PHOTO CAPTION: Norway Conversative Party leader Erna Solberg (left) THINK director of sales and marketing Jan Brentenbraten.

Electric Tour of Europe Kicks Off With Silent Parade

Electric car parade through Oslo begins 4,000 mile odyssey around Europe in TH!NK city electric car.

Published: 11-Jun-2010

OSLO, Norway – Traffic on the streets around Oslo’s historic national parliament echoed to the sound of silence today as a convoy of over 60 electric vehicles (EVs) paraded through the city to celebrate EV culture in Norway.

The occasion was the arrival in Oslo of the BBC documentary team behind the Electric Ride programme – now a quarter way through their month-long, 4,000 mile-pioneering odyssey around Europe – in a THINK City electric vehicle (EV).

Norway’s Conservative Party Leader, Erna Solberg, who met the convoy of assorted EVs at Stortinget (Oslo’s parliament square), said: “I am a great supporter of electric vehicles. It is time for us to start building up the infrastructure in Norway to encourage an even greater take-up of EVs here. We need to keep our position as the home of EVs by growing with the industry and encouraging more procurement and support of this pioneering industry within the coalition Norwegian government.”

BBC presenter and lead-drive on the Electric Ride programme, Peter Curran, said: “It’s fantastic that so many electric vehicle owners have turned out in support of our never-done-before expedition around Europe in an EV. There are more EVs on the streets here than any other country we’ve been to so far, and it has been great to hear about the national approach to this culture from Erna Solberg this morning. Our car, the THINK City, also from Norway, has performed very well so far on our journey – all the way from London to Oslo – only another 3,000 miles and nine countries to go!”

THINK CEO, Richard Canny, said: “With nearly 3,000 electric vehicles in use here in Norway, this literally is the home of the EV, and we at THINK are very proud to be at the centre of this culture as this great convoy here today shows. To keep hold of this leadership position, Norway must build fast and effectively on this by supporting the industry in every way it can, as it has the potential to revolutionise mobility all around the world. The race is on to lead this fast-growing sector, and with careful policy-making and management going forward, Norway could and should be the first to the finish line.”

From Norway, the BBC Electric Ride team will drive their THINK City into Sweden, Austria, Germany, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and others along the way before returning to London early in July.

BBC Electric Ride senior producer, Kevin Dawson, said: “The basic premise of our show is extremely simple – we want to look at the emergence of electric cars as a dawning reality. By embarking on an ambitious journey like this one, we will be able to share with our listeners the picture across Western Europe. We’ll be investigating the technology, infrastructure and political will behind the growth of EV culture.”

He continued: “Our choice of car came down to practicalities. We chose the THINK City because it is a ready-to-market fully electric vehicle, with a good driving range and respectable top speed.”

BBC Electric Ride will be broadcast on Radio 4 on Saturdays at 1030hrs (BST / GMT +1) for four weeks from 19 June and will also be available globally on BBC i-player from the same date. The team can also be followed globally on BBC Online (www.bbc.co.uk/electricride), Facebook (www.facebook.com/BBCelectricride), Twitter (www.twitter.com/bbcelectricride) and the project website (www.electricride.eu).

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