My holiday was ruined by renting an EV – I couldn’t find charging stations and when I did they didn’t work | The Sun

A TOURIST says his holiday turned into a nightmare as he struggled to find charging stations after renting an electric car.

Scarred from his last trip to Italy that saw his Fiat Panda get battered, Shawn Johnson decided to hire a more robust motor.

He decided to rent a top-end Polestar car able to handle Tuscany's "tough and hilly" roads.

After doing a lot of research, he told the plunge to book the use of an EV – with the promise of 38,000 charging points around the country.

Shawn said he was immediately ridiculed by his wife and friends, who urged him to hire a normal car.

He wrote in Business News: "Absolutely ridiculous prejudice, I said.

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"'[I told them] 'The website Welcome to Tuscany says there are 38,000 charging stations in Italy'.

"'Two in our village alone, says Google Maps. This is not the 20th century'.

"While we waited in the long line at the car rental desk at Florence airport, my wife urged me to take a normal vehicle.

"But it only made me more determined."

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After the couple's friends got lost on the way to their villa, Shawn offered to help out.

He wrote: "They followed Google Maps, which later turned out to be a footpath.

"Confused about finding a cab to take them to our villa (€180), they had brought the keys to the jeep with them, instead of leaving them with the rescuers.

"Somebody has to run it back the next day. Obviously, having the better car, I volunteered."

Shawn returned that evening, but was concerned about the amount of electricity he had burnt through on the trip and how close he was to a charger.

He failed to find a charging station in the village that night – and realised the next day the car park it was supposed to be in hadn't been built yet.

The car he had hired was then not compatible with the ones at another local charging station.

Shawn then decided to try his luck with the car's own charger, but couldn't find it.

Becoming demoralised, Shawn headed to a charging station 20km and was chuffed when he was able to plug it in.

But he once again saw red as after getting lunch, he realised the car hadn't been charging as there was insufficient power at the station.

With only enough charge left to go 80km, Shawn calculated he would have enough to get back to the villa and then to Sienna the following morning, where he hoped to charge the motor at the car rental company office.

He said: "I finally plugged the Polestar into a working charging station and felt blissfully liberated.

"Only an hour to wait in the 40C sun and I’d be good to go."

While there, Shawn asked staff where the car's home charger was as he had been told it was in the bonnet.

But he was frustrated to learn that it had been in the boot the whole time.

Shawn added: "But it didn’t work in our villa anyway because it required an adapter."

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After endless charging shenanigans, Shawn returned the car to Florence airport and flew home – vowing never to hire an EV again.

He added: "Next year, I can rely on horsepower and maybe foray into Paleo."

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