Day 103 | Leaving Oslo

Day 103 | Saturday June 25

Since a few weeks I had been in touch with Jeroen, a Dutchman living here in Norway, close to Lillehammer. He introduced me to the Norwegian EV association and gave me some more tips. Last week he asked me if I’m stopping by at his place but unfortunately I has to answer no as his lives out of the route. I invited him to go together to the presentation of the SP:01 for the general public, which was today. He was very enthusiastic about this so around 11 we met there.
Jeroen is a musician and plays the guitar. Together with a friend in Lofoten who is an photograph they made a DVD, Jeroen composing the music for the pictures his friend shot. He gave me a copy and you might hear is music one of my videos soon.
At the presentation there were also some electric motorbikes and Jeroen as an motorlover he took the opportunity to test one. When he got back after a few minutes his hair already unfolded he enjoyed it.

This is the Detroit Electric SP-01. It is build by the same company who converted my car and they had a presentation…

Posted by Plug Me In on Samstag, 25. Juni 2016

At the presentation I met 2 people who also had a plan to make a roadtrip with an electric car. They have this project called Toughtleader Global and want to travel all around Europe in 1 month to visit eco resorts. I thought they were here to present their plans and find some contacts but I was surprised to find out they already are starting this Wednesday! And they don’t have a car yet! Pretty amazing.
So they are doing videos along the way and wanted to interview me. I believe it will be aired in South African TV in a few months.

I rushed back to Oyvind’s place to get my stuff as I had to go to the next plugger. I thanked them for their hospitality and kindness, I stayed at their place 4 nights so I was very thankful.

My next hosts live in Skien but they were BBQ’ing in another place. I put the address in my navigation and when I was there I send them a text. When I told them where I was they didn’t know this place and asked me to put another adress in the GPS. We found out I was 65km away from them… Damn! I didn’t have enough power so it was necessary to stop in a tiny place.
Fortunately charging stations are everywhere here and with the key and RFID chips I received from, Vortum and Grønn I can charge nearly at every station.

The last days I had the feeling I loose range more easily and bumps felt less hard so I had the feeling the pressure of the tires was not right. I stopped at a gasstation to check it and actually this was the first time I had to do this myself. I didn’t completely understand how the thing works and was afraid to blow up the tires. In the gasstation were 3 guys sitting so I asked them if they could help. One of the guys drove an EV too and really liked my project. They explained me what to do, listened to my story and continued their way. A few minutes later they came back and offered me a huge pack of drinks. Pretty awesome guys!

Around 23.30 I arrived in Skien at Saskia’s place, a Dutchie. She lives here with her husband and child but they were already asleep. We had a short chat and because she waited for me a long time she was pretty tired so we plugged in the car and went to bed.

Day 101 & 102 | So much to do in Oslo

Day 101 | Thursday June 21

My host Oyvind has a couple of drones which he uses to make video’s for companies. We drove out of Oslo and took great videos of my car. Here is one clip, I will make a compilation later this week.

Going up on a Thursday.

A post shared by Wiebe Wakker / Plug Me In (@plugmeintravel) on

After this I went to town. In March there was a Norwegian magazine who published an article about Plug Me In, now I arrived here I got in touch with them and they wanted to interview me, I will share the article when it’s online.

In the evening I had a meeting where I had been looking forward to for a while. Bjorn Nyland is a famous youtuber who makes videos about his Tesla, which he calls the Millenium Falcon. He shares facts about this car for instance about the autopilot or the Bioweapon Defense Mode.
I wanted to know from him how he got interested in this and info about driving electric cars in Norway. He was actually very interested in my car so he made a movie about that! I hope he will publish it soon. It was really nice to meet Bjorn, just like on his videos he is a nice and funny guy.

