A recent survey shows that there are three obstacles in particular that stand out before Norwegians buy electric cars.
Electric cars have become increasingly common among Norwegian car buyers in recent years, and even though they have received one solid footing in the new car market, still choose far more Norwegians to buy a diesel car rather than electric car.
In a market survey conducted by Ipsos on behalf of the charging company EVBox, 3,600 Europeans – including Norwegians – are asked about their relationship with electric cars. The results show several examples of why not more Norwegians drive cars with electricity as fuel.
Of the Norwegians surveyed in the Ipsos survey who are considering buying an electric car, 45 per cent answer that they think so uncertainty related to available charger is an obstacle.
30 percent also answer that they think charging an electric car takes too long.
26 percent fear that the maintenance costs of electric cars will be high.
Charging queue along Norwegian roads
Today, there are around 300,000 electric car drivers in Norway and around 129,000 owners of rechargeable hybrids.
Director Geir Bjørnstad of the charging company EVBox believes it is understandable that Norwegians can be worried about the lack of charging options after a summer where many went on a car holiday with the electric car in Norway.
– One thing is to stop to charge for 20 minutes, but another thing is to stand in line to charge. Ladekø is a brake for many new electric car owners, who experience this as a downturn, says Bjørnstad.
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Secretary General of the Norwegian Electric Car Association Christina Bu believes that the figures show that consumers who are unsure whether they can charge their car either at home or on the go, opt out of electric cars.
– Politicians should take note. For two years, the government has postponed a support scheme to put charging in place in housing associations and co-owners. Now is the time for them to deliver so that everyone has the opportunity to choose an electric car, regardless of whether they live in an apartment or a detached house, says Bu.
And even though most people charge at home when the car is parked, a lot happens among the fast charging operators and car manufacturers, according to both Bu and Bjørnstad.
– We see that the charging time is shortened for just about every new model that comes, and soon you can charge up to 80 percent in 10 to 12 minutes. Then you approach the filling time for petrol and diesel, says Bjørnstad.
Stumps over maintenance concerns
That more than one in four Norwegians who do not own an electric car is worried about high maintenance costs compared to a petrol car, surprises EVBox director Bjørnstad.
– After 20 years in the industry, I am not surprised much longer, he says.
The electric car veteran thinks it’s about ignorance.
– I think it is very strange when someone says that they fear large annual service expenses if they are going to buy an electric car. The annual service fee is on average a fraction of a conventional car. When I last bought an electric car, I also received free service for the first four years. Electric cars have almost no wearing parts, and are far cheaper to operate than diesel and petrol cars.
Secretary General Bu of the Norwegian Electric Car Association reminds, however, that it can quickly become expensive once something is destroyed:
– There are generally fewer parts to maintain in an electric car engine, so in practice there are fewer that can break. But some parts are expensive once they are destroyed. We expect that the costs of producing parts will go down now that more and more electric cars are being produced globally, and that economies of scale will also benefit parts for the electric car engine, says Bu.
Green political wave affects potential buyers
The Storting and the government aim for all new cars to be electric cars or hydrogen cars from 2025. At the same time, the EU has set very ambitious goals to reduce emissions in Europe through the European Green Deal, which among other things involves massive development of infrastructure for electric cars.
Both the Europeans (70 per cent) and Norwegians (52 per cent) who did not own an electric car thought that the political direction in Europe made it more attractive for them to buy an electric car.
– International reports from the electric car market show that it is expected that there will be government incentives and laws that will drive the development of the electric car market until 2025, but that from 2025 the car industry itself will drive the development, says Bjørnstad.
The EVBox boss predicts that the batteries will only get cheaper, and that in five years it will be more profitable for manufacturers to produce an electric car compared to a petrol or diesel car.
– When I bought a Nissan Leaf in 2010, it had a battery cost of 22,000 dollars, an output of 22 KWt and a range of 138 kilometers. The models sold today will have a battery cost of 8,600 dollars, 60 KWt and a range of 370 kilometers. That says a bit about the development we are in the middle of now, says Bjørnstad.