On the streets of Oslo there are cars driving around - only quietly. That’s because they’re electric. You can tell them by their plates, which start with EV or EK, and which represent more than half of new registrations in the country at the start of 2019. That’s a record made possible by proactive public policies - purchase subsidies, selected free parking, tolls and recharging, access allowed to bus lanes etc. When it comes to electricity, the Scandinavians know their business. Everything has been done to encourage Norwegians to take the big step, and these measures inevitably make a big difference when choosing a vehicle. The gamble has paid off. More than 46,000 electric cars in a population of 5.3 million makes the Kingdom of Norway the country with the highest concentration of electric cars. And they’re not going to stop there. The next step, from 2025, is no new CO2-emitting cars in Oslo.
The Dutch are known for being big cycling fans. Even so, air pollution spikes in the Netherlands regularly exceed the levels permitted by European regulations. The problem is heavy traffic in the big cities. To deal with this, Amsterdam’s council has made a bold move: from 2030, petrol and diesel vehicles will be banned from the capital. The same goes for the boats plying the many canals in the city. As for Rotterdam, the city has 1,000 terminals and will get another 1,800 charging points by 2020. These solutions will be implemented by ENGIE and EV-Box, specialists in electric vehicle infrastructure. Not far away, the eco-zone of Lombok, in Utrecht , is also showing the way. Its car-sharing service We Drive Solar, run by the startup LomboXnet, provides residents with a fleet of 150 self-service ZOEs.
Porto Santo is not the only island to have made the leap to electrification. There’s a little island, in Morbihan in southern Brittany, which is also committed: Belle-Île-en-Mer. It’s linked to the national grid via an underwater electric cable. And the installation isn’t cheap. So the long-term objective is to develop solar and wind power to give the island complete energy independence. This approach was initiated by the Flexmob’île project, part of the Smart Fossil Free Island programme. It includes Les Cars Bleus, Morbihan Énergies, Enédis and Renault Véhicule Électrique. The idea is to make electric vehicles available to the residents by car-sharing, self-service or hire on-demand. They will be supplied by a network of terminals installed at strategic points around the island. The result is an island that has been transformed into a true smart grid.
Imagine a road specially designed for recharging electric vehicles. Well it exists. Sweden even opened one in 2018, in a whole new form. The trick is an electrified rail sunk into the asphalt, which can power vehicles by simple contact. This 2-kilometre stretch of road, called eRoadArlanda, can also recharge PostNord trucks via mobile pads that make contact with this amazing rail, just like trams do. In 2020, this process will be tested at Lund, to supply power to electric vehicles without them having to stop. By 2030, no car engine in the country will run on fossil fuels. So they’re looking at the electrification of their roads. It’s a solution that says a lot about Sweden’s commitment, and which should reassure motorists suffering from range anxiety.