CARL'S RAMBLE.... NORWAY'S ELECTRIFYING
Ladies & Gents,
I’ve recently come back from a walking and climbing holiday in central Norway, the Jotunheimen Nation Park to be precise. Flying into Bergen Norway your first view is the multitude of islands sprinkled with wooden homes and an array of boats bobbing on the fjorded coastline. Feet on the ground, my Wife Susie and I set off on our 200 mile plus journey to our mountain hut though some of the most beautiful scenery you will ever see. Snow capped mountains that soar above 2000 metres (6,500 ft+ in old money), Lakes and Fjords hundreds of feet deep, a multitude of tunnels including The Laerdal Tunnel which at 24.5km (15.3 miles in old money) is the longest road tunnel in the world!
One thing that was immediately apparent was the sheer amount of Hybrid and electric vehicles on the Norwegian roads. By 2025 Norway will only sell Electric or Hybrid vehicles and by the look of it they are making good progress towards that target.
Arriving at our wooden hut the sun was still shining out of an azure blue sky even though it was gone 11pm. From early June to mid July where we were staying it doesn’t get dark (White nights) with the sun dipping below the horizon for just couple of hours or so, head further north and over the arctic circle and the sun doesn’t set at all.
The 24th June is our wedding anniversary and we celebrated by visiting the Klimapark 2469 where we explored the amazing ice tunnels hand carved hundreds of feet into the ice cover. Having explored the ice tunnels the next challenge was Galdhopiggen which is Norways highest mountain 2,469 Metres (8,141 feet in old money). For this we joined an excited team of Norwegians and cast our eyes up to the summit some four miles away. To reach the summit you first set off across a boulder strewn tundra landscape that resembles the surface of Mars, next comes an hours trek across a glacier and finally several steep rock climbs. This accent is only viable with guides who were both Norwegians and sherpas. We collected our ropes and harnesses and off we went on our adventure.
Three hours later and all the blood, sweat and tears were worth it. Below and stretching as far as the eye could see in all directions were snow capped mountains soaring into the crystal clear sky and majestic Glaciers carving their way down.
Talking to the Sherpa he informed us that back home the glaciers in the Himalayas have retreated by 2000 metres in just 10 years! The temperature at the summit of Galdhopiggen was 10c above normal! May in Norway was 6c above normal! Put into perspective…
In 5 years the ice tunnels we explored are expected to have completely melted away and by the time our son who is 22 years old reaches my age he probably won’t need a guide to get across the glacier as it won’t be there.
Norway is large country but with a small population, they have marked concerns for climate change and are doing something about it and faster then most. Last month their first electric plane took to the air and they are also looking at electric boats. As mentioned earlier the amount of Hybrid and electric vehicles on their roads are at a high level. He in the UK and elsewhere where populations are higher such rapid changes to greener alternatives is that much harder however we can try to focus that way at least in part. There are electric vehicle options in the UK however when you plug in an electric car in the UK be aware that at the other end of the cable is most likely a gas fired power station, wind farms produce green energy but be aware that the Turbines don’t build themselves, they are most likely constructed in a German Factory powered by a coal or gas fired power station so they have a carbon footprint payback period. However, it is a start!
Here at Steven Eagell Toyota and Lexus we have Hybrid technology vehicles. Our part is that with the assistance of a small electric motor, that wasted energy when you break is converted into electric power that works in synergy with the combustion engine. It doesn’t solve the problem but it does dramatically reduce the CO2. Toyota also produce a Hydrogen fuel cell vehicle that emits only H2O (water).
My journey with Susie was a walking and climbing holiday to Norway, however, we each and all have a far more difficult and important Journey to make and, a commitment in our lives as Trustees of this world to pass on the wonders we can see and visit today to the next generation.
Local business Development Manager
Steven Eagell Toyota Ipswich