Cleaner private vehicles

Basic Information

Mobility solution ID

BOL 1.2


- complete




Bologna aims to boost the renewal of private vehicles for a shift to cleaner models.

Implementing sustainable mobility

Bologna has made the promotion of private vehicle renewal a priority since 2007 as part of its urban traffic plan. With CIVITAS MIMOSA, Bologna wants to give its efforts a boost.

The main objectives of the measure are to:

  • Reduce polluting emissions in the urban area; and
  • Save energy in the transport sector.

Bologna wants to encourage private car owners to shift from petrol to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and compressed natural gas (CNG).  The municipality will promote the purchase of cleaner vehicles that are equipped with eco-technology.


In 2010, Bologna received €665,000 from the Emilia Romagna region to support the campaign for private vehicle fuel shifts to methane or LPG. The municipality has decided to exempt vehicles operating on LPG and methane from circulation limitations. This is part of an agreement between the Emilia Romagna region and municipalities of more than 50,000 inhabitants on air quality and traffic limitations renewed in October 2010. The city has launched an information campaign to spread awareness of the incentives available to shift to methane or LPG. For evaluation purposes, Bologna has been collecting data with reference to motor technology and pollution category of the private vehicle fleet. Due to the fiscal crisis in Italy, national and local incentives were stopped in 2011. Therefore, no more vehicles were converted with financial incentives. Nevertheless, thanks to the Municipality’s activities carried out when the measure was in force, it must be noted that the positive trend in favor of fuel shift will not be reversed. Following research and studies, a new project was launched in September 2011 to create a methane car sharing fleet. This will be done in cooperation with Federmetano and ATC and is partially funded by the Italian Ministry of the Environment. In the course of 2011, an incentives campaign for shifting private petrol vehicles to GPL and methane has been carried out. The agreement 2011-2012 on “Air Quality” signed by the Municipality of Bologna with RER in October 2011 foresaw restrictions on the circulation of more pollutant vehicles according to their combusted gas emission category, for the period from 3 October, 2011 to 30 March, 2012. GPL and methane vehicles were exempt from these provisions. The 3-year long agreement 2012-2015 on “Air Quality”, renewed by the Municipality of Bologna with RER in July 2012,  foresees stronger restrictions on the circulation of more pollutant vehicles from 1 October to 31 March, exemptions for LPG and CNG vehicles and includes provisions to be allocated by RER to promote sustainable urban mobility alternatives. For its part, the Municipality of Bologna procured 41 methane and LPG vehicles, thus increasing the less polluting fleet share to 50 percent. To boost electromobility, in 2011 new incentives for a total amount of €300,000 has been devoted to Bologna’s residents to promote electric two-wheels vehicles diffusion, namely: 1. €300 to purchase an electric bike or an electric motorcycle 2. €600 if, on buying a new motorcycle an old one (classified in Euro 0 or Euro 1 category) will be handed over and scrapped. Thanks to these funds approximately 900 electric bikes have already been bought. Given the popularity for this measure,  new incentives, amounting to a total amount of 380,000 Euros, have been allocated, to be distributed according to the same rules in September 2012 during European Mobility Week.

Furthermore, two on-street electric charging points for electric vehicles have been deployed near RER’s headquarters and Bologna’s town hall offices as part of the innovative programme promoted by Emilia-Romagna Region and the municipality of Bologna to foster the development of electric mobility. The programme is based on the unprecedented agreements signed by RER, the national electricity company Enel and the multiregional utility Hera which plan on e-company interoperability and plug-in device standardization allowing electric vehicle drivers to charge the batteries everywhere they need in the regional territory, independent of their home electricity provider.

In other words, drivers of e-vehicles can use any charging station installed in Emilia-Romagna’s towns, run both by Enel and Hera, since the companies share hardware, software and plug-in standard. Besides, the charging costs will be debited as part of the home electricity bill. For access to the charging points, drivers will use a special card linked to their home electricity supply contract and/ or the contactless regional mobility card MI MUOVO elettrico. Emilia-Romagna Region is the first institution in Italy to have implemented such agreements on a regional basis. The installation is free of charge for Bologna municipal administration, whose role it is to select and authorize deployment locations.


At the start of this measure, Bologna expected to obtain an increase in private vehicles powered by LPG or CNG to a share of 8-10 percent of the total vehicle fleet within four years. The Municipality of Bologna’s statistics office shows that the city has already exceeded this target, since the share of private LPG or CNG powered vehicles registered in Bologna reached beyond 16% in 2011 (what means a percentage increase of 87% compared to 2007), thus fulfilling the European Union White Paper recommendation on a10% share of CNG vehicles.


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