Swedes Battle Norwegians to Become Best Electric Car Mecca (Hint: Using Old Motor Warmers!)
Fortum's design for a pay-to-recharge system in Stockholm (note the recharging icon).
Finnish Fortum and the City of Stockholm have been feverishly working to design a pay-to-pump electric car infrastructure. Sweden took a baby step ahead this week when start-up company Sust (Sustainable Innovation AM) declared its intention to quickly make the country a test market for the world's electric hybrid and pure electric car manufacturers. They'll have to beat off Israel abroad.
Electric car recharge stations commoner in Oslo
But Sweden isn't particularly far ahead in building electric infrastructure in Scandinavia. Norway takes that prize - it has longer had THINK and Buddy electric cars tootling around the streets of Oslo and other cities, and has both built 20 and promised 400 more recharging stations. Both Sweden and Norway have a secret weapon compared to most other countries.
This is Fortum's snazzy new pay-to-recharge post.
It's thousands of old motor-warming posts that are stationed up and down the countries' long, cold and even desolate northern highways, where you may be more likely to meet a moose than a fellow traveler. The advantage of the motor-warmer stations is that they are estimated to cost only about US$ 35 each to upgrade with the grounding and currency requirements to recharge cars. Everything else - freeway exit and entrances, especially - are already in place.
Norway gives electric cars free charging and parking
Clearly, it's good to have a goal - and Stockholm, aided by Sust, a member organization that will collect dues from big private companies like Vattenfall to get an electric infrastructure in place by 2010, may be able to move more quickly than Norway's domestic government.
However, Norway is also definitely still in the lead, with more stations (it forecasts over 100 in place by the end of this year), and a significant advantage for early electric car adopters - free charging and free parking! In addition, Norway's THINK and Buddy give the country a real incentive to do what it takes to deliver an electric car infrastructure.