When thinking of Norway, mountains and fjords probably come to mind at first, but instead, the 80s new wave band A-ha with their song “Take on Me” starts playing in my mind. In addition to the previous, this country is also known as the world leader in the scene of electric vehicles. Norway has set a deadline for completely phasing out the sale of new vehicles with internal combustion engines. When car manufacturers bring new EVs to the light of day, Norway is the place where it is sold first. About 80% of the new cars bought in the Kingdom of Norway are electric cars already today. If you want to know what cars will be on our streets tomorrow and what the EV charging infrastructure looks like, you have to go see it in Norway.
Norway vs others
Norway is a good example of how the country contributes to the green revolution, and properly also in the field of e-mobility. Apart from all the other benefits offered to owners of electric cars, one of the most significant measures is the 25% VAT exemption on the selling price of electric cars. There are still quite many countries in Europe that are still just thinking about the hoards of EVs that will soon drive on their streets, and so what has happened in Norway is a good example for all of us. However, when it comes to the countries within the borders of the EU, the Netherlands must be singled out, which is certainly one of the biggest benchmarks and pioneers in e-Mobility and its continuous growth. Just a reminder, when different countries build or modernize the charging infrastructure, they must not forget about the smaller settlements. Usually, those are forgotten and therefore delay the possibility of electric vehicles boom. Believe it or not, that boom is coming. Just check the vision of one of the largest car manufacturers in the world (VW) and the future is quite clear.
But back to polar utopia and the land of electric vehicles. I was headed to Norway because of the long corona restrictions and not at all to only see the charging top-notch infrastructure there. It was necessary to get out of the daily routine, ventilate the head and enjoy the beauty of nature. What could be a better place for such a project than Norway? You might think that the trolls’ center is also very expensive, and so you could satisfy your desires somewhere warmer and many times cheaper. However, I was surprised: when started to calculate, I realized that we (Estonia) are not so far behind Norway with our prices – a little more time and we are waking at the same price level (it’s just a pity that Estonia can’t reach also the standard of living). So you can freely go to Norway to sort out your inner world and you don’t have to eat just instant noodles.
Rows of stalls and motorsport
Norway has proven to the skeptics that it is possible to do just fine with a BEV in a cold, mountainous, and isolated world. Certainly, the infrastructure of the chargers plays a very important role here. In Norway, there are decent power stations about every 45 km, and in my experience, they are always equipped with 150+ kW DC chargers rather than medium or slow AC chargers. The AC chargers are of course also everywhere. For me, who was traveling long distances and wanted to do it at a fast pace, fast DC charging was an essential normality. Meanwhile, counting the plugs at some random charging station, I ended up with 32. The line of stalls could be seen to extend further than my bespectacled eye could see clearly. Not bad! Can’t understand why are businesses afraid to install more chargers. If you install them, they will come! In other words, give the EV user a chance and they will find the charger and start using it. The trend has definitely already been pushed in that direction that more and more electric cars will be added to our roads.
The next generation of smart electric vehicles
When it comes to electric cars, Norway is still ahead of the pack in one thing, and it’s something that will enrich the scene in question enormously. Namely, all kinds of EVs are sold and used there, including cars of Chinese origin. There are wall-to-wall different models that you see on the road, although one brand is still more prominent than the others, regardless of location. Tesla is a master of the universe in the land of trolls and you can really see them everywhere, at any time, and if I did some calculations in some places, I dare to say that at least half of the electric cars on the market there are produced by Tesla. I also had a little encounter with one Nio, and I must say that it also left a very good impression.
When comparing the Nio ES7 to the Tesla Model Y in the same size and class, I felt like I would go with the Nio. The build quality and the interior were already a class ahead of the product that started on the American continent. Whereas I’m almost completely against squinting eyes myself, I still leaned towards Nio. Nio has also taken on the European market very aggressively, they even have a team in e-formula. The goal is to test and promote. By the way, Nio has also developed a way to charge an EV in a few minutes! This is in response to those who keep telling me how they fill up their cars super fast at gas stations. As laymen, they don’t know that I, for example, almost never go to separately refuel the car – my car charges when I am engaged in some other important activity, for example, when I’m in a horizontal position at home. But the Nio method is changing the battery packs of its cars – you come to a station and instead of charging, the entire battery pack of the car is replaced with a fully charged one and the drive can continue after a few minutes. One could argue that this is an evolution of Tesla’s Superchargers.
Happens to even the best of us
Although it seems that electric driving in Norway is carefree, you still need to plan a little, especially if you drive an older Tesla navigation, which does not allow you to add multiple waypoints. There are fewer chargers in the mountains and that can lead to situations where the charger is out of order or the markings on the charger are incorrect.
Despite the harsh weather, even in the middle of summer, it is worth taking a trip to Norway from time to time, and you can definitely go with an electric car. During my 3,500 km road trip, I completely left the hustle and bustle of the city and allowed myself to be small and insignificant in the midst of nature. I drove with electricity, but I never once felt that I was missing out on something due to the „special“ features of my car. On the contrary – I was able to enjoy the pristine nature even when the car was charging and since I own a slightly older Tesla, the cost of charging my car during the whole trip – believe it or not – was 0 euros.