Which is the potential of the E-Bus as a service model? Is such proposal only limited to public transportation? According to Enel X, actually, it extends to other public service segments as well: “the flexibility of the model makes it versatile and easy to apply to fleets used for garbage collection and ecological services, emergency vehicles and health transport vehicles in general, as well as seasonal transportation services, used mostly in tourist destinations in the high season”, the Italian utility says.

And some projects in Chile and Italy helps to have a picture of the possible outcome of such activities. The same company defines Italy as “the incubation site for this new, experimental offering model, eShuttle as a service“, which Enel X plans to extend to the entire country.

And adds: “The remaining new segments involved (school buses, ambulances, and waste collectors) will also be potentially explored and exported to other countries where we are active, such as the US (and North America in general, especially for school bus as a service projects), Spain, and the UK”.

enel x school buses

Chile, a leading country in ‘eFleet as a service’ projects

In both waste collection and medical transport fields, Chile acted as a pioneer. The town of Colina hosted a pilot project involving the first electric compactor (in an integrated model very similar to E-Bus as a service). Plus, Santiago de Chile, at the height of the pandemic emergency in 2020, was home to the first “eAmbulance as a Service” project, which involved Enel Chile donating two 100% electric ambulances and the related charging stations to the Chilean Red Cross.

Enel X stresses it is determined to “export and replicate the eTruck as a service and eAmbulance as a service models in Italy as well, following early encouraging signs from the electrification of public transportation. The targets for these new solutions – in addition to Public Administrations, the primary focus of the business unit – will be OTAs (optimal territorial areas), operators in charge of service management in the environment and ecological sector; hospital structures; public and private associations active in healthcare services (for the electric ambulance segment).

enel x school buses

What about school buses?

Through a partnership between XBus (a joint venture between Enel X and Infracapital) and Arriva Italia, Enel X delivered 20 new electric buses for daily school transportation of more than a thousand students with disabilities in Italian capital city.

Electrifying school transportation services is, however, a process akin to the electrification of local transportation operators, in part because of the actors and targets involved in the projects (municipalities and operators).

Let’s move to Sardinia: in the city of Iglesias a zero-emission shuttle charged with 100% renewable energy provided through existing Enel X Way charging stations was used for experimental purposes during the summer tourist season in the Sardinian town, within Enel X as a service model.

…are seasonal shuttles part of the match?

Such a trial opens the doors to seasonal services, rather than the usual long-term electrification projects. Enel X’s proposal, “aimed at efficiency and flexibility, is to provide temporary and sustainable transportation solutions to respond to the needs of tourist destinations facing peaks in demand, to ensure public transportation service to both residents and tourists”, the company says.

The offer’s key features will be – in Enel X words – the following:

  • Temporary supply (for a few months, based on need) of 100% electric shuttles and minibuses, in places where vehicles already have access to public-use charging stations and infrastructure for charging with energy from 100% renewable sources
  • Flexibility, which will ensure that Enel X responds to the specific needs of various tourist destinations in the various seasons of the year, through a service tailored for each customers
enel x school buses


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