An immediate reaction to an unprecedented crisis
The prestigious World Marketing Summit, taking place this year on November 6-7, is the brainchild of Professor Philip Kotler, who is something of a giant in the field of marketing management. This year’s edition, which is digital because of the pandemic, is a forum of “Ideas for critical times”. Speakers include Enel X’s CEO Francesco Venturini, discussing the company’s solutions to the crisis. As Venturini explains, although the Covid-19 pandemic is, by definition, a global crisis, the first European country to feel its effects was Italy, where Enel X is headquartered. It was also the first European country to institute a full-scale lockdown, as hospitals in the North — its economic engine and the epicenter of the infection — struggled to avoid being overwhelmed. Enel X responded to the crisis by adapting to the changes the lockdown brought with it at record speed. The overall objective remained that of supporting customers on their mission to decarbonize their activities by making better, more efficient use of energy through electrification and digitalization. However, the company was also able to bring to bear some of the expertise it had developed in building its business to respond to the ongoing crisis. And this was also the case in other countries.
The Enel X Covid-19 mobility map
The City Analytics Covid-19 – Mobility Map is a good example. The service, which was developed with advanced digital mapping specialist HERE Technologies, allows citizens free access to mobility data showing the effects of the travel containment and social distancing measures adopted in response to the emergency. These include the percentage change in the number of trips compared with the previous week and prior to the lockdown, variations in distances traveled, as well as entry and exit flows in the area of interest. The analysis has been extended outside of Italy, including to Spain, and has most recently been applied to Brazil, where the pandemic has led to localized lockdowns and other restrictions on both movement and other activities. Enel X’s products and services form a series of ecosystems where one activity links to, and can depend on, another function or product. At that point, the company’s response to the Covid-19 crisis involved adding new solutions to pre-existing ecosystems.
The pandemic and e-Mobility
Consider Enel X’s long-standing focus on e-mobility, an attachment that has prompted it to become official Smart Charging Partner for the ABB FIA Formula E championship, as well as for Moto E, its sister challenge. The pandemic caused pollution levels worldwide to decline dramatically as industrialized nations shut down large parts of their economies during their various lockdowns. Los Angeles discovered it had some of the cleanest air of any major city; citizens of Beijing suddenly were able to see the sky and reported noticeably cleaner air; and Londoners were able to hear birdsong as the background roar of the traffic faded away.
A sales momentum, a growing market
The demonstration of what the world might be like if the internal combustion engine is replaced has lent momentum to sales of electric cars. For example, EVs will treble their market share in Europe this year, according to Transport & Environment, a green policy group. The International Energy Authority predicts that there will be more than 250 million EVs on the road by 2030. And while BloombergNEF estimates that e-vehicles will make up almost 60% of car sales by 2040, the energy consulting arm of the data giant is calling for “accelerated deployment of wind and PV; faster consumer uptake in electric vehicles, small-scale renewables, and low-carbon heating technology.” Among the factors holding back take-up of EVs among drivers is range anxiety, or the concern that the vehicle’s power might run out before the owner can get it to a charging station. That puts a premium on increasing the number of charging stations available, which also underlines the importance of so-called interoperability, the ability of drivers to access chargers belonging to the largest number of networks possible.
New services for the new mobility
Enel X’s innovative financial services are also well suited to the “new normal.” This year, through its Enel X Financial Services unit, Enel X joined a partnership with Hubject, a Berlin-based e-mobility joint venture, that will streamline the payments process when customers charge their vehicles. The move is important because it gives drivers easy access to a network of more than 200,000 public charging points worldwide, thanks to the Hubject eRoaming Platform. This will allow real-time settlement between charging point operators, who own the charging stations, and the companies that bill drivers when a customer recharges a vehicle. The accord should also mean wider installation of charging points.
Cashless payments for smarter living
That’s not Enel X Financial Services’ only move to simplify people’s lives in response to the crisis. Enel X Pay, with its associated MasterCard, is a fully modern, digital bank account that allows holders to pay for coffee at the bar or for their latest online shopping order, manage road tax and bills before they expire, as well as a host of other functions that help people live smarter.
The card also functions as a means of cashless payments, an aspect that has become increasingly important during the pandemic because the virus can be transmitted on surfaces. The pandemic may have presented some major challenges, but Enel X has plenty of solutions to help people deal with them.