From Tuesday 22 March 2016 and while the funds are available, citizens can reserve their access to the ICBI (Iniziativa Carburanti a Basso Impatto - Low Impact Fuel Incentive) at the Ecogas consortium website www.ecogas.it. This is the campaign organized by the Ministry for the Environment to promote the use of LPG and LNG for cars. Known as A Gas (for Ambiente – the Environment) it has been suspended since 2012 after the funds ran out, and is the product of a programmed agreement between the ministry and 674 municipalities, of which Parma is the leader. The funds available – a residue of previous loans – amount to over 1 million 800,000 euro, divided among three incentives for the conversion to LPG and LNG. It is estimated that about 4,500 conversions to gas will be made using this incentive.
The initiative was presented yesterday during a press conference in Parma, attended by the Councilor for Mobility and the Environment of the City of Parma, Gabriele Folli, the director of the ICBI office, Nicola Ferioli, and the president of the Ecogas consortium, Alessandro Tramontano.
The incentives for the conversion of Euro 2 and Euro 3 cars - the first action of its kind in Italy, with a fund of 1.5 million – concern conversion to gas of cars registered after 1/01/1997 owned by physical or legal persons resident or with registered office or operating headquarters in one of the 674 municipalities participating in the initiative.
The contribution amounts to 500 € for LPG and 650 for LNG of which 150 is contributed by the installing workshop: considering the small amount of the fund, in order to permit a larger number of conversions, the associations that represent the LPG/LNG industrial and business sector who sign the Program Agreement, the Ministry for the Environment and the ICBI office to break the contribution down as follows: 150 € discount by the installer plus 350 € for LPG and 500 for LNG of contribution provided by the ICBI.
The incentives of the second and third types, with total resources of 300,000 euro, will go for the conversion of light commercial vehicles smaller than 3.5t:
The BI-FUEL incentives, are for the conversion to LPG and LNG of small commercial vehicles weighing less than 3.5t in the Euro 2 category or higher, registered after 1/01/1997. The amount of the contribution is € 750 for conversion to LPG and € 1,000 for conversion to LNG. There is no discount by the installer. The system of assigning the contribution is the same as that for the incentives for private cars and can be access on the website www.ecogas.it where there is a special section for reservations. Legal persons with registered office or operating headquarters in a municipality participating in the ICBI agreement may apply, except for companies that perform transport services on commission of goods. The vehicles allows, which may be owned or leased, are vans and similar light vehicles used for company business: M1 cars and N1 commercial vehicles used for rental services (with or without driver) and commercial and artisanal activities; N1 commercial vehicles for the transport of urban goods. Necessary conditions: to be within the limits of the de minimis rule.
The DUAL-FUEL incentives are intended for conversion to diesel/LPG and diesel/LNG with combined use of the two fuels. The amount of the facilitation is € 750 for conversion to LPG and 1,000 for conversion to LNG. The project, addressed to the companies or public organizations residing in the participating municipalities that convert one or more vehicles, is the real news of the ICBI 2016 initiative, as it will make it possible to test this new type of fuel supply and above all carry out emissions tests, which may be used by the administrators for blocking traffic. The system of assignment of the contributions, amounting to € 750 for LPG and € 1,000 for LNG, is made through a special procedure in which the company agrees to fill out monitoring sheets on the converted vehicles. Light N1 vehicles weighing less than 3.5t are admitted, excluding those used to carry goods for others. It is a necessary condition to be within the limits of the European Community’s de minimis rule.
To apply for the incentive, the procedure is simple: the interested party should contact a workshop participating in the initiative. The latter, after ascertaining the availability of the funds and obtaining the reservation code assigned to each contribution (which guarantees allocation of the fund), informs the beneficiary when he can install the LPG or LNG system on the vehicle. The contribution, allocated in chronological order on receipt of the application reserving it, is subtracted and indicated in the invoice in the form of discount on the workshop’s price for conversion, with reference to their list of maximum prices. It is not cumulable with other forms of government facilitation but, if allowed, may be added to local or private initiatives.
The Ecogas consortium contributes to the operating management of the incentives campaign and users can visit its website - http://www.ecogas.it/public/ICBI2016/index.html) – to find all the information, the lists of municipalities and the workshops that participate, where they can go to make the conversion to gas, taking advantage of the government incentive. The ICBI website is also available for information: http://icbi.comune.parma.it.
Experimentation with dual fuel vehicles the incentive initiative will be an opportunity to carry out experimentation on dual-fuel vehicles, tending to demonstrate the benefits for the environment of conversion of diesel-fueled vehicles to gas. The experimentation is promoted by a scientific committee consisting of the convention of I.C.B.I., Ministry for the Environment and Safeguard of Land and Sea, Ecogas Consortium as technical contact of the ICBI convention and the other associations of the category, as well as experts of the Emilia Romagna Region who have been invited to participate.
Several of the vehicles that will benefit from the incentives will be equipped with portable emissions measuring devices (PEMS), the same that are used for the new RDE (Real Driving Emissions) tests to verify the real emissions values of vehicles in tests on the road. The main pollutant monitored will be particulate (PM), as well as other pollutants still to be approved. The objective here is to enable even dual fuel vehicles to circulate freely during provisions of traffic limitation; specifically, in the local context, the technical commission will ascertain the possibility of exempting Euro 3 diesel vehicles converted in this way from the prohibition to circulate introduced by the 2017 Air Plan of the Emilia Romagna Region.
To facilitate the experiment, the President of the Conference of Councilors and the Councilor for the Environment and Mobility of Parma, Gabriele Folli, has requested a special exemption by the Emilia-Romagna Region for dual-fuel vehicles to circulate freely in case of traffic limitation provisions.
The I.C.B.I. Convention, a laboratory of good practices for sustainable mobility, is a campaign of the Ministry for the Environment which started for the first time in 2000, at the time of the initiatives connected with the Eco-Friendly Sundays program based on an agreement among municipalities, of which Parma was the leader. Represented by the Conference of Councilors, the participants have had the opportunity, over the years, to compare the effects of many aspects of air quality protection.
The program was last refinanced in 2005: 20 million euro, 15 of which, or 75% of the amount, went into the incentives for conversion to LNG or LPG of gasoline-fueled cars and 5 million, or 25%, to financing the impact of supplying LNG or LPG to the fleets of public utility vehicles.
When the available funds ran out, the I.C.B.I Convention did not terminate its function, however, as it has acquired, over the years, the role of a free laboratory of good practices for sustainable mobility. The meeting point between local and central governments, where the two found themselves in complete agreement, was the point at which the representatives of the local governments, the councilors for the environment and mobility, compared notes on the measures for the reduction of pollution, such as limitations of traffic and green purchases.