Stories

Location: Kristiansand, Norway

Photographer: Rebekka U. Davidsen

The app makes it easy, says Laila Bakkevoll, Trond Sandvik Simonsen and Synne.

Taking charge

The charging station operator Grønn Kontakt is investing NOK 100 million in fast chargers in 2017. Trond Simonsen convinced his partner and became a customer and electric vehicle enthusiast.

Grønn Kontakt has more than 250 fast chargers and 530 AC chargers throughout Norway. Every week new stations are commissioned, to the delight of the growing number of electric vehicle owners.

Trond Simonsen from Kristiansand is one of them.

"We bought our first electric car, a Renault Zoe, in June, and this summer we took a road trip from Kristiansand to Tromsø," says Simonsen. "It went like a dream. We use Grønn Kontakt's app, which shows us where we can find charging stations whenever we need one."

His partner was initially sceptical about replacing their petrol-driven car with an electric one, but it did not take long to convince her.

"She suffered from range anxiety, but soon got over it," he says. "In five months we've driven 15,500 kilometres in our electric car."

The family saves NOK 4,500 a month after replacing their leased Toyota with an electric car. "When it's so easy to charge, there's no reason not to drive electric," says Simonsen.

Grønn Kontakt is owned by 23 Norwegian power companies and grid operators. Statkraft and Agder Energi are the largest shareholders, each with 41 per cent.

"We build and operate fast-charging stations for electric vehicles all over Norway," says general manager Ole Henrik Hannisdahl. "We also hope to gradually win a large share of the market for chargers in private homes and companies."

As well as building and operating its own fast-charging stations, Grønn Kontakt has entered into cooperation with the Circle K chain of petrol stations and the Coop grocery chain, creating a win-win situation for everyone – particularly for customers.

"Circle K and Coop are on the investment side, while we build and operate the charging stations," says Hannisdahl. "Fast-charging an electric vehicle takes about 20 minutes, and customers like to spend that time enjoying a coffee or snack at a petrol station, or shopping in a store. This is a scenario where we can also generate business for our business partners."

She suffered from range anxiety, but soon got over it. In five months we've driven 15,500 kilometres in our electric car.

Text: Sissel Fantoft
Photo: Rebekka U. Davidsen
The article has also been published in Statkraft's magazine People & Power no. 2/2017.

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20. Dec. 2017