Electric cars take off in Norway

2011-05-10 17:42
Oslo - They speed past gas-guzzlers in traffic, ignore congestion charges and get city centre parking for free. In a country whose wealth is fuelled by oil, Oslo has become the world capital of the electric car.

"There are more electric cars per capita here than in any other capital of the world," said Rune Haaland, the head of the electric car users association Norstart, standing in a city centre car park forbidden to other car users.

Almost 4 000 of the small, clean and silent vehicles are on the roads of Norway, although they are found mainly in the cities, and the number is climbing as new models come onto the market.

From the tiny, locally-made Buddy, to the sporty Tesla, which can accelerate from zero to 100km/h in less than four seconds, all sorts of electric cars have taken to the roads of the Norwegian capital.

Norway may be one of the world's top fossil fuel exporters, but it has set ambitious climate policy objectives, aiming to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 30% by 2020.

Incentives


"The electric car is a very important tool for that, knowing that 40% of our emissions come from the transport sector and 60% of those come from road transport," said Transport Minister Magnhild Meltveit Kleppa.

According to some estimates, the country's 3 891 electric cars allow it to save over 6 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. To persuade drivers to switch to electric cars, Norway has introduced a string of incentive measures.

Electric cars can use bus lanes and thus bypass traffic jams, they don't have to shell out congestion charges and can park for free on municipal car parks.

New father Christian Blakseth traded his bicycle for an electric car.

"It's very advantageous to be able to park for free downtown and to escape traffic jams," the young train conductor said.

"And you don't get drowned in day-to-day spending: It's a car that is expensive to buy but cheap to use," he said.

Charging an electric car's batteries at home costs about €2 ($2.90). Norwegian petrol prices are among the highest in Europe. With growing demand, carmakers are rushing to put out new models.

Obstacle

And consumers are responding with just as much enthusiasm: In the first quarter this year, an electric car, Mitsubishi's i-MiEV, topped small model car sales in Norway, ahead of all time favourites.

"We were planning to sell 400 units [cars] in Norway this year, and we are already at 700. We think we will ultimately reach 1 000," the head of Mitsubishi Norway Bernt Jessen said.

Despite technological advances, distance remains a problem for electric vehicles, however, with cars only able to go for around 150km before needing to be recharged.

And with Norway's cold winters slashing battery efficiency, optimal performance is hard to achieve.

To get around this obstacle, Norway has decided to put in place a national network of charging stands across the country allowing drivers to "fill up" their cars in about 20 minutes, just long enough to enjoy a roadside cup of coffee, compared to the seven or eight hours normally needed.

The mountain cottage, sacrosanct for Norwegians, could soon be only a few kilowatts away.
Read more on:    norway  |  technology
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Engineering Manager

Western Cape
Pro-Tech Recruitment
R850 000 - R1 100 000 Per Year

Mobile Marketing Manager

Western Cape
Recruit Digital
R15 000 - R22 000 Per Month

Analyst Developer

Western Cape
Progressive IT Resourcing (Pty) Ltd

Property [change area]

HOUSES FOR SALE IN Paarl

Houses R 2 690 000

HOUSES FOR SALE IN Hermanus

Houses R 2 680 000

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The energy today is serious, materialistic and hardworking. You may find you get a new outlook on things and you may want to spend...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.