Saturday, July 13, 2019

Norway report

My wife and I spent 10 days in Norway, so now I'm clearly an expert and have things to say.

Mainly, travel in rural Norway so far does not yet support my theory that internal combustion engine cars will start being inconvenient, at least at the current level of EV market penetration for rural Norway. We rented an ICE car and didn't have trouble finding places to fill up. I did see places for EV charging in rural areas, but I think doing the same trip in an EV rental would've been difficult. OTOH, rural travel and overnight stays in unfamiliar areas without a defined routine and planned itinerary is the worst scenario for EV use. An Oslo resident, hopefully, has a different experience.

The other interesting aspect is how much the public can use private land, matched with how little public land actually exists. My day job in California consists in significant part of getting political support for public land purchases, partly so the public will access and use of the land. In Norway, that's not neccesary - the public has the right to use private land already, short of physically altering it. So there's a lot less public land. Not necessarily a better or worse system, but definitely very different.

We also went to Sweden - I asked my wife's Swedish relatives if a private landowner outside a city could subdivide their land and create a sprawl suburbia (fighting that is an even bigger part of my day job). They said no. I assume that environmental interest groups there would focus more on regulating private land and less on acquiring public land.

Last thing on Norway - they're still eating whale meat and selling it to tourists. Not good on the part of Norwegians (they're not expressing an oppressed indigenous culture, although even that isn't sufficient reason) and inexcusable on the part of tourists to buy it. Aside from that, Norway was wonderful.



You are what you eat eats, and to the cod-loving Norseconsider keeping a lid on that capelin-gobbling Minke whale population fisheries management 101.

Full disclosure: I used to live on Nantucket , and have whaling friends in Bequia

David B. Benson said...

On my trip to Norway we went by bus.

Fishing is highly regulated so don't be concerned about the few whales taken. And might as we sell the meat to tourists as nobody really enjoys eating it.

David B. Benson said...

There are estimated to be over 100,000 Minke whales in the Norwegian sea. A few hundred are taken in the subsidized whale hunt.

By the way, the inhabitants of northern Norway are the indigenees there.

Arne M Raaen said...

Here is a list of the largest landowners in Norway:

Ignoring the Svalbard part (which is 95% public), it follows that over 30% is public land.

Before concluding on EV's in rural Norway, may I suggest taking a look at Tesla's map of Superchargers and Destination chargers. One would think that a 70+ kWh EV would see only small challenges?

Phil said...

Beyond Sørkjosen, Norway looks empty on, even for Telsa

Also checked

Some local areas are also not well served. Such as Bindalseidet, Nordland, Norway

Did you even have an option for renting an electric?

If so, what cars?

Brian Schmidt said...

To clarify, the ethical issues regarding killing whales are only tangentially related to scarcity.

I suspect the vast majority of the people who would eat whale meat would never eat part of a chimp or gorilla or Australopithecus. That's the principle that concerns me.

Re renting EVs, my wife did the rentals - I assumed that getting EV rentals through a company isn't hard, but we went with an ICE. Hopefully another time we'll make the plunge.

David B. Benson said...

I don't understand what the principal is supposed to be.

Those who eat gorilla, more generally bush meat, have no opportunity to try whale and vice versa.

Phil said...

A quick check of Hertz shows no electric cars in Oslo Norway airport.
Same for Avis, Sixt and Europcar.

Phil said...

A car sharing company Nabobil has listed a bunch of electrics in Oslo
Tesla S, X and 3
Nissan Leaf
Renault Zoe
BMW i3
Opal Ampera-e (same as Chevy Bolt in the USA)

Phil said...

Oh dear, didn't read the fine print.

"You'll need a license issued in a Nordic country to rent a car without BankID at Nabobil"

BankID sign up takes me to a page in Swedish. An English page on the bankid site says: "We are working with the banks and with the top Internet security service providers in order to lead the way in developing Swedish citizen identification solutions. We aim to attend and as well as influence the conferences and forums dedicated to citizen identification, in Sweden as well as in the EU."

Brian Schmidt said...

Phil- that's interesting. I wonder if the same nudges Norway gives for EVs in general are not applied to rental car companies. Here in the Bay Area at least you can rent EVs.

David - the principal is that eating really smart animals is bad, esp. when they're at or approaching the level of intelligence of a human child. Or possibly exceeding that level - it's not like whales are easy to study.

David B. Benson said...

Minke whales are baleen whales. Roughly comperable to the wildebeest of the Sarengeti.

Phil said...

I've rented an electric in Seattle twice, but can't anymore. Enterprise used to have some.


"Minke whales are baleen whales. Roughly comperable to the wildebeest of the Sarengeti."

More like the crocodiles of the Zambezi -- I wait in terror for your Right Whale analogy.

The Minke are not plankton grazers- they devour smallish schooling fish, like herring mackeral and big cod's favorite food, the capellin.

As they eat several times their body weight a year, 100,000 seven tonners take a hefty bite out of the fish and chips food chain.

David B. Benson said...

I was thinking about "intelligence", not diet. Right Whales might be compared to elephants.