This publication tells how Norwegians use electric cars in the north of the country, despite some prejudices: “this is good only for the city”, “in the north in the cold it will be impossible to use it”, “and if there is no outlet – everyone, stood on the road and a full canister is no longer a position to save” …
About four thousand people drive electric cars in Norway, including residents of the Far North.
Electric cars have been adapted to the Arctic climate
Kirkenes Fin Helge Lunde is the first owner of a Tesla electric car in Northern Norway. In 2013, he purchased an environmentally friendly vehicle for 600,000 Norwegian kroons (about 3.6 million roubles) and became almost a national hero.
The public follows the fate of the pioneer on the northern roads of the kingdom. A year after the purchase of many wondered: how was the winter season?
This is the most popular question I am asked. “Fin, how did you survive the winter? The car didn’t fail? – No, there were no problems,” I answer, and without waiting for the second logical question, I explain the key to success. The fact is that there are few mechanisms in this car that respond to the cold.
Even parking in the garage is not required. The only thing is that at temperatures below -35 the battery life is reduced by 15%. At home I charge the car from a regular 220V socket. It takes 11 hours. If I had been charged with a special power supply for electric cars (380V), I would have spent ten times less time.
Without refueling, I can drive about 450 kilometers. I’ve already measured that electricity consumption is ¼ less than fuel consumption.
In the spring, Fin and his family took an electric car on a vacation to Italy and traveled about eight thousand kilometers.
I only thought about “charging” on the Kirkenes-Tromsø route. So far, we don’t have special stations for electric cars on the northernmost highway in Norway, but there are campsites with 220V sockets and people who care about them. And the closer we were to the south, the freer we felt. In addition to “recharging”, we had the opportunity to just buy a full battery.
The electric car is serviced online. If there are problems in its computer system, first of all it is learned in the service company. Many issues are solved remotely.
If necessary, a master will come to me,” Finn says. – If, say, I need to change a part or hand in a used battery. The car requires a minimum of maintenance.
In fact, there is no oil or filters. Brake pads, discs wear out slowly due to the recovery mode. My electric machine has several times less moving parts and systems than, for example, my wife’s modern petrol car. Every four years or so, I will need to change the battery coolant.
Externally, the machine seems to be a very modern invention. In addition to the dashboard, the interior of the car is located “touchscreen”, almost the same as the iPad.
With its help, the driver controls all navigation and entertainment functions. You can use Google Maps, with support for search and traffic in real time, web browser, Internet radio, control all settings of the car, climate control.
There are only two separate buttons on the panel – the “glove box” and “emergency”. The system is constantly connected to the Internet via SIM-card or Wi-Fi. Navigation in the limited mode works without access to the network.
The most important thing in the system is the updates, new versions of the software, which come regularly. From the phone Finn controls the process of charging, includes climate control, blinks headlights.
The network of electric refueling stations will cover the countries of Europe and Russia
In the United States, the main transport corridors are already equipped with “filling stations” with sockets. Owners of electric cars have the opportunity to move from one coast to another.
At the same time, the power supply at Tesla fast charging stations is free of charge. Now the network of “supercharges” is actively developing in Europe and Asia. And by the end of 2015, it is expected that the main roads of Western Europe and Japan, as well as the eastern coast of China and Australia will be equipped on a large scale.
In Russia, the installation of electric fuel stations is planned for 2016 (in Moscow and St. Petersburg). Although one, almost the first 380V socket, has already been installed! In Murmansk.
About a year ago, after the official presentation of the first electric car in the Kola Peninsula, a cable was laid at the Park Inn hotel and a “filling station” for electric cars was installed.
Our hotel is in step with the times and introduces modern energy-saving technologies.
We want the owners of electric cars living in Murmansk, as well as the guests of the capital of the Arctic, to have an opportunity to recharge their environmentally friendly vehicles, – commented Deputy General Director of the Park Inn by Radisson Polar Zori Andrei Milokhin.
