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Transport: Why renting an EV in Norway for your road trip is by far the smartest choice

A rather potent cocktail of substantial subsidies, parking benefits, dedicated EV lanes around Oslo (until recently), and an exceptionally well-developed charging network has made Norway the world leader in electric vehicle (EV) adoption and some sort of a utopia for EV manufacturers like Polestar, NIO, BYD, Voyah and Xpeng. Of course, it also helps that the average Norwegian has a decent amount of disposable income, which is crucial for purchasing the relatively expensive EVs available today.

An electric car driving through a Norwegian landscape
Photo by Hendrik Morkel on Unsplash

But you're here because you're wondering whether it's a good idea to rent an EV in Norway to make your roadtrip a quiet but elevated experience. In this article, I will explain:

  • Why Norway is the perfect country for an electrified road trip

  • Which obvious trips you can take in an EV

  • How to plan your chargings

  • Where you can rent EV's

Norway is the perfect country for an electrified road trip

As mentioned briefly in the introduction, Norway boasts an incredibly efficient (fast) charging network. Almost every petrol station along the highways has several charging points. Additionally, every town with a population of over 10,000 has multiple charging stations. Moreover, if you filter your search on Tripadvisor to only show hotels with EV chargers, you will find that the availability is more than excellent. Many of the larger hotels offer charging facilities in their car parks. So, after your morning breakfast, you can step into a fully charged EV to commence the next leg of your road trip.

Another significant reason to rent an EV is the cost of fuel. At the time of writing, petrol costs around 24 NOK per litre (approximately 2 or $2.2). For comparison, in the US, a litre of petrol costs about 0.90 cents. In fact, Norway has the highest petrol prices in the world. Yes, you read that correctly. And this is in a country where much of the wealth comes from oil exports. But there is a sensible reason for this.

The government wants to discourage the use of fossil fuel vehicles and has thus imposed high taxes on petrol. And it has worked. Four out of five new cars sold are electric. You can see the trend: it’s simply cheaper to rent an EV rather than a petrol car.

The national scenic roads

If I could give you only one piece of advice on what to see in this beautiful country, it would be the scenic roads. There are 18 of them, each breathtakingly beautiful. Of course, you won’t manage to tick off all 18 in one holiday, but even doing just three will leave you with unforgettable memories. The longest is over 400 km, but most range between 60 km and 200 km. I’ve checked, and charging facilities are excellent. You can drive each scenic road entirely electrically.

An overview of Norway’s charging network

When you look at this map, you start to understand why I wrote this article. At first glance, it might seem like you’re looking at a supermarket map, but it’s actually the number of charging stations, allowing you to plan your electrified journey based on your itinerary.

An overview of EV charging stations in Norway

Simply find the type of electric vehicle you're driving, and it'll automatically calculate your charging trajectory based on your approximate range. Rather handy indeed!

Renting an EV

Almost every reputable car rental company has a substantial number of EVs available, ranging from mid-sized Volkswagen ID.3s to the luxurious BMW iX40s. The only real consideration you need to make is how much luggage and how many passengers you have because most EVs available for rent have a range of around 400 km WLTP or more.

You’re likely to arrive in Norway by plane. You might be used to every airport having a car rental company, but that’s not the case in Norway. This country is incredibly vast, with numerous small airports. And by small, I mean a runway and a departure and arrival hall (some airports don’t even have a staffed control tower). However, the following airports do have car rental services:

  • Oslo Gardermoen Airport (OSL)

  • Bergen Flesland Airport (BGO)

  • Stavanger Sola Airport (SVG)

  • Trondheim Værnes Airport (TRD)

  • Tromsø Langnes Airport (TOS)

  • Kristiansand Kjevik Airport (KRS)

  • Ålesund Vigra Airport (AES)

  • Bodø Airport (BOO)

  • Sandefjord Torp Airport (TRF)

  • Molde Årø Airport (MOL)

  • Harstad/Narvik Airport (EVE)

  • Haugesund Karmøy Airport (HAU)

  • Evenes Airport (EVE).

If you decide to rent an EV, do so well in advance. Especially during the high season (June to September), most of the fleet is usually rented out. So if you’re planning a trip, it’s best to reserve one now. You can find the best deals here. Simply type in the name of the airport, and see which EVs are available.

Now that we’ve reached the end of this article, which is commendable, I must confess something. I have been a car enthusiast from a young age. And as a humble blogger living in an expensive country, my budget for driving a car is limited. You probably guessed it: I own a classic 1999 Mercedes C240 estate, but it’s a pristine example. Give me a thumbs up if you see me driving.


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