My four-year-old daughter loves movies and books about princesses. She likes to dress up like a princess. My daughters also like to ask me hard questions about why we don’t have a king and queen in Zimbabwe and princesses like in the books and movies on TV and why other countries have kings and queens. I guess I need to catch up on “Monarchs 101″ fast.
We have an electric car, a 2013 Nissan Leaf. My four-year-old loves it and tells everyone wherever she goes that “we have an electric car and we charge it.” She sees me write a lot of stories on the electric mobility sector and she always asks what I am writing about.
She will say, “What are you writing about today?” and then I tell her something like I am writing about electric cars and motorcycles in Kenya or very big batteries in England and Australia. Then she asks, “So you only write about electric cars? Why don’t you write stories about princesses?” Then one day she came and said, “I know, you can write about how a princess and her carriage can be electric.” Very good idea, I thought, but where to find a princess with an electric carriage? Well, it turns out I only had to look at the country that is leading electric vehicle adoption in the world in terms of market share for new vehicle sales, Norway!
Norway has been leading the way for new electric vehicle sales for a long time. Last year, market shares were 79.3% for BEVs, and 8.5% for PHEVs, combining to 87.8%. Norway also has a princess! And guess what? She has an electric carriage! Princess Astrid owns an all-electric car that has the number plate A-9 when it is used officially. There is more good news from Norway because the royal family of Norway has recently added two battery-electric cars to its official fleet of vehicles — a Mercedes EQS and a BMW i7. In addition, the palace also got a Mercedes EQV to support its activities.
Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway have been driving electric cars privately for a while now. In recent times, they have, among other vehicles, used a Tesla. It’s great to see that members of the royal family have been using electric vehicles privately and that there is now also an official electric fleet for the royal family of Norway. It’s just a few vehicles for now, but the fleet will grow very soon, as when leases of other vehicles end, they will replace those with electric vehicles.
This is one of the reasons I was excited when the Mercedes-Benz EQS, the Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV, and the BMW i7 were launched by the two big luxury automakers. Presidents, senior government officials, CEOs, and other influential people like to have or be driven in S-Classes and 7 Series BMWs. Having them live the electric lifestyle could contribute to them shaping national policies and frameworks that will accelerate the transition to electric mobility in their companies, organizations, government institutions, and countries as a whole. Despite Norway being the leader in electric vehicle adoption, a recent article from the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association said that none of the government cars are electric. Well, I hope they follow the royal family’s lead and get a whole lot of EVs to be part of the government fleet. As the transition to electric vehicles accelerates, more companies should be looking at electric vehicles that meet the security specifications of VVIP fleets.
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