Norway to potentially ban gasoline and diesel cars

June 17, 2016 | 00:00
Norway to potentially ban gasoline and diesel cars
Norway to potentially ban gasoline and diesel cars
Perhaps gasoline and diesel cars will be banned in Norway from 2025. Or, at least, the sale of these. There is currently considerable political support for this idea. Although Norway is one of the largest oil-exporters in the world, its national energy demand is met by energy that is for more than 50% generated by renewable sources.

Norway has a history full of enthusiasm for electric cars. It was, in 2013, the first European country to install charging stations for the cars manufactured by Tesla. And because of attractive tax deductions for electric cars, there are now already more than 50,000 on the road, a target that was originally planned for 2017. With a population of 5.14 million people, this means that about one person per hundred owns an electric car. At an average of 2.1 persons per household, there is therefore an electric car for 1 of every 50 families. This is quite a lot! A little bit ironic is that a large part of these 'riches' are the proceeds from the exportation of oil.

As an electronics engineer you immediately consider a practical fact: batteries and cold are generally not very compatible. And Norway does not have a particularly warm climate. In addition, you are likely to expect a pleasant temperature inside the car. This requires more than a little energy. Now you could, of course, compare that with using the air conditioner in warmer climates, but the fact that the lights have to be on more frequently in a country at a higher latitude will definitely have consequences for the operating range.

Don't get me wrong: I would find it fantastic if we could all change to electric cars at the same time. Much lower exhaust gases, much less noise and so on. But the 'filling up' is not very practical yet. When it comes to the daily commute, the current state of technology is probably satisfactory, but for other excursions and longer trips you would still need a second car that runs on fuel. Not ideal. An electric car, to me, feels a bit like a loss of freedom. Fortunately progress is rapid and I expect that it will not be too long before there is a solution to this. But just to be safe, perhaps better not wait too long before taking that vacation to Norway, in case you're not allowed in any more...
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