Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Looking for EVs - From Portugal to Italy

This year, on our post-summer road to Sweden, instead of doing the shortest way there (PT-ES-FR-BE-NL-DE-DK-SE), we decided to make a small (big) detour, and followed the Mediterranean Sea until Italy, then we went through Italy on out way to Budapest, then headed north to Wroclaw, Poland, to visit some friends, and finally went on our way to Sweden.

So i decided to check out how the EV fauna looked like along the way:

Portugal - After leaving Aveiro and passing by one Nissan Leaf and a Renault Zoe in the suburbs, i only saw a new EV in Viseu, in this case, a BMW i3, something that confirmed my assumption that electric cars are still an urban thing;

ICE-ing: Still a plague in many places
Spain - Saw one Renault Zoe in Salamanca and...nothing else until Madrid. Spain's wide open spaces are an EV desert.

In Madrid, EVs returned, with 2 Zoes and 1 BMW i3, all company cars. 

After leaving Spain's capital, we returned to the EV desert, until getting close to Barcelona, not only the landscape looks different, and EVs start to pop up left and right, with the first Teslas starting showing up, one Model S, two Model S, one Model 3...

In Barcelona there are plenty of EVs, with several Nissan e-NV200 vans, Renault Zoes, Tesla Model S, BMW i3, Hyundai Kona EV...

Car-sharing is also relevant, while local taxis and police cars are hybrid Toyota Prius, it's like this city lives in a different universe than the rest of Spain!

Citroen e-Mehari: Maybe the most French of all French EVs...
France - Crossing Southern France highways, both Teslas (2 Model S, 1 Model 3) and PHEVs (2 Outlander PHEV, 1 Mini Countryman PHEV) were possible to be seen, but when we arrived to the Nice and Cannes area, we noticed once again that urban areas continue to be BEV's natural habitat: there we saw 4 Renault Zoe, a couple of Twizy (Twizzies?), one Peugeot iOn, one Kona EV and the e-Mehari, seen above. 

Funny enough, in this area, apart from a Model S, we saw no Luxury EV around, but we did saw some vintage cars, one Lanborghini, a couple of Ferraris...

#poor people drive Teslas

In Monaco, the most common EV was the Renault Twizy, with several units of the tiny two seater fighting space with countless scooters, while other small electric cars were also popular (4 Smart EV, 2 Zoe, 2 BMW i3...), but it seemed as larger the EV is, the less common it becomes (2 VW e-Golf, 1 Peugeot Partner EV van and 1 Tesla Model X).

Funny enough, we say more Maybach (2), than Teslas (the Model X).

As a final note, the parking lots have so much diversity, that deserved a post of their own. But because we don't have time, look at the picture above...

Italy - Not a lot to talk about, as the low EV share is visible by its absence on Italian roads, we saw just one Panamera PHEV (i think it was the PHEV version, we could only see for a few seconds, before disappearing in the horizon...), one VW Passat GTE (with Dutch license place, so it doesn't count), and a Model 3.

The best thing road tripping Italy was actually listening to Virgin Radio, airing some of the best classic rock tracks on Earth, ideal for the kind of travelling we were doing.


  1. I don't know if you've really been to Madrid, because you can see EV cars everywhere. 4 car sharing companies, and besides it ranks first in EV sales in Spain.

    1. Totally agree. The vanguard is in the main cities (logical), and at the head of these is Madrid. Fortunately, now the market is encouraging, but a couple of years ago, when this blog talked about 200/300 registrations in a month, they used to be cars from Car2go, EMov etc. in Madrid. (I drive in Madrid every day and there isn't a day i don't see a few Teslas)

    2. We passed by Madrid, but spent most of the night in the suburbs (Las Rozas).

      I can tell you that i saw more EVs in Barcelona than Madrid, but of course i believe that in the city center of Madrid there should be many EVs, thing is, we must have been unlucky to see them, when we passed by.

  2. It is clear that you have not been to Madrid.

    In Spain, few EV cars are sold, it is a pity, but in Madrid, half of the electric cars sold in Spain are normally sold.

    September 2018:
    Spain: 1100
    Madrid: 522
    Barcelona + Lleida + Tarragona + Girona: 165

    September 2019:
    Madrid: 769
    Barcelona + Lleida + Tarragona + Girona: 278

    Year 2019:
    Madrid: 7870 (56%)
    Barcelona + Lleida + Tarragona + Girona: 2503 (17%)

    January-September 2018
    Madrid: 4595 (52%)
    Barcelona + Lleida + Tarragona + Girona: 1519 (17%)

    and so every year

    There are 2,200 EV carsharing cars, and the taxis in Madrid used to be almost all Prius. Two years ago, new diesel and gasoline taxis have been banned. Only EV, hybrids or gas are allowed.

    In the center of Madrid, only EV or hybrid cars can be accessed

    1. Javier, we were in Madrid, but didn't went to the city center. Too much traffic to get there. So i guess we didn't saw the most EV-friendly part of the city.


  4. José, what were you driving? Did you make this long trip on an EV?