The transport sector is Italy’s largest emitting sector, making up 25% of Italy’s total GHG emissions in 2019. All 1.5°C scenarios require a rapid reduction of transport emissions. Over 2007-2017, the sector’s emissions decreased by 21%. This rate of decline would need to accelerate (in three out of the four scenarios) to reach zero emissions by 2050.
To be 1.5°C compatible, direct CO₂ emissions should decrease by 51-67% by 2030 compared to 2019. According to ECCO’s estimates, this reduction is equivalent to deliver between 13-18 million battery electric vehicles (BEV), which is about four times the target of the NECP (4 million) and about three times the target of PITE (6 million).
In all analysed scenarios, energy consumption of the transport sector decreases over time until 2050. Oil, which accounted for more than 90% of the energy mix in 2019, is phased out by 2050 in almost all pathways, and the sector reaches full decarbonisation in the late 2040s. This is driven by an uptake of electrified transport from 3% in 2019 to 16-57% by 2030, and up to 75% by 2040, depending on the scenario. Biofuels complement the mix reaching around 9-15% share by 2030 and 13-24% by 2040.
Italy will need to implement policies incentivising the sale of small and medium size EVs, and the development of charging infrastructure to foster the sector’s decarbonisation. In 2021, Italy ranked 12th in the EU in terms of the percentage of electric passenger cars registered with less than 10% of the market share (both BEV and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV)).
Market uptake of EVs is largely linked to a country’s GDP per capita, showing that affordability remains an issue for consumers. In the EU, major EV sales are concentrated in a handful of countries that have already registered over a 20% market share, such as Sweden (43%), Denmark (35%), The Netherlands (30%), and Germany (26%), each of which has a GDP above €40,000 per capita. In 2021, with an average GDP per capita of around €30,058 Italy’s EV market share was 9.5%.
Italy will need to implement new policies and ramp up existing ones incentivising the sales of small and medium size EVs to increase consumer uptake, going beyond its current policy of offering €5000 per battery electric vehicle. Increasing uptake is key to achieving economies of scale in production, which reduces purchasing price and creates a positive feedback loop that would facilitate this sector’s decarbonisation. In support of this process, Italy will also need to accelerate the deployment of public charging infrastructure.
In its NECP, Italy includes a target of a 22% share of renewable energy in the transport sector’s final energy mix by 2030. This share falls short of what the Low Energy Demand scenario requires. Decarbonising the power sector through a higher share of renewable energy (around 67%) than the current target of 55% (see the power section for more details) is a prerequisite for decarbonisation of the transport sector through electrification.