement.

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Agricultural and earthmoving machinery: increasing electrification

Agricultural and earthmoving machinery: increasing electrification

Electric cars, e-bikes and electric scooters are well-known to everybody, but there’s another important electric transition in progress, and it’s the passage towards the production of electric vehicles for agriculture and in the construction machines sector.

Somewhat out of the spotlight, battery-run electrified solutions have already enjoyed high applicative success in the off-highway sector, that is, for all those machines that need energy both for traction, moving, and for driving equipment used in the carrying out of agricultural or building tasks, in which Reggio Emilia, Modena and the geographical area referred to as the Emilia Motor Valley have, for many years, already proved to be world leaders in the development and production of electric, mechatronic and hydraulic components for professional machinery.

There are sectors, such as agricultural mechanisation, which are going through a ground-breaking revolution. The energy transition is an authentic change of direction towards the use of electricity in agriculture, with a view to sustainability and the circular economy, precisely in a sector historically linked to internal combustion diesel motors. Today, thanks to photovoltaic panels, agri-voltaic systems and the production of biogas, farming enterprises can self-produce electricity which can be used for charging batteries independently and locally, at low cost.

Many farmers, persuaded by high energy bills and the uncertainty of the costs that their farms have to sustain for purchasing fossil fuels and AdBlue liquid (for latest-generation diesels), are moving towards the concept of “zero emissions”, undertaking, with conviction, the electric transition towards economic, environmental and technological sustainability.

Industrial mechanics enterprises are producing hybrid and full-electric solutions and BEVs, already available on the market, that offer flexibility and efficiency with the idea of eliminating the need for polluting and expensive fossil fuels.

2021 could be historically remembered as that of electrification, of a decisive break from combustion engines. These new electric vehicles could soon also become self-driven, further reducing dependence and business costs.

Volvo Construction Equipment, one of the market leaders in the earthmoving sector, has already been selling an almost complete range of electrical machinery, wheel loaders and compact excavators since 2019, making it possible to work and move materials also inside buildings. In 2022, Volvo CE will launch as many as three further new electric machines into its product range.

The decarbonisation of machinery is not driven only by ecological motives, but also by the need to be able to work in a less environmentally impacting way, decidedly less noisy and without emissions of dangerous gases, harmful to people’s health.

The constant torque of electric motors guarantees new professional battery-powered machines a unique level of performance, with a better quality of work than similar diesel or petrol vehicles used so far.

Together with the necessary development of electrified technical solutions, it will be necessary for the user to have an adequate infrastructure for battery charging, making it possible to work with continuity and effectiveness and with efficiency of general costs. To this end, businesses will need to turn to professionals, partners and consultants who are able to accompany them on the right path in the electrification of their machinery. 

Electric working machines today still have a purchase price which is around double that of traditional machines, albeit falling, however, in terms of TCO, total cost of ownership; thanks to the reduced costs of necessary maintenance, the initial difference falls with the number of years of use.

At a European level, the road to electrification is already under way in the off-highway sector and Reinova is ready to support new partners also in this challenging technological and ecological transition, towards growing attention for the environment and corporate economic sustainability, more independent from the purchase of non-renewable fossil fuels.


BEV = Battery Electric Vehicle

TCO = Total Cost of Ownership.

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Reinova takes active part in “INNOVATION DAYS 2022”, the initiative organised by the il Sole 24 Ore newspaper on digitalization and sustainability

Reinova takes active part in “INNOVATION DAYS 2022”, the initiative organised by the il Sole 24 Ore newspaper on digitalization and sustainability

The roadshow dedicated to Emilia-Romagna businesses was opened by Fabio Storchi, President of Unindustria, Reggio Emilia, who had the honour of starting by talking about digital and ecological transition strategies. In Storchi’s opinion, despite the precarious and difficult geopolitical situation that Italia and the entire world are currently facing, due both to the pandemic and to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, process innovation and digitalization remains a fundamental factor for the recovery and consolidation of the productive fabric on a large scale.

