Roma–EV Charging in Rome

By Paul Gipe

Recently we spent a few days in Rome. We stayed near Termini, the main railroad and transit station.

While walking to our hotel–still disoriented from the long flight and the intensity of street life in Roma–we stumbled across an EV charging station. Despite my groggy state it was one of those moments where you do a double take.

Hmm. I think that’s a charging station. That’s a BMW i3 with a cord. Yes, that must be a charging station.

EVs are making rapid progress if you don’t have to search out charge stations in major cities around the world and instead just come across them in the urban fabric.


Mennekes plug being used to connect a BMW i3 to a charge station operated by ENEL, the Italian electric utility that serves Rome. The cable is not part of the charge pedestal. It is with the car. The driver has to bring their own charge cable. This didn’t seem to be universally the case. In Nice, the Auto Bleue stations had their own cables attached to their pedestals as here in North America.

You can also see in the photos of the i3 that placing the charge port on the rear quarter panel is not a very good idea. Drivers, as here, have to back into the parking space. This isn’t always permitted and in urban Roma near the train station I can just imagine the frenzied gesticulation and the horns from other drivers as the BMW backed into this space.

Enel charge pedestal with two ports.

 Looks like they use similar RFID card system to log onto the charger as we do here.

It appears the BMW i3 has consumed 6.2 kWh during its charge cycle.

This must be the Italian equivalent of a Level 2 station. The charge pedestal is rated at 380 V and 32 A or 12 kW. This would allow the pedestal to charge two cars at 6 kW. I am not sure that’s how it works and there was no one around to ask.

As with the site in Nice, this site is not listed on