Norway is a clear EV leader. It is likely the most EV-friendly country in the world, which is why it was no surprise to see Tesla roll out its entry into Europe in Norway, while also opening a nationwide Supercharger network there. Another big event recently held in the Scandinavian country was a 260½ EV parade, a new world record.
The world record attempt was organized by Nissan Europe, which actually brought ½ of a Nissan Leaf to the parade:
Here’s more info from the Nissan press release:
Starting from Maridalen in outer Oslo, the world’s cleanest and quietest automotive gathering of all time followed a pre-determined 4km route and was monitored by two-camera carrying drones to ensure that all vehicles were moving simultaneously and qualified for the new world record. The previous record, which was set with just Nissan LEAF vehicles at the Silverstone circuit in the UK in 2012, was beaten by 35½ EVs.
Although open to owners of all EVs, a large proportion of the cavalcade was represented by the Nissan LEAF with a total number of 129 LEAFs registered for the record attempt. Nissan’s zero-emission vehicle is one of the best selling cars in Norway with 2,298 cars being sold there in 2012.
“Although it was a fun event, it had a serious side,” said Jean-Pierre Diernaz, Director of Electric Vehicles at Nissan Europe. “Its aim was to show that EVs are thoroughly practical everyday cars with the added benefit of producing no tailpipe emissions and very little noise. We had a customer from Hundeidvik, which is over 500km from Oslo, registered to take part using the quick charger network to get there. Norway is ahead of all other European electric vehicle markets, but many other governments and councils are watching closely and sales are increasing across the region.”
Nissan celebrated the momentous record breaking occasion by handing over the keys to the initial allocation of Nissan LEAFs purchased by the Oslo municipality, the first of 1000 EVs the municipality will acquire over the next three years.
In addition to this, Nissan’s Pop-up Café gave participants and spectators the chance to learn more about EVs and the future of zero emission mobility. At the Pop-up Café, the car manufacturer also unveiled its next challenge – to reach one billion electric km by 1st January 2015 – as the company aims to encourage more consumers to join the EV revolution. Kilometres covered by existing Nissan LEAF owners and from test drives all count towards the one billion goal.
“The World Record may not have been as successful without the participation of the Nissan LEAF. Not only is it Norway’s best-selling EV, it’s also the world’s favourite zero emission car – a record breaker in its own right,” said Jean-Pierre Diernaz.
The company also established a Test Drive Hub where existing and potential new owners could see for themselves the new, second-generation LEAF, which is now built in Europe and incorporates more than 100 significant changes and improvements.
Experts were on hand to answer questions about the car and zero-emission mobility, and to point out the benefits of the special Nordic Pack, available on LEAFs bought through Norway’s Nissan dealer network. As well as the expected heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel, heated door mirrors and headlamp washers, the Nordic Pack includes a battery heater to counter the country’s extreme winter temperatures. The battery heater is only fitted to Nordic pack cars with temperatures in other parts of Europe not reaching the persistent low levels of the most northerly part of Europe.
Zero-emission EVs are hugely popular in Norway where, in 2012, they accounted for 2.9 per cent of the country’s total new car market. Owners are exempt from sales tax and enjoy free city centre parking and can even drive in bus lanes without penalty.