At Oslo, Hilde Charlotte Blomberg reached to the University, last Friday, she would send email to the Department of Informatics:
“I went to work now, but all the spaces for electric cars have been taken. If you think your car is charged, I would appreciate if you could park elsewhere. I won’t get home if I can’t charge my car. I am standing downstairs and waiting and hoping that someone will come.”
Blomberg drives a Citroen C-Zero. Making it one of the 15,000 cars in Norway, that are electronic. This is obviously a huge rise because there were only 6,000 by 2011. Despite the things that made it so attractive to buy an electric car are right now under pressure. Two points in common have become victims of their own success.
1. Ability to drive in bus lanes.
2. Free public charging spots.
More cars than buses
According to Budstikka (link in Norwegian), a newspaper for the rich suburbs outside Oslo where most of the electric cars are sold out, electric vehicles now crucial, and dominating the bus lanes into Oslo. During rush hour on Dec. 3, they made up 75% of the 829 vehicles that drove on the bus lane. After accounting for taxis, two-wheelers and mini-buses, all of which have the right to use the lane, buses made up only 7.5% of the traffic in the lane. As per the report, bus lanes can handle just 1,000 vehicles every hour because of the many entries, exits and bus stops.
Charging facilities are also over-used. The total number of public charging facilities in Norway are only 5,000. Oslo, the capital, having 500, said Bjørn Gjestvang, who is an automotive industry expert at KPMG Norway. Although private businesses have their own facilities, but they are too filling up quickly. Blomberg’s department, has six charging spots, 5 of them are occupied on a normal day.
The (gridlocked) road ahead
Seems like things are only going to get worse. Car manufacturers have cottoned on to the prevalence of electric cars in Norway and they’re piling in. Tesla has also joined the market this year and gained notable success. Volkswagen’s e-Up that went up for sale in November, is also going to come out with electric version of the perennially popular Golf. BMW’s i3 will reach to the roads next year.
Norway is due to review its incentive structure for these electric cars in 2017. No response from the ministry of the environment nor the ministry of transport and communications regarding such issues, but viewers of electric-car trends in Norway adds that this growing number of electric cars can be difficult for rest of the situations. “I think that under a year this problem will really huge, and government will be forced to change the rules,” said Bjart Holtsmark of Statistics Norway.