Norway’s Effective Winter EV Charging Strategy: Lessons for the U.S.. Why Norway Doesn’t Face Winter EV Charging Issues
Norway, holding the world’s highest rate of electric vehicle (EV) adoption, offers valuable lessons. The recent cold wave in Chicago and other U.S. regions saw long queues of EVs at DC fast chargers, widely reported in news and social media, including TV segments that highlighted numerous Teslas struggling to charge. Despite some sensationalism, the challenges faced by EV owners in cold weather, such as difficulty in charging, were real.
The root causes are multifaceted, including inadequate EV education and subpar charging infrastructure. Unlike traditional vehicles, EVs often require battery preconditioning for efficient fast charging in extreme cold.
However, this phenomenon isn’t universal. In Norway, where a quarter of all cars are electric and the climate is notably cold, such issues are seldom reported. How does Norway manage EV charging in such temperatures?
The New York Times cites that Norwegian EV drivers habitually preheat their vehicles in cold weather. Lars Godbolt, an advisor at the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association, notes significant improvements in charging infrastructure, reducing winter station congestion.
An intriguing fact is the living arrangements in Norway. Most Norwegians reside in houses, not apartments, and about 90% of EV owners have personal charging stations, as per Godbolt’s statement to The New York Times.
The situation in the United States contrasts sharply. S&P Global Mobility’s study reveals that while many U.S. EV owners understand the importance of home charging, only 51% have home chargers, and 42% regularly use them.
Moreover, the U.S. sees longer commutes and travel distances compared to Norway, influenced by differing road infrastructures.
Therefore, EV owners should prepare for cold weather: charge at home, precondition batteries, and even consult the manual if necessary. It’s a reminder of the early days of motoring when drivers, often ridiculed by those in horse-drawn carriages, bought gasoline in glass jars from pharmacies.
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