Seasides & Volcanoes — Electric Van Road Trip, Part 3

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This article continues our series on an electric van road trip around Eastern, Central, and Southern Europe (with a gang of motorcycles on the flanks and sometimes in the van). See the first two articles here and here. Translations by .

When we left off, we said there was no point in talking about plans, and apparently we were right. Time flew by and finally we can share more stories from the epic trip to Sicily in an electric van. In this segment, we are waking up at a campsite in Sorrento — beautiful weather and a magnificent view of Mount Vesuvius rising 40 km away.

We went past it in the dark last night on the other side of the Gulf of Naples. The previous three days were mostly wasted on our futile attempts to repair the gasoline motorcycle instead of moving forward in our comfortable e-NV200 electric van. We had hundreds of kilometers to make up.

After a quick breakfast, we set off along the coast. After about an hour, we arrived in Amalfi, stunningly located on coastal cliffs, and after trying really hard we found not a single parking spot.

We rolled on. However, the slow traffic of winding roads in the mountains did not help in trying to gain more distance.

Near Salerno, we decided to turn to the Italian mainland and use toll highways, where most fast chargers are located. The road kept climbing and the temperature kept dropping, from 22 degrees on the coast to 9 degrees, but at least it stopped raining.

Three more quick charging sessions at Enel X charging stations and we managed to complete about 500 km to reach the sea town of Tropea, located almost on the tip of the Italian “shoe.” It was 11:00 pm, which meant a short night again.

That was the first time, though, that we succeeded in fully charging the Nissan e-NV200 overnight. Truth be told, it’s not easy to find fast chargers in the seaside resorts, but this time the X Recharge app proved better than NextCharge, which was so reliable until then, and it showed us a medium-fast Enel X charger of 22kW in a nearby town.

Our e-NV200 can only take a 7 kW Type 2 connection, but it still allowed a full charge on a short stay. Feeling charged, we moved forward with momentum and hardly after 100 km we made it to the ferry for crossing the Strait of Messina.

In no time, we finally landed on Sicily. Without any further delay, we drove towards Catania. While we were passing the small historic towns, Mount Etna grew larger and large on the horizon. After a short discussion, we decided to drive up the mountain. The bikes left without a minute of hesitation, while our EV needed some prepping to climb from the beach level to the top of the volcano at 3000 meters. 60 minutes at a charging station near picturesque Taormina and the battery was almost full.

After reaching as high as it was possible to drive to Mount Etna, and only covering 50 km, the battery was down to 27% and 26 km of range. Mountains. We did not stay long on top — the visibility was low due to clouds and fog, and the temperature dropped to 3 degrees Celsius. Soooo, not so nice.

Of course, driving down from a mountain like Mount Etna in an EV is very economical. After going downhill 40 km, the battery was 45% full and offered a range of 178 km. 🙂 You can not do that in an ICE car, can you? We managed to still do some sightseeing in Catania and then were ready to hit the sack in one of the many small towns in the south. We had a long way ahead of us to make it back home. …

Interested in buying a Tesla for the easiest road tripping possible? Need a referral code to get 1,000 miles of free Supercharging? Use ours: (or not — up to you).

All images courtesy Tesla Shuttle

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