Murmansk may become one of the first cities in Russia to receive a large number of guests on electric cars. First of all, it is connected with the proximity of Scandinavian countries and Finland. Travellers cross the border by car and, as a rule, go to the capital of the region.
Electric car owners have been granted privileges
Frederick Hauge is the leader of the international environmental association Bellona and the first owner of an electric car in Norway. He bought an electric car back in the last century, and in 1989 brought an electric car to the Soviet Murmansk.
So far, it has been the only electric car to have been to a Russian port. The old car consumed more and drove less. Now it is possible to drive up to 500 km on one battery.
The cost of our trip – what we paid for electricity – was 20 Norwegian kroons (about 120 rubles) – that’s the price of oil in 20 years,” said Hauge.
The President of Bellona is sure that electric cars will have a future, which will severely affect countries as dependent on oil and gas as Norway and Russia.
Bellona employees have made every effort and achieved benefits for electric car owners in Norway.
Today, they can go to big cities like Oslo without paying for entry – electric cars are not taxed, they can use the lane on the road, designed only for buses, which allows you not to stand in traffic jams.
Parking of electric cars in Norway is also free,” said Frederick Hauge.
In addition to the American company Tesla, electric cars are also supplied to the market by other car manufacturers. Almost all of them have awards for environmental design. After all, the owners of such vehicles do not depend on ever-increasing fuel prices, and the anthropogenic load on the atmosphere is reduced.
Nissan Group and Europcar rental service in London and Paris rent an electric car Nissan Leaf for daily rent and charge cars for free.
The Mitsubishi plant has assembled 10 Mitsubishi i-MIEV cars for the Moscow Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. The cost of each copy is almost two million rubles. They were purchased at the expense of the budget of the ecotransport development program.
Private individuals do not actively buy such a luxury foreign car yet, first of all because of the lack of gas stations. But experiments in the capital of Russia continue. Pilot operation of low-tonnage trucks and two buses started in the city.
According to the results of the experiment of environmentally friendly transport, officials should develop a project on the use of electric vehicles to provide intra-city freight and passenger transportation.
The invention of the 19th century has become a modern trend
The electric car appeared before the gasoline one, in 1841. It was an electric trolley with an electric motor. In 1899, Russian engineer and inventor Ippolit Romanov created an omnibus for 17 passengers.
He developed a scheme of city routes for the ancestors of modern trolleybuses and received a work permit, but did not find investment. Interest in electric cars returned only after 100 years, when environmental problems began and the price of fuel and lubricants rose sharply.
But the changes in the oil market again distracted consumers, and by the beginning of the 90s electric cars were represented by isolated experimental models. By this time, for example, the state of California was considered one of the most polluted regions of the USA.
The authorities decided that in 1998, 2% of the sales should not produce emissions, and by 2003, 10%. General Motors was one of the first companies to react, and in 1996 it began serial production of the EV1 model with electric drive. The launch of industrial production of electric vehicles was noted in 2007.
Murmansk ecologists doubt the unconditional benefit of electric cars
The positive effect of using electric cars is noted by most environmentalists. But there is a question of recycling batteries that contain nickel and other chemical elements. This issue was studied by Bellona members when preparing a report on the state of the environment in Murmansk.
I’m sure electric cars are a great development, but I doubt we’ll know what to do with them in Russia. We have a huge problem – the disposal of conventional cars and conventional batteries.
And for the safe and competent recycling of such high-capacity automotive batteries, and even in case of mass use, we will need new landfills and capacities, – said the representative of indigenous peoples in the working group on environmental protection of the Barents Euro-Arctic region Council Anna Prakhova.
In Norway, the authorities are engaged in the removal of batteries. For example, the battery will be taken from Finn directly from his home when it is no longer in use. But the consumer does not know where it will be taken and how it will be destroyed.
The Model S battery takes up almost all the space under the floor of a car. It consists of more than 7,000 cells, similar to those used for batteries in low-cost laptops. Nickel-cadmium batteries (NCAs) pose a threat to the environment and human health, as they contain dangerous and poisonous cells. They are classified as “hazardous waste”.