Driving an EV in Italy as a tourist

Chuckanut

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Here is one man's experience driving through parts of Northern Italy with a Fiat EV he rented.

https://blog.ricksteves.com/cameron/2022/11/ev-europe-road-trip/
As she handed over the keys, the rental agent offered a grave warning: “You know the range is much lower on the highway…right?”
A fellow guest with a plug-in hybrid had to wait for me to unlock the car and free up the charger. While he was charging his car, this jovial German said to us, “You’re very bold for taking a fully electric car on a trip like this. That’s why I have a hybrid. I don’t need that kind of stress.” (Golly, thanks for the tip!)
Our B&B’s charger made life easy, allowing us to start each day topped up. But when we needed to charge on the road, we were impressed by the extensive EV charger network in this part of Italy. The most abundant ones were accessed through the Be Charge app, which — once set up — was easy to use. However, most of the chargers we found were the slower 22 kWh version (which would take something like 3-4 hours to fully charge our car), with only a few faster 110 kWh ones (which took 45 minutes or less).
Also be clear on how to access public charging stations. In Italy, most options appeared to be through Be Charge. Their app made it easy to find chargers, know how fast they were, and even see whether they were currently in use. However, you must have the app installed — and decent Internet access on your phone — in order to activate the charger once you’re there. I was expecting that I’d be able to “tap” a credit card at the terminal when I got there. But — in the case of these chargers, at least — I was surprised to find that payment and use was available only through the app.
 
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Sorry, but I have no desire to go EV in Italy or anywhere in Europe.

Charge me $9.00 per U.S. gallon for a Fiat 500. At least I'll make it to where I'm going without incident.

P.S.: I long ago found out that rural Italians often don't speak English. I can see me trying to communicate with them trying to find a charging station.
 
Sorry, but I have no desire to go EV in Italy or anywhere in Europe.

Charge me $9.00 per U.S. gallon for a Fiat 500. At least I'll make it to where I'm going without incident.

P.S.: I long ago found out that rural Italians often don't speak English. I can see me trying to communicate with them trying to find a charging station.

Ciao Sr. Bamaman,

Gli italiani parlano con le mani. Starai bene anche nei piccole città. :D

Ma, tu dici, "la machinna non funzione. Ha bisogno di electricittà. "

Piacere,
Chuck
 
Ditto. I would not consider renting an EV in any country. And probably not at home either.

Happy to take a little gas powered Fiat Panda or VW Polo/equiv.
 
Quote: "However, most of the chargers we found were the slower 22 kWh version (which would take something like 3-4 hours to fully charge our car), with only a few faster 110 kWh ones (which took 45 minutes or less)."

I don't see this as a problem while on vacation. :facepalm:


Like others, I'll stick to ICE rentals for the near future.
 
I’ll rent an EV in the US where I know the infrastructure is good.

NW-Bound recently rented a hybrid in northern Italy and sounds like he enjoyed the regenerative braking for his mountain driving. I may look for a hybrid for Europe. DH would complain about pumping gas through, lol.

My first car had manual transmission and I owned it for many years. But I’m not interested in dealing with manual transmission when driving in Europe and it sounds like hybrids are generally not manual transmission so that’s a plus. I’ve gotten really spoiled with no forward gear shifting at all though.
 
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Hertz in pushing EVs hard and offering deep discounts. But even for my December trip in familiar California with a good charging network, I'm NOT buying. Not for or against EVs, just don't want to learn a new routine while traveling!
 
NW-Bound recently rented a hybrid in northern Italy and sounds like he enjoyed the regenerative braking for his mountain driving. I may look for a hybrid for Europe. DH would complain about pumping gas through, lol.

My first car had manual transmission and I owned it for many years. But I’m not interested in dealing with manual transmission when driving in Europe and it sounds like hybrids are generally not manual transmission so that’s a plus. I’ve gotten really spoiled with no forward gear shifting at all though.

I did not ask for it, but was given an Opel Grandland X Hybrid. It's a plug-in hybrid with a battery of 13.2 kWh for an electric-only range of 37 miles. They did not provide a cord for charging overnight from a wall outlet, nor would I use it if available.

I enjoyed driving this car, and after the trip looked up its specs. Very impressive. All-wheel drive. Front electric motor: 110 hp. Rear electric motor: 113 hp. Turbocharged ICE: 200 hp. This car could kick butts, but of course I drove like a geezer.

The car kept its battery near empty all the time. The highest state of charge I saw was when going down the backside of the Stevio Pass. The battery got up to 1/4 full by regen. I thought it would get higher than that, but that was it.

I did not keep good records to compute its fuel consumption. Suffice to say, after a trip of 2700 km, the fuel cost was a bit less than toll fees, I believe. And I drove more than 1/2 the way on the toll-free backroads. And they closed the freeway E70, else it would cost me another 45 euros to drive through the Frejus tunnel.

In short, despite the high cost of gasoline, it's the toll fees that will hurt your pocket more.

PS. The one I drove got the exact same paint scheme as this.

b763e58410f72f468fc76fb495b929b9a0901d30.jpeg
 
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Like others, I'll stick to ICE rentals for the near future.

+1. I don't want the hassle of getting recharged so often. We travel to a lot of remote places.
 
If anyone wants to learn how to say "Hello, you have a lovely country" in Italian just email me. I'll teach you exactly how to say it. Trust me.
 
Sorry, but I have no desire to go EV in Italy or anywhere in Europe.

Charge me $9.00 per U.S. gallon for a Fiat 500. At least I'll make it to where I'm going without incident.

P.S.: I long ago found out that rural Italians often don't speak English. I can see me trying to communicate with them trying to find a charging station.

It was hard enough the first time trying to figure how to get gas from one of those self serve unmanned gas stations that only took cash!
 
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