Going green isn’t always the easiest option. On the other hand, an electric car might be the very thing that makes you enjoy your holiday that much more.
Published 16 March 2017
For people seeking to travel through Norway in an environmentally sustainable fashion, an electric car is something to seriously consider – but what do you do if you don’t own an electric car yourself? And how far will pure electricity really take you when you’re out on those long snaking Norwegian roads?
First things first: Getting a car. Rental car companies like Hertz, Avis and Sixt are amongst the providers now offering electric cars, although chief communicator Petter Haugneland of the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association does feel there is still some way to go.
“They do have electric cars for rent, but not that many”, he says.
“And not everywhere. And, it is more expensive than renting a diesel car.”
He does however point to another option that may be worth checking out.
“There is a car sharing service called Nabobil which has become pretty popular, allowing you to rent privately owned cars.”
Once through the process of acquireing an electric car, the other hurdle – distance – is minor. While the average distance an electric car will cover on a single charge is around 150 kilometres, charging stations are popping up like toadstools along Norwegian roads these days.
“Fast charging stations are being rolled out every fifty kilometres on all main roads”, Haugneland says.
“There are still some gaps here and there, but construction of the network will be completed this year. Also, more and more hotels are offering electric car chargers, allowing you to spend the night and start your day on a full charge.”
There are several ways to locate charging stations, for instance this smartphone friendly map provided by Ladestasjoner.no. To make sure you have access to the charging stations, it is important to register with the major providers in advance – payment is usually done through a specialized charging chip or by text message.
Et innlegg delt av Norsk elbilforening (@elbilforeningen)
Compared to a regular car holiday, there’s no denying the fact that an environmentally sustainable electric car holiday does require some extra effort and planning.
In return, however, it might just make your vacation that much more enjoyable. Haugneland highlights a project in Geiranger and Flåm, where the company eMobility has set up a rental service for the Renault Twizy, a car/scooter hybrid with two seats and open sides.
“This lets you take in the surrounding nature with no motor noise. That makes for a completely different experience than riding a bus or driving a diesel car.”
Back in 2015, Haugneland’s organization invited more than 50 electric cars to form a motorcade on the roads of Geiranger, proving that they’re not just for city use. You can see more of that in this video.
While it can heighten the experience, this type of travel is also a greener alternative to cruise boats and tourist buses, especially in regards to air pollution.
“Emission free driving is a contribution to preserving the local environment”, Haugneland says.
On the subject of Geiranger, he also recommends the electric bike rental service offered by Hotel Aak. The on-board motor will come in handy if you decide to ascend Trollstigen, (The Troll’s Road).
“I tried that myself. Biking up Trollstigen on an electric bike was incredibly fun. You get to experience more of the nature, without exhausting yourself completely on the way up.”
For people aiming for an electric car holiday on Norwegian roads, Haugneland’s general recommendation is to keep in mind that the range of electric cars decreases when driving on highways.
“Coastal routes with lower average speeds may be preferable. You’ll get further, and you’ll get to experience Norway in a completely different way.”
Keep calm and drive on. Driving a car is perhaps one of the best ways to experience Norway at your own pace.
No other country can match Norway’s proportion of all-electric cars, but mostly the e-cars are seen as an urban phenomenon. Luckily, several initiatives are trying to make it easier to travel more eco-friendly in sparsely populated areas as well.
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