Emilia-Romagna is still typically made up of small and medium very specialised enterprises which require dedicated services, a network of laboratories and entities specialised in technological transfer that offer companies instruments for achieving a greater awareness of their know-how, and which also offer, at reduced costs, the possibility of accessing technological innovation, both digital and with regards to economic and environmental sustainability.

The discussion of the second panel of the day was dedicated to sustainable mobility and to initiatives for supporting it: Giuseppe Corcione, CEO of Reinova, together with Valentina Orioli, Bologna City Councillor for Mobility and Alberto Viano, CEO of LeasePlan were present for this part.

Our CEO Giuseppe Corcione presented Reinova as a laboratory, an authentic incubator able to accompany clients in the sustainable transformation of modern means of transport and mobility. This must start from the current situation where, in fact, an industrial vision of a mobility culture, intended as a service for moving people, is missing. What are needed are suitable integrated digital solutions to drive consumer electronics in the interactions between people and the various choices of means of transport available. Notwithstanding the three characteristics of the vehicles of the near future (electric, connected and self-driven), it’s necessary to establish different dedicated solutions according to different transport needs. Hydrogen, for example, is simply a different battery energy carrier for all-electric traction, but with much higher energy efficiency compared to almost any other type of traditional motorization, diesel or petrol. The future development of solid-state batteries could be a further step, very important for electric traction, as could large capacitors also be.

Giuseppe Corcione also stated that “vehicle ownership will change”: we will travel, almost certainly, with shared means, from electric scooters to bicycles to car sharing, with public cars available for private use. The evolution of mobility will go towards dedicated means depending on the type of demand and the transport that the client needs. In addition, he affirmed that clients need to be accompanied in the adoption of sustainable solutions, not only from an environmental pointy of view, regarding gas emissions, but also from the point of view of noise and economic sustainability. Thanks to the innovation of digital technology, it will be possible to develop public transport on request, with “on demand” vehicles.

Self-driven cars will make people freer: Giuseppe Corcione gave the example of Giacosa, the designer of the historic Fiat 500, which gave numerous Italians the possibility of moving in freedom from point A to point B. Today moving around by car is often effectively a constraint, reducing freedom, given the limits of parking space and access to restricted zones in today’s cities. The self-driven car will give back free time to people who can then decide if to invest it in work or enjoy it with leisure activities and more rest. The technology of the self-driven car will be at the service of people.

It was then the turn of the CEO of LeasePlan, the company in the long-term hire sector, Alberto Viano, who presented the latest edition of LeasePlan’s research at European level, the “Electric Vehicle Readiness Index”, published a few days before, which shows how the growth in the circulation of electric cars increasingly points to a shortage of charging stations throughout Europe. With regards to Italy, the results for charging infrastructures are once more somewhat disappointing: Italy is at third-to-last position, and for the circulating fleet of electric cars it has climbed from 15th to 14th place.

With regards to electric mobility, the long-term rental market is making a significant contribution, with electric and hybrid plug-in cars accounting for more than 48% of sales contracts.

The contribution of the Bologna City Councillor was also very interesting: urban micro-mobility will be increasingly supported, promoting the use of modern cargo-bikes, with the characteristic of being agile and energetically efficient with zero emission. The development of this new market of vehicles could give rise to new opportunities for Emilia-Romagna businesses.

Finally, Giuseppe Corcione emphasised that, despite the current geopolitical context, it’s very important not to stop, but to incentivise a business energy “revolution” in order to compete at European level, considering this situation as a real opportunity for change and improvement, reducing energy costs through efficiency and the elimination of waste.

In this context, in which the charging infrastructure is extremely important for the spread of mobility with zero direct emissions, Reinova operates as a strategic consultant for making the right choice, supporting the needs and main economic activities of its partners.

