At this point in the development of pure electric vehicles it is easy to say the industry leaders are Tesla Motors and Nissan. Both auto manufacturers are looking to appeal to worldwide audiences with their offerings, and this includes nations in Europe such as Norway. While Tesla was busy there recently unveiling its latest Supercharger network for owners of its cars, Nissan Leaf drivers were engaged nearby helping set a world record for the largest ever gathering of moving electric vehicles.
Recently 260.5 electric cars were united to drive in unison outside of Norway’s capital city, Oslo. This effort, put on by the Electric Vehicle Union (EVU) and Norwegian EV Association, “followed a pre-determined 4km route and was monitored by two-camera carrying drones to ensure that all vehicles were moving simultaneously and qualified for the new world record.” The record it beat out was set by Leaf drivers previously in 2012 at the Silverstone circuit in the United Kingdom.
“Although it was a fun event, it had a serious side,” said Jean-Pierre Diernaz, Director of Electric Vehicles at Nissan Europe, in a statement. “Its aim was to show that EVs are thoroughly practical everyday cars with the added benefit of producing no tailpipe emissions and very little noise. We had a customer from Hundeidvik, which is over 500km from Oslo, registered to take part using the quick charger network to get there. Norway is ahead of all other European electric vehicle markets, but many other governments and councils are watching closely and sales are increasing across the region.”
The event, though open to drivers of all electric cars, mostly consisted of Leaf owners, who made up 128.5 of Nissan’s electric vehicles. The .5 car, in case you were wondering, was a 1/2 sliced open Leaf being driven to showcase the EV’s inner electric workings.
Norway is a fitting place for both the Tesla Supercharger network and this world record event. According to Nissan, which has sold 2,298 Leafs there since 2012,
zero-emission EVs are hugely popular in Norway where, in 2012, they accounted for 2.9 per cent of the country’s total new car market. Owners are exempt from sales tax and enjoy free city centre parking and can even drive in bus lanes without penalty.
Nissan said it will next attempt “to reach one billion electric km by 1st January 2015 – as the company aims to encourage more consumers to join the EV revolution. Kilometres covered by existing Nissan Leaf owners and from test drives all count towards the one billion goal.”