Since the 14th century, Akershus Fortress has protected Oslo from raids by bloodthirsty Swedes. Now a Cold War bomb shelter in its basement is being repurposed to help save the Norwegian capital from more insidious foes: pollution and global warming. Starting this month, electric car owners will be able to drive down a narrow ramp between rough-hewn rock walls dripping with condensation and plug in at one of 86 charging stations—for free.
|The basement of Oslo’s Akershus Fortress has |
been retrofitted with dozens of charging stations
for electric vehicles.
The facility will get plenty of use as Norwegians switch to electric vehicles faster than anyone else on the planet. More than a third of all new cars are either fully electric or plug-in hybrids, well over 10 times the proportion in the U.S. With about 100,000 electrics on the road, Norway (population 5 million) trails only the U.S., China, and Japan in absolute numbers. By 2025, the government has suggested, there may be no gasoline- or diesel-powered cars sold in the country. “It’s safe to say that Norway is the first mass market for EVs,” says Sture Portvik, the city official overseeing the Akershus garage.
Read Matthew Campbell’s story on BloombergBusinessweek - “The Country Adopting Electric Vehicles Faster Than Anywhere Else.”