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Reinova and Social Self Driving present the first model of autonomous and semi-autonomous driving

Reinova and Social Self Driving present the first model of autonomous and semi-autonomous driving

Reinova, the new center of excellence dedicated to the development and validation of components for the electric and hybrid powertrain, and Social Self Driving, an Italian startup of Eng. Luigi Mazzola, presented the first revolutionary model of autonomous and semi-autonomous driving.

The presentation, which took place at Reinova’s plant in Soliera (MO), was an opportunity to show the press and stakeholders a preview of the POC Proof Of Concept created by Reinova and Social Self Driving, the first advanced technological system capable of recording the driver’s driving style and reproducing it on autonomous and semi-autonomous cars. In this way, driverless cars will be able to move with an ever-changing style chosen by the user, reproducing the emotional as well as the dynamic part of the vehicle.

Autonomous and semi-autonomous driving represents a very important potential market for the automotive sector in the near future, as witnessed by numerous authoritative market analyses that foresee, in the next few years, a global diffusion of these cars, also electrically powered. The inauguration of this first model, by Reinova and Social Self Driving, is a signal and a confirmation that the Motor Valley is at the forefront of extremely innovative projects related to the automotive world.

Eng. Giuseppe Esposito Corcione, CEO & Co-founder Reinova, says: “We have made the motto – Innovation meets Creativity – one of the mantras of Reinova to push the limits of what exists and is visible before our eyes. We are imagining a connected, shared and safe world by combining the highest forms of technology and artificial intelligence with the passion, creativity and winning spirit of the Motor Valley. Less than a year after the inauguration of Reinova we add another piece, that of autonomous driving, to the strategic plan of Reinova. We are ready to lead this further challenge, always with a view to creating the mobility of the future that is sustainable, connected, shared, safe and with real time updates. The Social Self Driving project represents the synthesis of this important technological challenge. Today we can say that what was just an idea a few months ago is now a concrete and technologically sustainable project. We make self-driving vehicles a passion in motion, recording, replicating and optimizing driving styles through objective indicators (KPIs) and the use of the most advanced machine learning techniques.”

Eng. Luigi Mazzola, CTO & Co-Founder Social Self Driving, already a pioneer on semi-autonomous and autonomous car driving, says: “A few months have passed since the creation of the start-up Social Self Driving and many things have happened. The most important is to have determined an algorithm that uniquely defines the driving style of any driver of old and new generation cars. We were able to create what is at the core of our idea: record, drive and share your driving style. We have defined a partnership with Reinova (Social Self Driving powered by Reinova) that helps us in this real technological challenge. Through a survey carried out in collaboration with an important Italian university, we have seen how enthusiastically a heterogeneous population has accepted our idea. It can certainly be said that anticipation has already been created. Finally, a very precise process has been identified, thanks also to the help of other companies, which guarantees us the feasibility of our idea in a short time. Full steam ahead and towards a new concept of fun in the automotive world.”

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High energy bills for companies: photovoltaic power as an energy strategy with modest costs

High energy bills for companies: photovoltaic power as an energy strategy with modest costs

The Italian government is promoting renewable energy sources in public buildings, providing they install photovoltaic panels and reduce the pressure on overall national energy consumption, leaving supplies, especially of methane gas, for industrial and more strategic use where it’s impossible to reduce or convert consumptions using local and renewable sources.  

The current and future scenario

In Europe the photovoltaic scenario is clear, having reached a new record in 2021: the European Union, in fact, added 25.9 GW of new solar capacity installed in just 12 months, with an increase of 34% compared to 2020. According to prudent estimates, the European solar stock could double in the next 4 years, bringing the total installed capacity to 327.6 GW as soon as 2025, compared to the current 164.9 GW.

This is the ranking of countries which have installed most photovoltaic panels in 2020 and 2021, in Europe. Germany installed the most, along with Spain, Holland, Poland, France, Greece, Denmark, Hungary, Italy and Sweden (source: SolarPower Europe).

