Norway has established itself as the leader of the European electric vehicle market, with the highest number of electric vehicles per person and percentage of car sales that are electric. It is a wealthy country compared to others and has generous tax incentives for EVs, but there is still plenty we can learn from the charging of electric vehicles in Norway while other regions’ EV offerings develop.
So why is Norway so successful at EV uptake? 82% of EV users in Norway charge their vehicle at home, with off-street charging available. This means using an EV is convenient.
Norway also has a high average consumption of electricity, with the average consumption per household around 23,000 kilowatt hours compared to the UK’s 3-4,000 kilowatt hours. Used to consuming electricity, it is second nature to plug a vehicle into a wall box or charging station.
Fredrik Lima, Vice President of Zaptec, explains the development of charging stations is an important contributing factor.
He says, “there’s been a lot of development since we came to the market. The biggest development in charging stations is the connection to the fuse cabinet. In Norway we have smart meters in all households, and with our newest charging stations and systems, we’re able to connect to the fuse cabinet and to the smart meter and do load balancing based on the information we get from this.”
It’s not just home charging where Norway is successful. While only 18% of EV users charge in public compared to an average of 22% across Europe, with long distances between dense towns, having fast enough charging along motorways is essential.
Outside of home charging, there are still challenges facing EV users. Fredrik shares, “for fast charging there’s been a few major issues: one is the payment and the ability to use the same RFID tag or charge tag wherever you go. We’ve seen different chargepoint operators having their own masses of users and they’re not allowing roaming in between.
“That’s been a hassle for mass adoption. I would also say there’s been some technical difficulties on fast charging stations. That’s been one of the major complaints from EV drivers.”
To find out more about how EV charging is developing in Norway and the lessons we can learn from its progress so far, listen to our recent Talking New Energy podcast episode, Insights from EV Charging in Norway.