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October 23

Driving an electric vehicle in Italy

Two zapmen sat in a car looking at signposts which lead to Italian locations

Italy. The land of la dolce vita (the sweet life), and what could be sweeter than driving your electric vehicle from the UK to the Mediterranean, emission-free?

In 2022, there were 4.1 million visits to Italy from Britain, making it the fourth most visited country (from the UK) in 2022. Imagine how much CO2 could have been saved if everyone travelled electric.

If you’re thinking about taking your EV on a road trip to Italy, then you’re in luck as we’ve created this handy guide to help you start planning your trip.

Let’s get plugged in…

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Can I take my electric vehicle to Italy?

SÌ! Or, yes!

And with over 650,000 charge points on the Electroverse network, it’s very easy. You can either take a ferry to the Netherlands, Spain or France, or you can take a train (such as LeShuttle) across the channel to France, and start your road trip there.

Taking your EV on a train to Italy

As mentioned, there are no direct train or ferry connections to Italy from the UK. If you have your heart set on starting your journey via rail, then you’ll need to first go into France using LeShuttle (formerly known as Eurotunnel).

LeShuttle operates a direct train service from Folkestone (Kent) to Calais (France), with different ticket types priced per vehicle. Fortunately, LeShuttle also has designated charge points at both sides of its terminals, meaning you can either top up or just after your train ride - if needed!

From Calais you’ll need to plot your journey into Italy - but don’t worry, you can easily do this with the Electroverse route planner. Watch our video on how to use the route planner below.

How to use the Octopus Electroverse route planner

Where can I charge my vehicle in Italy?

With over 52,000 public chargers in Italy, you’ll not be short of places to charge. To find which charge points work with Electroverse (fair warning - there’s a lot!), go into the Electroverse app and filter the map to show ‘Electroverse only’.

You can also filter for chargers that will work with the app (but we always recommend taking your Electrocard as back-up in case of poor signal, dead battery etc., etc.)

Octopus Electroverse web map showing Italian chargers
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Psst - if you need hotels, we’ve created this handy guide about hotels in Italy which have EV chargers on site!

What do I need in my vehicle to drive in Italy?

When driving in Italy, there are a few mandatory items that you must have in your car, otherwise, you could be faced with a fine - not what you want on holiday! To avoid fines, you must be carrying:

  • A warning triangle

  • Reflective jackets - one for each passenger in the car

  • Headlamp deflectors - this one is dependent on your car (as it might already be fitted), but worth checking before you go!

Octopus Electroverse mascot, Zapman, carrying a European driving kit while standing next to an electric vehicle that is charging
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The following don’t necessarily need to be left in your car, but you should also remember to take: your valid UK driving licence, passport, motor insurance documents and V5 registration document

Do I need a GB or UK sticker to drive in Italy?

Since September 2021, vehicles registered in the UK driving through Italy must display a UK national identifier. 

This doesn’t necessarily mean a sticker - it can be within the number plate - but the letters UK need to be visible on your vehicle. If your number plate doesn’t contain ‘UK’, then you will need to get a sticker and place it next to (not on!) the registration plate. 

You can buy UK car stickers online or by popping to your local Post Office.

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Some drivers prefer the UK magnets rather than stickers, and this is for two reasons: No sticky residue on your vehicle when you come to remove it & you can remove the magnet when parked overnight to avoid being targeted!

Other road regulations in Italy

  • Drive on the right-hand side of the road! You can overtake on the left - and at intersections, give way to oncoming traffic on your right.

  • Know your speed limits! Motorways allow up to 130 km/h and dual carriageways 90 - 110 km/h.

  • Make sure you have valid car insurance

How much do EV chargers cost in Italy?

Much like the UK, the cost of chargers in Italy varies from provider to provider. The best way to find the rate you’ll be charged is to check the Electroverse app. All you need to do is open the charge point information, and the rates will be displayed. Be sure to check if there are any warning messages for parking restrictions, time-based fees, etc.

All Italian charge points will be billed in Euros - this means the rate will be converted to Pound Sterling through Electroverse. You can check the conversion rate on your receipt, which will be visible in your app within 24 hours of the charging session ending.

Image of Octopus Electroverse mascot, Zapman, holding different EV chargers looking confused
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If you have a debit or credit card attached to your Electroverse account, you’ll need to check if non-sterling transaction fees apply. Your bank will charge this fee if you charge abroad - similar to when you use certain bank cards to pay for food, drinks, boat trips to see octopuses (etc.) on holiday outside the UK

Road trip tips and tricks

If you’d like a few more tips and tricks for taking your EV on a road trip, feel free to check out the below blogs:

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Feeling enlightened or do you think something was missing? Let us know by sharing your feedback.

Interested in learning more? Head over to our Electroverse Community area for more electrifying content.