Germany is confirmed as the country with the most installations producing energy from the sun, with a total of around 60 GW 715 W per capita. Italy, second in the European classification, but still a long way behind Germany, has a total of around 22 GW installed, but only 364 W per capita, and for this parameter is at tenth place in the European classification by country.

Summing up, in the total production of photovoltaic energy already installed up to 2021, in absolute terms, Italy is in second place in the EU, behind Germany. In the weighted per capita ranking, however, it is behind the Netherlands, which is first with 765 W/capita (reached in 2021), Germania with 715 W/capita and Belgium with 596 W/capita.

Critical aspects of Italy

Italy has a number of critical areas: according to SolarPower Europe, in the medium-term, for the next few years, until the end of 2025, in Germany the growth in photovoltaic power will continue to surge, expecting to reach the record figure of around 50 MW in only 4 years, while Italy risks installing only 7 MW of new panels. In 2020, Italy installed only 0.6 MW and in 2021 0.8 MW of new photovoltaic power.

If SolarPower Europe’s forecast scenarios prove to be correct, Italy will fall in the classification of total photovoltaic energy production and could be overtaken in the next few years by Spain and Holland, and pursued by emerging France. Poland and Denmark are also set to progress very well in the next few years.

As already reported in our Blog post of 12 April 2022, the golden year of photovoltaic energy in Italy was 2011, with an installed power, in only 12 months, of a little under 10 GW, a truly exceptional figure which optimistically must be seen as an achievable  objective also in the next few years.

Optimistically, it’s to be hoped that our country, able to achieve the extraordinary performance of 2011, is equally able to reconfirm its exceptional dynamism and capacity for growth, managing to exceed even the best forecasts.

At the level of the EU’s policy strategies, it should be said that, until and including 2020, Italy demonstrated an acceptable level of installation and use of renewable sources, with 20.4% of gross consumption, exceeding European Community targets, not reached to the same degree by France, with 19.1%.

Measures for businesses

The Italian Government needs to propose measures that lighten the weight of heavy energy bills for energy-intensive industries and which concretely stimulate private investments over the next few years so as to enable strategic price controls for the stability of energy costs. This will be achieved through the self-consumption of renewable energy sources, such as photovoltaic and wind power, which are easy to install in an effective and efficient way on large-size industrial areas and on the roofs of industrial buildings.

Thanks to the PNRR, an allocation of 1.1 billion euros for agri-voltaic systems is expected, which should contribute to both electricity production and the optimization of the irradiation of surfaces intended for certain types of crops.

As already mentioned, Italy is also a long way behind other European countries with regards to electricity storage which, combined with photovoltaic and wind power, could support an effective energy transition and the replacement of non-renewable fossil fuels in the production of electricity.

It will be extremely important for the Italian Government to continuously monitor the progress of measures to support renewable energy so as to urgently intervene, when necessary, with executive and legislative changes.


In Italy the 110% fiscal bonus scheme has triggered high demand for photovoltaic systems, but bureaucracy and the necessary public permits have so far led to disappointing concrete results in terms of new photovoltaic systems installed in Italy. Delays of up to 6 years are estimated, and the current Government is seeking to limit bureaucratic timeframes to 2 years.

A reduction of bureaucratic procedures is certainly needed for renewable sources in Italy, not only for environmental reasons, to limit climate change and smog, but also for possible strategic benefits, energy independence and price stabilisation, necessary at this time of crisis in supplies of methane gas, which is arriving at extremely high levels due to the geopolitical conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

The good results achieved by other European countries must optimistically lead to planning and action for similar projects for photovoltaic energy in Italy.

Reinova once more proves to be a technologically innovative enterprise, also in the production of photovoltaic energy, with panels installed in record time on its roof in Soliera. Reinova can follow its partners in their development of the self-production and self-consumption of photovoltaic electricity, as part of the ecological transition.

English glossary

NECP – National Energy Climate Plans

PV – Photo Voltaic