Arctic cold ‘doesn’t sweat’ for electric cars in Norway

Tesla owner Philip Benassi once panicked when his battery meter dropped on deserted country roads

Tesla owner Philip Benassi once panicked when his battery meter dropped on deserted country roads.

Norwegian electric car owners have a word for how they feel when nervously looking at battery stats while driving in cold weather: “rekkevideangst” or “range anxiety”.

Tesla boss Philip Benassi has experienced it on cold winter days, but like other Norwegians, he has learned to deal with it.

With temperatures often falling below zero degrees, rough terrain and long, remote roads, Norway doesn’t seem like the best place to drive an electric car, as the battery will drain faster in cold weather.

However, this country is the undisputed world champion when it comes to zero-emission vehicles.

A record four out of five new cars sold in Norway last year were electric, in a major oil-producing country that aims to end the sale of new fossil fuel-powered cars by 2025—a decades before the European Union’s planned ban.

Benassi took the plunge in 2018.

In his sparkly white Tesla S, the 38-year-old salesman for a cosmetics company runs about 20,000 to 25,000 kilometers (12,400 and 15,500 miles) a year.

Like most electric vehicle newbies, he initially had moments of panic when he saw the battery meter drop rapidly, with the possibility of it dropping to zero on a deserted country road. .

“I don’t know the car very well. But after all these years, I know quite well how many kilowatts it needs, and I know that it varies a lot depending on whether the car is left to spend the night outdoors or indoors. car,” he told AFP.

Benassi says the car uses more battery when parked outdoors in temperatures that can reach minus 15 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit).

“It takes a while for it to return to normal consumption,” he added.

How much is it in the cold season? Electric Car loss depends on the model and how low the temperature is.

“But the following rules of thumb apply: frost around minus 10 degrees Celsius will reduce the operating range by about a third compared to summer weather and extreme weather (minus 20 degrees Celsius or more) up to half,” says Finnish consultant Vesa Linja. – ahh.

He added: “By keeping the car in a warm garage, this phenomenon can be mitigated somewhat.

A record four out of five new cars sold in Norway last year were electric

A record four out of five new cars sold in Norway last year were electric.

charging station

Drivers must plan their routes in advance of long journeys, but car apps and Norway’s vast network of more than 5,600 super and fast charging stations make the process easier.

Electric cars accounted for 54 per cent of new car registrations last year in Finnmark, Norway’s northernmost part of the Arctic, where temperatures can drop to minus 51 degrees Celsius at times—a sign of a cold problem. not irreparable.

Other Nordic countries that regularly experience cold weather, such as Iceland and Sweden, also topped the world rankings for tram.

“More and more new electric cars have a battery preheat system, which is smart because you get more mileage and because if your car is preheated before charging, it will also charge quickly. more,” said Christina Bu, head of this department. Norwegian Tramway Association.

Electric vehicle owners aren’t the only ones who have to worry about the cold.

“Actually, if it’s very, very cold—freezing temperatures—sometimes diesel cars won’t start and electric cars won’t start,” she says.

‘Everyone can do it’

The Norwegians have clearly been sold: more than 20 percent of the cars on Norway’s roads are now electric—and green, with their electricity generated almost exclusively by hydroelectricity.

Norway’s longstanding tax relief on electric cars has facilitated the transition, although the government has begun to withdraw some incentives to compensate for the loss. budget deficit estimated at nearly 40 billion kroner ($4 billion) last year.

“There is a simple answer to why we have achieved this success in Norway and that is green tax,” Bu said.

“We tax what we don’t want, namely fossil fuel-powered cars, and we promote what we want, electric cars. It’s as simple as that,” she said.

“If Norway can do this, other countries can too.”

© 2023 AFP

quote: Arctic cold ‘no sweat’ for electric cars in Norway (2023, 1 February) retrieved 1 February 2023 from -arctic-cold-electric-cars-norway.html

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