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Norway plans electrifying future in EV innovation

Norway’s role as Electric Vehicle takeup capital of the world will be boosted by a new development – it plans to start manufacturing its own EVs.

Startup Fresco Motors has announced plans for its first electric car, a high-performance, premium sedan capable of accelerating from 0-100 km/h in just two seconds, and boasting a top speed of 300 km/h.

Norway has been adopting electric cars at a staggering rate – nearly 60 per cent of all cars sold there in March were battery-powered. The successful EV takeup has been attributed to a number of factors, from sales tax breaks, free parking and bus lane access, to the fact that almost all the country’s power comes from hydro-electric plants, further boosting the clean ethos.

Norway is aiming for full electrification in sales by 2025, and at this year’s edition of the Nordic EV Summit in Oslo, delegates debated whether Norwegian EV policies could be the model to roll out around the world. The International Energy Agency predicts the number of electric cars in the world could be as high as 220 million units by 2030.

Norway is also pushing the electric transition beyond cars, with Avinor, the state-owned operator of the majority of the country’s airports, announcing its desire to use electric-powered aircraft on short-haul flights by 2030. Meanwhile, Scandinavian Airlines have teamed up with Airbus on hybrid research.

Norway also leads the world in the transition to battery technology for shipping. An all-electric passenger vessel already operates on the Nærøyfjord, ahead of the fjords becoming zero-emission zones by 2026.

At the opening ceremony of Siemens’ new battery factory in Trondheim earlier this year, Prime Minister Erna Solberg spoke on the importance of electrification and energy storage, pointing our Norway’s advantages: “For most countries, the first phase of the green shift is the transition from coal to renewables. Thanks to our waterfalls, Norway has already entered the next phase: How can we use our clean energy to electrify other sectors? We need to replace the fossil fuels used in other sectors with clean electricity to mitigate global warming. We need better batteries for ships and trucks so they can travel longer distances.”

As for Fresco, it plans to build modular battery packs, for easy slide-in, slide-out replacements of faulty cell modules and the potential capability to allow drivers to physically exchange spent cells for charged ones in an emergency. It is also promising quick charging, and the capability to charge wirelessly.

There are no specifics yet on whether Fresco will release a prototype of its vehicle, though it aims to start delivering cars by 2021. The company’s CEO told Inside EVs that it has already taken at least 70 reservations from Norwegians looking to buy local. 

 

(via Forbes, Fresco Motors via Inside EVs, NewAtlas)