Generous incentives have pushed sales of electrified vehicles to new heights in Italy, which was previous an EV laggard compared with a number of other European countries.
Battery-electric vehicles accounted for 2.3 percent of Italian sales in 2020, helped by a 6 percent share of the country’s total volume in December. The overall EV share for EVs was 3 percent in the first quarter of 2021.
Early adopters included tech fans and environmentalists, but EVs are luring a wider variety of car buyers because of incentives of up to 8,000 euros and an improved choice of products. Most of these new customers live in the suburbs or the countryside, where they can recharge at home. But what about city dwellers living in apartments and parking curbside every night?
That is the challenge I have in Milan. Italy’s second-largest city after Rome has about 1.4 million people living in within a 181-square-kilometer (70-square-mile) area.
I reside just outside the town center, about 15 minutes by bicycle to Piazza Duomo, and wouldn’t dream of using a car for my weekday city trips. I do, however, need the car to be ready for some occasional errands during the week as well to cover 200 to 400 km nearly every weekend. My question was whether Milan’s EV infrastructure would be sufficient and affordable enough to make switching to an electric car worth the investment.