This is part V of my road trip to the Nordkapp. You can find part I here.
After having successfully completed the Kystriksveien we had planned to visit Trondheim.
Trondheim is one of the larger cities in Norway with a big university and a very active student life. On my past trips, I’ve spent only a few hours in Trondheim on my way to the north. This time we wanted to explore the city a bit more thoroughly.
We parked the e-tron at the Solsiden Kjøpesenter. While exploring the city we charged the e-tron at the 11 kW Type 2 AC charger, which accepted our Audi card.
Next to Solsiden are some nicely renovated historic docks which are now restaurants and bars.
Trondheim is a very attractive city with extensive artwork throughout the city center.
The most famous place in Trondheim is the area between the two bridges Bakke Bru and Gamle Bybru with all the colorful houses.
Another highlight in Trondheim was the Rockheim Museum about Norwegian and international rock music culture. This included exhibitions about American rock’n’roll culture, Scandinavian metal culture, and a special exhibition about the most famous Norwegian band a-ha. There are lots of lovely details and we really enjoyed the visit.
We spent the evening in Nedre Bakklandet, an area with countless cafés, restaurants, and bars. Especially at twilight, the atmosphere was great. Altogether we really enjoyed the stay in Trondheim. It is now my favorite city in Norway (followed by Oslo and Bergen).
After two nights in Trondheim, we continued our trip to Oslo. It’s a 520 km drive from Trondheim if you choose the E6 through the Dovrefjell. Along the way, we charged in Dombås, Hamar, and Stovner. All three chargers were 150 kW DC charger which accepted our Audi card. Using an EV in southern and central Norway is very easy as expected. There are high-speed chargers everywhere.
In Oslo, we had booked an apartment which was perfectly located close to the opera. One big problem in Oslo is parking. We first parked at the Bankplassen P-hus which was very close to our apartment and also had an AC charger. But the daily tariff was 55€. Since we had planned to stay 4 nights in Oslo this would have really added up.
Luckily we found an alternative. At the DFDS ferry terminal, which was not far away, we could park for a similar price for the whole 4 days. You can use this parking lot even if you don’t travel with DFDS. If you are a DFDS customer further discounts are possible.
During the 3 days in Oslo, we explored the city center, starting with the Karl-Johans Gate, the main shopping street in Oslo, which leads to the royal palace Det Kongelige Slott and passes the beautiful historic buildings of the faculty of law.
Another interesting area is the place next to the town hall with the Nobel Peace Center, the Akershus fortress, and the Rådhusbrygge dock.
From there it’s only a short walk to the trendy and stylish Aker Brygge, with its countless restaurants, bars, and shops. You can find there an interesting mix of perfectly renovated historic brick buildings and modern steel and glass architecture. It’s a place similar to the waterfronts in Sydney, Auckland, or Vancouver, albeit a bit smaller.
Beyond Aker Brygge you can find the building of the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art. Due to Covid 19, we decided to not enter the museum but instead enjoyed the outside artwork including the Tjuvholmen skulturpark and Tjuvholmen beach.
The place we enjoyed the most in Oslo was Grünerløkka. Originally an industrial area, it has now become one of the trendiest districts of Oslo with art galleries, bars, clubs, restaurants, indie boutiques, vintage fashion shops, street art, espresso roasteries, and a vibrant cultural scene. Across the Akerselva River, you can also find a great indoor food market in the Mathallen.
For photography, the most interesting building was the opera with its spectacular architecture. I shot some timelapse videos of the opera at sunset (while doing some important business calls at the same time :-).
Aker Brygge at twilight has a very different atmosphere compared to daytime and is definitely worth another visit in the evening.
After 3 interesting days in Oslo, we took the Color Line ferry to Kiel. This time we had to pass a temperature scan before we were allowed to enter the ferry.
The ship was huge and looked more like a cruise ship than a typical ferry with 12 restaurants and bars and 5 shops.
We left Oslo at 2 p.m. and arrived after a smooth ride in Kiel at 10 a.m. on the next day.
In Germany we had to drive another 850 km from north to south.
We charged 4 times on this last section of our trip. All 4 stops were at 350 kW Ionity DC chargers (but the e-tron is limited to 150 kW) and therefore took only around 40 minutes each. Late evening we arrived safely back home.
We drove altogether 7432 km on this trip in 4 weeks.
The average energy consumption was 25.8 kWh/100 km. The lowest average energy consumption between two charges was 19.1 kWh/100 km and the highest 33.9 kWh/100 km.
We charged altogether 48 times on this trip, on average every 155 km. The longest distance without charging was 286 km. 33 of these charges were at CCS DC chargers and only once we had to use a single-phase wall-plug. The average charging time was 2 hours and 30 minutes, at DC chargers the average time was 53 minutes.
Road charge and city toll are collected automatically in Norway by filming your number plate. You will get the bill about 2 months later. We paid for the whole trip only 46€ road charge. But it’s really important that you register your EV before the trip at EPCplc.com because EVs are paying a lot less than other cars.
The Audi e-tron proved to be a great reliable car for this kind of overlanding trip. The biggest strength of the e-tron is (besides its well-known fast DC charging) the very high vibrational and acoustic comfort. It is so quiet and comfortable in the car that you can really relax during the drive and just enjoy the landscape.
What I’ve also learned on this trip is, that Siam Beige is the perfect color choice for an e-tron used on overlanding trips. Dust and dirt are nearly invisible on this color. Even after 4 weeks on countless gravel roads, the e-tron looked more or less the same as at the beginning of the trip.
Using an EV for a road trip through Scandinavia is perfectly feasible even in remote areas like Karelia, the extreme north, or on the Kystriksveien. You just need a little bit more time and planning.
Regarding charge planning: there is currently no perfect solution. On the Audi MMI and the myAudi app, you get very good information about the available fast chargers but some of the slow AC chargers are missing.
Plugshare provides currently the most comprehensive EV charging station database which also includes many slower chargers in remote areas not found in other apps. But even in the Plugshare database, some chargers are missing. Since Plugshare is a community-based / crowdsourced tool missing chargers will typically be added very quickly. During my trip, I’ve for example added one missing charger in Norway. It would be great if every EV user would do this whenever a new charger is found which is not yet registered. What is definitely missing in Plugshare is the information if a charger accepts the Audi card (or any other charging card). Therefore I always used both the MyAudi App and Plugshare in combination for my charge planning. There are some other advantages of the Plugshare app: the shown locations for the chargers are extremely precise (within just a few meters) and the provided images of the charging stations further simplify finding a new charger in unknown territory. In addition, Plugshare shows a score and comments about the reliability of every single charger which can be very important information for the planning.
None of the existing apps provide reliable information about whether a charger is currently available or occupied. Even if they have this option the shown status was often wrong.
Another interesting experience was that if there are no fast chargers available in an area and you have to switch to slow AC chargers it’s important to synchronize accommodation and charging. Otherwise, you would lose too much time on a road trip. Currently, there is no app that provides both information in one view. We, therefore, often had to switch repetitively between Plugshare and Booking.com for the planning. If someone would integrate both databases into one app that would be really useful.
That’s it about our trip to the Nordkapp. Thanks for reading and it would be great if you could leave some feedback here on whether you liked this report or not and what I should change next time. And if you have any questions feel free to ask them.
Our next EV overlanding trip in 2021 will go in the opposite direction if Covid 19 allows this.