Electric bikes and cars are getting increasingly popular in Norway, electric cruise ferries are launched, and still other means of e-transport enable you to literally electrify most of your trip to make it quiet & smooth.
When your friends ask how your trip to Norway turned out, the answer will most likely be:
“It was … electric.”
“Yes, nothing but electric.”
That single, energising word might sum up the stay beautifully. You can now go by bike or electric bike, often on newly built cycling lanes or tracks, take the train (also electrically driven) to a fjord, where you can board an electric mini cruise ship and admire the view without the harsh sound of a ferry diesel engine. Later, you can take a drive in the mountains in an electric car on steep, winding roads, and at the top you might find a charging station.
Zero-emission electric transportation fits the pureness of untouched Norwegian nature nicely, and it doesn’t disturb the sound of such natural wonders like waterfalls too much.
The wonderful electrification of travelling in Norway
“As this vessel runs on batteries only, the only thing you hear is the propellers hitting the water surface”, says John Nauckhoff, captain of the newly launched ferry Future of the Fjords that services the stretch Gudvangen–Flåm in the Nærøyfjord.
The award-winning design of his mini cruiseferry doesn’t take cars. But wait – bikes of all kinds are most welcome all year round.
The Future of the Fjords is the world’s first all-electric vessel shaped of weight saving carbon fibre material, and her sister ship the Vision of the Fjords was the world’s first hybrid ship of its kind when it was launched on the fjord back in 2016.
Designed and made in Norway
“I’m proud to have been able to contribute to the development and building process”, captain Nauckhoff tells, and continues: “Many passengers tell me this is the trip of their life.”
Both ships have been locally constructed at the Brødrene Aa’s shipyard in the fjord town of Hyen, located in one of the Nordfjord’s sidearms. The company’s patented building techniques are exported to China and other countries.
The Future of the Fjords might be a brand-new prestige project, but that doesn’t mean that other novel or established electric transportation alternatives shine all over the country.
More and more hotels and other places that welcomes eco-attentive travellers have bikes or e-bikes for rent, ready to take you out to explore charming summer streets or nearby nature.
“Many passengers tell me this is the trip of their life.”
Get on a bike, tram, or train
Hotel Aak in Åndalsnes, a tiny city that calls itself “the mountaineering capital”, is one of several places in Norway that offers e-bikes for rent, with guided tours in surrounding, scenic landscapes. The electric engine will do most of the job when you pedal towards sites like the Rauma river, the Trollstigen winding mountain road, and the Trollveggen vertical rock face.
In Bergen, you can jump on board the Fløibanen cable car, that has been electrically operated ever since its opening in 1918. The 850 metres long trip takes about eight minutes and is still a useful public transportation offer for locals, as well as one of Bergen’s major tourist attractions.
Bergen also has its own tramway. Bybanen will take you from the city centre and all the way to Bergen Airport in 45 minutes, thanks to tracks that rarely interfere with other traffic.
Bergen and Åndalsnes are well connected to many other towns in Norway by some of the world´s most beautiful train rides.
Go electric in the middle of Norway
People in Trondheim, the third largest city in Norway and nicely located in the middle of the country, are proud of the fact that they have the world’s northernmost tramway system. The line is named Gråkallbanen and brings you from the historic, charming city centre area around The Nidaros Cathedral to the secrets of Trondheim’s airy suburbia.
The capital of Oslo has well-developed tram and tube systems criss-crossing the city and even climbing the surrounding hills for those who want to go skiing or hiking. In addition, new stretches of cycling lanes are being opened in a speed never seen before.
The tube in Oslo welcomes bikes on board for free, except in the rush hours, as long as you have that valid ticket for yourself in your pocket, of course.
Last but not least, trains will take you comfortably and effortlessly through some of the country’s most scenic landscapes by electric power, through 733 tunnels and across 2,577 bridges. And yes, there is Wi-Fi on board most of the trains. The Norwegian bus companies will also take you all over the rugged country, in a more and more sustainable way.
More e-fun to come
All in all, these are just some examples of a fast-forward-moving electrification of an entire country, and local tour offices will be happy to point out even more useful e-fun.
“My motto is to work with beautiful things that I care about, and this ship is undoubtedly that kind of project,” states captain John Nauckhoff of the Future of the Fjords.
“The view of the fjord landscape from the electric ferry stays mighty regardless of the season or the weather. Remember, you won’t see a rainbow on a sunny day.”
The experience will always be, well, electric.