Norway is the world’s electricity laboratory . Automakers around the world ship their new electric cars to Norway first because the electric car market here is the most mature with the most eager EV buyers.
In 2017, 20% of all new cars were EVs, and the Norwegian ambition is that only electric cars will be sold from the year 2025. The newly appointed climate minister Ola Elvestuen fully supports this goal: “The favorable conditions for electric cars in Norway continue until the target is reached,” he said at the conference.
A survey reveals that almost half of Norwegians expect to buy an electric car next time they need a new car. Norway is actually ditching fossil fuel transportation right now. But is the electric grid ready for this? Sonja Monica Berlijn from the Norwegian energy operation company Statnett states:
“The power grid will probably cope, because even though the number of electric cars increase, electricity consumption is increasing at a slower rate. Even when all cars run on electricity, it will only increase electricity consumption in Norway by about 6%, and if charging is done intelligently, the load at peak will only rise a few percent. It’s actually worst on Thursdays, so please don’t charge your EVs on Thursday nights.”
At the conference, several analysts suggested that the rest of the world will follow a similar pattern as Norway. The many exhibitors at the conference underlined this with their presentations of electric cars and charging infrastructure.
Last year I wrote a piece on our sister site EVObsession.com about the challenges the Norwegian electric grid faces coping with the rising number of EVs and I am convinced the updated infrastructure needed to convert any country’s transportation sector from fossil fuel to electric is of a scale that is absolutely doable.
Rumor has it that it takes up to 6 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity to refine 1 gallon of petrol. 1 gallon of petrol contains about 40 kWh of chemically bound energy, and when you burn it in an engine about 75% is lost as heat, leaving you with 10 kWh for actual propulsion. So there you go. Why not put that electricity directly in the cars, and shut down the refineries? Apply intelligent distributed charging and the grid will certainly cope, even on Thursdays.