Yesterday a special guest testdrived my car: Bjorn Nyland aka Teslabjørn. Bjorn was impressed by the car and actually…

Posted by Plug Me In on Freitag, 24. Juni 2016

Day 102 | Friday June 24

Finally I had a little bit of time to do some sightseeing. First I wanted to visit Holmenkollen, the national ski arena were many championships and Olympic Games where held. I put the wrong address in the GPS so it took me one hour longer to get there. The jump is very well designed. Of course now it’s not in use because there’s now snow but still a lot of tourists (read: Japanese people) come to visit. They made a zip line from the start until the finish, pretty cool idea.
Then I drove to the centre, an incentive for electric cars is that you can park anywhere for free! I visited the opera house which is also a beautiful location. I’m starting to like architecture in general more and more.

A few days earlier my host Paal told me that Detroit Electric would be presenting their new car on Saturday. Detroit Electric was responsible for converting the car I’m driving to fully electric and the Plug Me In kick-off was at their office in Houten, NL. That’s why I was enthusiastic about this. I send them an mail if it was possible to come too and they even invited me to the VIP launch party today.
When I arrived I was surprised that Willem, the Dutch boss of DE was also their accompanied with some of his colleagues. Very nice to catch up with them. I even met the CEO of the company who was seriously enthusiastic about the project and is going to sponsor me! How I will hear next week.

They unveiled to SP-01, and sport scar build on the Lotus Elise. It has a 288km range and a manual gear, which is very unique for an electric car.

Day 100 | 100 days

Today I reached a milestone, I am 100 days on the road. It feels like I just started yesterday. The first 100 were pretty amazing, let’s hope the next 100 will be just as great.

Yesterday, on my first day in Oslo many people told me I really had to visit the company Bellona. Apparently they did a lot with sustainability and e-mobility. Paal told me that their office was right at the other side of the hotel. I already send them an email and when I woke up this morning they told me I had to come to the office now to meet Frederic Hauge as he was very busy today. Frederic seemed to be kind of a legend in Norway. He has been an environmentalist since 30 years. He went to Russia to expose that the government was hiding nuclear reactor and did many more of these crazy things.

I was surprised to learn that he was also the reason why electric cars are so populair in Norway. In 1988 he bough an electric Fiat Panda together with some of the members of the popband A-ha. Yes really. They drove it around the country and didn’t want to pay for the toll ways. They collected all their fines and brought it to the government, then the government agrees to make tollways and ferries free for electric cars.
Frederic has been supporting EV’s since the beginning and drove it to Murmansk already in the 90’s, very impressive. He had just 30 minutes for me until but I could come back later in the night, he works 18-20 hours a day.

I went to Paal & Asmund’s Meshcraft’s office, located on the university. They explained me a bit more about how their app works.

Later I would return to Oyvind where I stayed earlier this week. I stayed there short as in the night I went back to Frederic. He was really cool. I explained him more about what I was doing and he tried to help me in as many ways he could. He has many contacts in Russia and said that he could get me a Visa. That’s a great thing as it’s really hard to get one and I have been working on that for the last weeks.

Day 99 | The longest day of the year

Day 99 | Tuesday June 21

I said goodbye to Øyvin but knew that I would see him again in a few days. Today was the longest day of the year and I had 3 appointments.
First at the Dutch Embassy in Oslo. I was welcomed by Taco who took about 100 pictures of the car and took me for lunch. He explained what the Embassy in Oslo doing. They help Dutch people sorting out papers to get into the country, facilitate Dutch companies who want to do business here, share knowledge with to Norwegian government and they also have a military department here. The Dutch army takes part in training camps and if the Russians attack Norway Holland has also a role in defending the country.
Just last week a delegation of Dutch EV companies visited Norway. Taco send a mail to all the Norwegian companies if they could help me with the documentary. I always liked Taco’s.

While driving to Oslo I saw so many electric cars, unbelievable. It was like there was an EV parade organized. At the moment 1 out of every 3 cars sold is an electric one and there are around 100.000 in the country, on a population of 5 million. That’s huge/

Second stop was at Nolbil, the Norwegian E-Mobility association. They provided me with a key so I can open all the 220v charging stations and an RFID tag for the newer charging station. Great that they can help me with this!

