Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

Norway's love of EVs will force it to spend big bucks on its electric grid, report says

The problem that EV charging is creating in Norway foreshadows the problems we could have in the US, but on a much larger scale.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
2 min read
Tesla Alaska Testing Facility
Enlarge Image
Tesla Alaska Testing Facility

People in Norway love electric cars and are buying them like crazy, but that's going to force big changes to the country's electric grid.

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

People in Norway just can't seem to get enough of electric cars, and in many ways, that's an excellent thing. That isn't to say that there isn't a downside to the proliferation of EVs both in Norway and around the world.

See, electric cars use a lot of energy. And while charging your vehicle overnight in your garage may not seem like that big of a deal when compared to the sheer scale of the electric grid, having a few thousand cars charging all at once totally is.

That's why -- according to a report published Friday by Reuters -- Norway is going to have to sink some serious cash into its electrical infrastructure to be able to support the continued widespread adoption of electric vehicles.

How much cash exactly? Try 11 billion crowns, which is the equivalent of $1.27 billion. Now, compared to some of the dollar amounts that get thrown around for infrastructure projects in the US, that doesn't necessarily sound that crazy, but when you consider that Norway has a population numbering around half that of Los Angeles County, things start to get a little nuts when you scale up.

These upgrades, according to the study cited by Reuters, would have to happen over the next 20 years, which makes them, in theory at least, manageable -- except that the study also estimates that the bill for the upgrades won't be paid for by the Norwegian government, or by the power companies. It'll be paid for by the end users.

So, what does this all mean to us here in the US? It means that, unless we find some new, clean way to generate vast amounts of power with minimal expense, we're going to have to pony up some serious dough if Americans are going to continue to adopt electric cars at the rate they have been.

Get to work with the VW I.D. Buzz Cargo

See all photos
Watch this: Nissan Leaf long-term wrap-up: One year of electric feels