EV-Boom In Norway

On Norwegian roads, every fifth car drives with an electric drive, and the market share for new registrations in 2022 was 79.3 percent. The trend towards electric cars is not limited to metropolitan areas but has spread across the whole country. This is made possible by the constant expansion of the charging infrastructure with fast charging stations. There is a need to catch up when it comes to the user-friendliness of the charging points and in the area of ​​long-distance transport and logistics.

Norway is considered the class leader in the field of electromobility. Nowhere else in Europe are there more electric cars per capita. As the Central Statistical Bureau ( SSB ) in Norway published at the end of March, 599,169 electric cars were registered by the end of 2022. With a total of almost 2.9 million registered passenger cars, 21 percent are fully electric. This is an increase of 30 percent compared to 2021, and according to the Norwegian electric vehicle association Norsk elbilforening a market share of 79.3 percent of new registrations. Norway does not have as many electric cars on the roads as Germany, because the number of electric cars there has exceeded the 600,000 mark. But in proportion, only 1.3 percent drove in 2022 of cars on German roads with electric drives.

The Norwegian government targets the development of vehicle stock so that new passenger cars are emission-free from 2025. “If Norway achieves these goals, 1.7 million e-cars, i.e. more than 58 percent, will be on Norwegian roads by 2030. These will be spread across the whole country,” says Michael Kern, Managing Director of AHK Norway.

Electric cars across Norway

While in EU most electric cars are on the road in the cities of the major manufacturers, in Norway in 2022 only 34 percent of all newly registered electric cars were in the big cities of Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger. The larger share of electric cars is sold outside of the largest cities.

How is that possible in a country with 14 people per square kilometer? How did Norway manage to set up an infrastructure that makes it possible to drive an electric car outside of the metropolitan areas?

Such growth requires charging infrastructure to keep up with EV sales – and not become a barrier to EV adoption.

Focus on a fast charger

As of today, there are 24,614 public charging points across Norway, including 3,601 in densely populated Oslo and 547 in the northernmost province of Troms og Finnmark, which is the most sparsely populated at 3.2 people per square kilometer. Much more relevant, however, are quick chargers that enable effective, time-saving charging on the go. As of today, there are around 4,000 of them in Norway. As early as 2015 and 2016, the state-owned Enova implemented its first funding programs for the charging infrastructure, which led to 131 fast-charging stations along the main highways in Norway. In 2022, Enova provided support for an additional 58 fast charging stations at a minimum distance of 25 km from others, 11 normal charging stations in areas without a fixed road connection and one normal charging station on a mountain pass.

Source: SSB

Thus, fast charging stations are accessible throughout the country, even in areas with low population density and little traffic. According to an analysis by the Norwegian Roads Administration and the Environment Agency, the need will increase to another 9,000 by 2025 and 10-14,000 by 2030. The expansion must therefore be pushed further.

Charging point operators(CPOs)

There is a need to catch up when it comes to the user-friendliness of the charging points. According to the Institute of Transport Economics, e-vehicle users today have to deal with up to 20 different operators, 20-30 apps, and 13 payment systems to gain access to the entire charging infrastructure in Norway.
In December 2022, the Norwegian government published a national charging strategy in order to sustainably promote the development of electromobility and to improve the framework. Among other things, it should help to further develop the commercial development of charging services for cars and vans as well as network capacities and make the charging infrastructure more user-friendly. This includes among other things, proposals for the obligation to provide uniform price information for charging, the development of a user-friendly app, and the creation of a Norwegian standard for the universal design of charging infrastructure.

The Future: Public Transport And Logistics

While the expansion of electromobility and charging infrastructure for cars is progressing, both for local and long-distance public transport and for logistics are still relatively early in development. But Norway would also like to play a pioneering role here: For example, the German commercial vehicle manufacturer MAN Truck & Bus will deliver 76 fully electric Lion’s City E buses by the end of 2023, which are to be used for local public transport in Oslo. In January, it was announced that the city would provide grants for 28 public charging points for heavy electric trucks and vans. This means a huge expansion of charging options: Currently there is only one publicly accessible charging station for heavy vehicles in all of Norway – at Filipstadkaia in Oslo.

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