Last stop was at Meshcrafts, a company that created the app ‘SmartCharge’ owned by Paal and Asmund. It’s an EV App where you can find private charging stations. For an driver this is ideal because you have more stations available and for the owner it’s good because he can earn some money with selling out electricity.

Paal found me a few months ago and plugged me in. With the 3 of us we went for dinner and as EV professionals of course they wanted to know all the detailer about the trip. Later Paal would take me to a concert, Over Oslo. It was on top of a hill with a beautiful overview on the city. Paal introduced me to his wife, her sister and brother-in-law. I had my camera with me and it was not allowed to take it in, the guard allowed it but said that if they would see me taking pictures they would take my camera. As I really wanted to document this I tried to get a press pass and with some heavy smiling and lots of talks they eventually gave me one. So now you can watch some nice pictures of the show.
Highlight of the evening was the performance of Tom Jones! This guy is 76 years and still the bomb!

Paal’s house was not ready to receive me so he booked me a hotel room in downtown Oslo. This hotel was actually sustainable as well. The people who work there are homelessness or have some social problems. In the hotel they are trained and once they are fit for the job they have to leave as they are ready for a normal job.

Day 96 & 97

Day 96 | Saturday June 18

So last night I arrived in the darkness and had no idea where I was. When I went outside this morning I was amazed by the beauty of this place. I stayed in a house right in the middle of a forrest with a view over valley with huge windmills on the other side.

Madde lived there with her husband Lennart, her parents stayed in a small house outside and Lennart’s parents stay here all summer in a caravan. Madde works as a paramedic and already has big plans when she will retire. She hopes to have the house completely renovated by then so they can enjoy it to the fullest.

Being in this place made me feel very relaxed, I went for a short walk in their garden/ forest and the family was very nice. One of the grandparents kept speaking Swedish to me which was very sweet and funny. In the garden we also found a snake, the most venomous of Sweden. It was about 30cm and a bite will sting you and could kill you when in bad health. 

After lunch I departed for the next destination. Now I could see the roads I’ve driven through last night and it was gorgeous. What I didn’t notice on my way there is that I drove very close to a cliff and could have just fallen into that.

My next stop was Guesthouse Eleven in Arvika. Again a guesthouse run by Dutchies, home sweet home. Brenda and Michel bought on old school 11 years ago and renovated it all by themselves, it took them 2 years. The heating is provided by the warmth from the mountains. There are 2 pipes going 180 meters deep into the ground which pump up the warmth.

Brenda is the niece of an former football mate from me in Holland so through him they heard about Plug Me In.

When I arrived there they had some Dutch friends over and we sat there for a while and had some house brewed beers. Strong ones though, they had me in a few minutes. 

Michel and Brenda are world explorers too, they have a Land Rover and drove it around Africa and Europe. They had some crazy stories about their adventures.

Day 97 | Sunday June 19

This morning I enjoyed an excellent breakfast. I’m a sucker for buffets and at Guesthouse Eleven they had the perfect one: croissants, Swedish bread, jams, yoghurt and pie to finish. Around 11 I said goodbye to Brenda & Michel and left to Oslo, a 160km drive. When I passed to Norwegian border I already saw 3 Tesla’s. I already knew that I would see a lot of electric cars in this country. Because of incentives and tax profits they are cheaper then normal cars. Not only did I see Tesla’s but also Leaf’s, I3’s, Soul’s and even I-Mievs, that was a surprise as it’s a really small car and with the cold weather in the winter you can drive far in this one.

When I stopped in Norway for a short brake I found out I’ve forgotten to give the key from my room at the guesthouse return. Bad luck, I’ve got to send it back now.

I arrived in Oslo around 2 and was supposed to be at my host around 5 so I worked in the car. My host name is Øyvind and he lives close to Oslo’s city center. He is an EV driver and converted an old Citroen 2CV into fully electric, he is going to show me that later. I just spoke to Øyvind shortly as he had to go to the school closing of his son, he has 2. Around 8 he would return with his 2 children and wife. He left a bake-off pizza for me.

When they returned they gave me a lot of sightseeing tips for the country and explained me how it is to drive electric here. It seems like a party.