Friday, March 31, 2023

The Nation / Norway is the undisputed champion of electric vehicles

The term “rekkevidangst”, translated as “range concern”, for electric car has become a common term in Norway. Tesla owner Philip Benassi experienced this on cold winter days, but like other drivers, he learned to adapt.

With temperatures that often drop below freezing, rugged terrain and long remote roads, it seems Norway is not an ideal place to drive an electric vehicle that loses range in cold weather . However, Norway is the undisputed champion of electric vehicles.

By 2022, four out of five new cars sold in Norway will be electric models, a milestone in the country that is a major oil producer. Norway aims to end the sale of new cars powered by fossil fuels by 2025, a decade ahead of the target set by the European Union.

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Philippe Benassi bought his first electric car in 2018. The 38-year-old Benassi, a salesman for a cosmetics company, travels 20,000 to 25,000 kilometers a year behind the wheel of his shiny white Tesla S. Like most electric car owners, he’s had moments of panic when the battery gauge plummets and he has to face the fear of running out of power on one of the country’s deserted rural roads.

“At first I didn’t know the car very well. But after all these years, I have a pretty good idea of ​​how many kilowatts it consumes and it varies if the car is out at night or in the parking lot.” spends,” he told AFP.

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“The battery capacity is lower in winter. If the car is parked outside in a climate between -10ºC or -15ºC, the battery consumes a lot and it takes a while to return to normal consumption”, he explained . In the winter season, the loss of autonomy depends on the model and the intensity of the cold wave.

“But the general rule is that a frost of around -10ºC will reduce the operating range by a third compared to warm weather, and a severe one of (-20ºC or more) will cut it in half,” Finnish expert Vesa Said Linja-aho. “By keeping the car in a heated parking lot, this phenomenon can be compensated for,” he says.

When do you have to charge the battery? Where? How much? These are questions that new users ask themselves. Ultimately, it depends on the routine and planning prior to the long journey. Apps from different manufacturers and Norway’s extensive network of over 5,600 fast and super-fast chargers make the process effortless.

Electric cars accounted for 54% of all new cars registered last year in Finnmark, the northernmost Norwegian region in the Arctic, where the mercury sometimes drops to minus 51C, signaling that climate cold is not an insurmountable problem. Other Nordic countries that regularly record polar temperatures, such as Iceland and Sweden, also top the list of markets with the most electric vehicles.

“Now more and more electric cars have systems to preheat the battery, which is very smart because you get longer range and the car charges faster,” explained Kristina Bu, director of the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association.

“The truth is, if it’s very, very cold – sub-zero temperatures – sometimes cars with diesel engines can’t start and an electric car can go on,” he said. Norwegians seem convinced: more than 20% of Norway’s car fleet is electric and green, as electricity is generated almost exclusively by hydroelectricity. The country looks to be well on its way to reaching its ambitious target of selling only new zero-emissions cars by 2025.

Norway’s policy of tax cuts for electric cars has eased the transition, although the government has already begun removing some incentives to offset a shortfall of about 40 billion kroner ($4 billion) last year.

“The recipe for success in Norway is green taxation,” explained Kristina Boo. “We tax what we don’t want, for example, fossil fuel-powered cars, and promote what we do want, which is electric cars. It’s that simple,” he said. “If Norway can do it, everyone can do it,” he said.

Fuente: AFP.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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