I’m not sure for the entire Italy, but in Rome, on Saturdays and Sundays, there is a discount (about 10% off) when you fill up your vehicle. By the way, you could also find the cheapest fuel prices through this awesome website.
So anyway, I was feeling a little cabin fever so I took the scooter out for a spin and took the chance to fill it up. As it was the weekend, I saw plentiful of cars queuing up at certain petrol stations.
To my horror, I saw that the prices were significantly more expensive compared to just a couple of months ago. About 1.8 euros per litre! I remember my first trip to Rome and the prices were more or less about 1 euro a litre. Now, it’s almost doubled!
Is there anyone frightened of this?
While I do own a car, I don’t use it that regularly, so the price increase doesn’t affect me that much as my main form of transportation is the scooter.
Nevertheless, during the times when I do fill up the car, I’m always stunned at the evident jump in price.
Of course, one of the best way is to go around is with public transportation. I normally park my scooter at the nearest metropolitana station and take the tube when going to the city. One could reduce one’s carbon copy even more by commuting with a foldable bicycle from their start point.
It’s also a great solution as this way, one avoids having to search for parking. And believe me, it is extremely trying it is to find parking here.
Unfortunately, in Rome there are transport strikes practically every other week. Which is why I understand why there is an increase of car owners in Italy. Public transportation can be unreliable.
In fact, somewhere in the beginning of this year, it was just my luck that on the day that my scooter broke down, there happened to be a sciopero going on. I needed to travel about 23km to go to work. It was one of the most stressful day for me in a long time.
(If someone suggests that I take a bicycle, I’d rather not. Travelling a minimum of 46km during winter, carrying more than 5kg of materials and arriving half dead is not my ideal way of commuting)
Probably one of the compromise between high fuel prices and the unreliability of public transportation is to get an electric car. One of the brands that tweaked my interest is this adorable Smart electric.
I like it as it looks cute mainly (doh!) but at the same time, it just makes sense as we only take about an hour for commute, rendering the car unused the rest of the day. So, what better than to leave it there to charge, so at the end of the day, we get back home on a fully charged car. AND comparing it to fuel price, it costs only a few cents to run one kilometer.
(There is also the Twizy. But I think it just looks so strange! No doors, no side windows!)
However, while it’s cheap to charge the car, even with government funding, it’s still very expensive for the public to own and maintain it. About 24K euro with IVA. And that doesn’t include the monthly amount needed to rent the battery (if I remember correctly, it was an additional 100 euro) That’s … quite a big amount of moolah.
Which is why I quite like this new service in Singapore called smove.sg (thanks NTT for the link!) Rather than owning a car, you could rent an electric car and you’re charged about 30 cents (SGD) a minute you travel.
I’m not sure how viable it is for daily commuting, as it’s still a little pricey (30 cents x 60 minutes commute x 20 working days = 360 dollars … but if you carpooled with another 3 more passengers, it would bring the monthly price all the way down to 90 dollars a month! That cheaper than 4 people spending money on a monthly ATAC ticket
Hopefully something like this would happen soon too in Rome!