“ I leave it to
the reader to think how the journey was enjoyed by those
poor beasts, thus bound and held by the feet, head-down,
in the hand of a man who, agitated by many passions, accompanied
with gesture the thoughts which passed tumultuously through
his mind. Now extending his arm in anger, now raising it
in despair, now wrestling it in the air, as in a threat,
and, in every way, gave them fierce shocks, and caused those
four pendent heads to bob; they, meanwhile, vigorously applying
themselves to peck one another, as too often happens among
friends in adversity.”
Thus wrote Manzoni (in The Betrothed)
telling of the poor capons that Renzo Tramaglino brought
as a gift to Dr Azzeccagarbugli from whom he hoped to receive
legal comfort for his seriously threatened marriage with
Lucy. The image became history and is often quoted by many
when they want to convey the very widespread concept of the “war among the poor”.
If we leave aside, for the moment, the
as yet very experimental hydrogen, in the world of ecological
mobility there are three great schools of thought: LPG, methane
and the electric vehicle. Somewhere there still lingers an
air of besieged fort, somewhere else they think of themselves
as bearers of truth, somewhere else still they pontificate
as the “truly clean”.
We leave it to reader to imagine who could be the one or the
other, but the equivalent concept remains that the three of
them, rather than getting together as environmental mobility
and fight together against their common enemy, fight among
themselves about whether one pollutes more than the other and
to obtain better market shares, ranging from 0,002% to 0,003!
We have always been convinced that we
should talk of “environmental
mobility” and leave it up to the type of car as well
as the local situation to determine whether to opt for one
fuel or the other. In some cases methane is more convenient,
in others LPG is preferable and in certain conditions the electric
vehicle is a suitable solution. We are not about to say, here,
where we believe one would be better than the other o we run
the risk of giving new cues to the fighting parties rather
than pacifying, which is our real objective.
The situation is serious. The curve of
gas installations is decreasing steadily: in 2004 only 120.000
(85.000 LPG + 35.000 methane) against the 200/250.000 necessary
to maintain gas traffic constant. Even if we add “first installation” and
analyse definite figures for the first trimester of 2005 (see
table), we notice an increase of diesel registrations, even
in countertrend with the remainder of Europe.
Comparing figures on a yearly basis, we find
that in Italy there are about 250.000 vehicles circulating
on methane, 1.000.000 use LPG and 110.000 electric vehicles
(of which 80.000 assisted pedalling bicycles) against a traffic
of 30.000.000 vehicles (8.000.000 on gasoil excluding buses
and trucks). These are the numbers environmental mobility needs
to face up to.
Operators need to understand how uneven a fight is you fight
alone. We need to accept that a fight for position is anachronistic
as is trying to maintain certain true or presumed privileges.
If we weigh against the press, institutions, users such as environmental
mobility sector, we might obtain reasonable results,
otherwise we remain a niche and we float, waiting for a thrashing.
Or we are held by the head by Renzo and brought as a gift to
the powerful, yet at least let us not scratch and peck one another
before death, …as too often happens among friends