Oslo’s E-Bus Fleet Could Use Some Warming…City Paralyzed as Buses “Break Down” Due To Cold

From the NoTricksZone

By P Gosselin

This site here reports that Oslo, Norway’s new electric buses didn’t fare very well during the recent cold. The capital city’s public transport ended up “paralyzed”.

The buses were advertised to have a range of 250 km…but then reality hit!

“Oslo’s brand new fleet of electric buses is not designed for these temperatures – their batteries are failing miserably in the icy cold,” reports aussiedlerbote.de/.

100 million euro fiasco

The city of Oslo took delivery of 183 new electric buses last April with the aim of becoming “emissions-free”. But instead the city has become mobility free. What looked good on paper, didn’t work out well in reality.

“The range of the electric buses decreases drastically in the cold. The batteries run out more quickly,” according to sources. “…with the onset of winter, the weaknesses of the electric vehicles are becoming apparent: although a range of 250 kilometers is actually advertised, the buses sometimes simply break down.”

It’s reported that the contract volume for the buses was 100 million euros.

Cheaper, but doesn’t work

According to Reuters here, last year, Sirin Stav, “Vice-Mayor responsible for environment and transport,” said the buses would “save the city money over the long term” and: “The maintenance is cheaper, it’s also cheaper for the operators of the electric buses.”

“All in all, this is a win-win situation,” Stav added, and so “encouraged other cities to follow Oslo’s example.”

After these recent wintertime performance results, that definitely will be a hard sell.

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December 13, 2023 10:08 pm

Those batteries aren’t dead, they’re pining for the fjords.

Reply to  GeorgeInSanDiego
December 14, 2023 2:07 am

Fjords or Fords?

Reply to  GeorgeInSanDiego
December 14, 2023 7:52 pm

Maybe if you put 10,000 volts through it?

Scarecrow Repair
December 13, 2023 10:08 pm

Make Oslo a 15 minute city. Build a dome over it. Invest in geothermal vents through road and sidewalk grates. C’mon, people, do I have to think of everything here?!?!?!

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Scarecrow Repair
December 14, 2023 12:43 am

Heat Pumps work well in that part of the world. Apparently.
(€550,000 on each these crates and didn’t fit a heat-pump – but of course they all know what Trapped Heat is)
slow handclap. ha ha ha

Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 14, 2023 3:50 am

A heat pump requires a circuit compressor driven by an e motor – so?

The E buses in winter would be heated for passenger comfort from the battery that powers the bus – seems doomed to failure. An alternator recharging etc would fall foul of the second law which precludes perpetual motion machines. If this law could be modified we could get to net zero in no time flat.

Tom Johnson
Reply to  cagwsceptic
December 14, 2023 5:28 am

The answer is quite simple: the Wizards of Smart running Oslo simply pass a ‘Third Law’, making the Second Law obsolete. They might also weld trailer hitches to the busses, and pull along a 200 hp diesel generator with a 250 gallon fuel tank.

Tom Johnson
Reply to  Tom Johnson
December 14, 2023 5:32 am

If they got really smart, they could even run a flexible hose with coolant from the engine running into the cabin to use waste heat from the engine to keep the bus cabin toasty warm.

Bill Kotcher
Reply to  Tom Johnson
December 15, 2023 8:22 am

We call that, The Heater, made up of hoses running coolant to the heater core which heats the cabin.

Reply to  Tom Johnson
December 14, 2023 6:36 am

Or as they appear quite neat buses they could be retrofitted with a petrol engine.
There is a Third Law and also a Zeroth Law – you mean a Fourth Law
is needed that states that net zero by 2050 with an NPV of 10% can only be attained by spending at least 10^9 $

Reply to  cagwsceptic
December 14, 2023 6:40 am

Maybe more.

Reply to  cagwsceptic
December 15, 2023 3:49 am

The Fourth Law needs a little work and should read…… by spending at least 100×10^12$ (assuming there is enough Lithium, copper, cobalt etc and no more cock ups like Oslo’s buses

Rick C
Reply to  cagwsceptic
December 14, 2023 7:43 am

Simple solution – fit all the EBuses with propane heaters for the passengers and batteries. That should restore their claimed 250 K range.

Reply to  Rick C
December 15, 2023 1:07 pm

In addition, the electricity to heat the bus, while going from A to B, is about the same as driving the bus, while going from A to B, PLUS that extra load on the battery is happening while it is cold outside.


You would think Norwegians (and New Englanders) would know this, but the dreamer idiots in charge went ahead anyway to prove their green-ness, WHILE SPENDING OTHER PEOPLE’s MONEY, AS USUAL!!

Keel haul them very slowly, multiple times!!

BTW, propane heaters would help, but the 250 km range would NOT BE ATTAINABLE during cold weather, making the buses unreliable and useless in Oslo, during the winter.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 14, 2023 8:53 am

I thought this odd to until I read a report where a heat pump was installed in Norway, it replaced electric heaters so would have to be really bad to be a failure. Seems in Norway most people use electric heating in the cities so moving to a heat pump makes sense. Using a heat pump to replace gas/oil heating does not make sense as the saving is just not there.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  kommando828
December 14, 2023 9:54 am

Once you start to hit 0F, heat pumps are…less useful. Most heat pump configurations for HVAC have backup electric resistance heaters, usually 10kW. Depending on the cost of electricity, your heat pump has to maintain a COP of 2.5-3.0 to remain economical, and the COP drops as the temperature does.

Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
December 14, 2023 4:09 pm

I have a 14 SEER, [4.1 COP] heat pump. It has an electric heater in the refringent sump to help provide heat and efficiency in cold weather. However, even though my home is insulated to Heat Pump requirements, the HP will run continuously when outdoor air is below 22 degrees F. Luckily the HP switches over to the NG furnace at 20 degrees F.

The following link can be used to give you a good idea of how much heat you will get from a HP at various outdoor temperatures. https://documents.alpinehomeair.com/product/3024-7481F%5B1%5D.pdf.
This link will provide methodology and calculations and data that you can use to calculate the heat developed if you can find the SEER or COP rating of your HP or the one you plan on purchasing.
SEER can be converted to COP by multiplying by 0.293.

Reply to  usurbrain
December 14, 2023 4:16 pm

Forgot second link –> https://www.upgnet.com/dsmarketingprod/gatekeeper/Documents/Archive_CDs/COLEMAN_TD_2008/pdffiles/18630-uai-e-0808.pdf
If resistance Heating is your Backup, then there is no Economic Balance point that will save you money.

Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
December 14, 2023 6:19 pm

Yes. My heat pumps frost over when the temp gets down to 5C, thats ‘plus 5’
Thats not too often over winter , urban heat island etc
For places that drop to -10C overnight but might be above 5to 8C during day they recommend not to turn it off as it will never warm you up enough in the morning.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 14, 2023 12:51 pm

They’re having the same issue that the EV drivers caught in a blizzard, stranded on the freeway did.

Reply to  traxiii
December 14, 2023 1:17 pm

That’s actually a scary concept, especially if you’re remote and can’t get any help. What happens to your heat when the battery can’t keep the heat going?

Yes, ICE may not be total salvation (fuel runs out, pipes get blocked) but at least you have a better chance in one.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 15, 2023 1:19 pm



I have three 24,000 Btu/h Mitsubishi heat pumps, with six outlets, in my 3700 sq ft house, in Vermont, USA

I operate two of the outlets when the temp is:

1) above 20F, if overcast,
2) above 15F if sunny.

Total investment was $21,500
Each year, I save about $200 on energy, the difference of less propane and more electricity

The savings were about the same each year for the past 3 years.

Amortizing the heat pumps over 15 years is well over $2000/y
Amortizing my existing propane heating system is about $1000/y

Each system has a service contract that covers labor, but not parts.

All people who put in heat pumps end up royally screwed.

Reply to  Scarecrow Repair
December 14, 2023 10:02 pm

Well obviously but with this small oversight with the progressive transing at least get some wind turbines and solar panels onto those bus rooves.

Bryan A
December 13, 2023 10:20 pm


Reply to  Bryan A
December 14, 2023 3:00 am

I suppose this e-bus story makes a change from exploding buses or Electric bus bursts into flames.

Ben Vorlich
December 13, 2023 10:32 pm

Sold to a purchasing manager who never left his office so didn’t realise it got cold in winter. Who didn’t think to get the manufacturer to supply half a dozen to test for a year.

250km seems very low range for a bus that’s going to spend 10, hours a day on duty. Five cross town runs assuming a circuitous route?

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
December 13, 2023 10:56 pm

10 hours? That all? I would have thought something more like 20hrs, and of course 24hrs a day for big cities like NY, Toronto, Paris and yes even Oslo (especially during the long days of the summer!)

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  PCman999
December 13, 2023 11:22 pm

I was counting a rapid recharge, assuming they can be, when the drivers changed at shift ends

Reply to  PCman999
December 14, 2023 7:20 am

Oslo, at 60 deg N latitude, is relatively close to the Arctic Circle and has ~19 hour durations of daylight during the month of June, with sunrise as early as 3:50 am and sunset as late as 10:44 pm. In December, it get days having as little as 6 hour of sunlight.

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
December 13, 2023 10:58 pm

250km seems very low range for a bus

And that 250km is on a good day

Steve Case
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
December 14, 2023 12:02 am
Peta of Newark
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
December 14, 2023 12:46 am

You’ve never visited London then, maybe 75km in that time

The Real Engineer
Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 14, 2023 3:48 am

Probably, but that is because the buses are held up by the traffic jams, lights and even passengers getting on and off. Average in London is not much above walking pace, 4MPH!

Leo Smith
Reply to  The Real Engineer
December 14, 2023 8:21 am

Indeed. When I lived in that benighted city one day I decided to walk rather than catch public transport – I had to walk to a tube station or bus stop anyway.
To my surprise, I got there sooner for journeys under 2 miles, and about the same up to 4..the ability to take short cuts meant far shorter journeys on foot.

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
December 14, 2023 3:09 am

Perhaps purchase managers should have access to an equivalent of something like Trip Advisor where users can write a review about their transport fleet; VDL E-Bus “The maintenance is cheaper, it’s also cheaper for the operators of the electric buses. However I have had some complaints from users where their journey times have dramatically increased in the winter months. Also one exploded while being charged which impacted on operating costs.”

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
December 14, 2023 8:35 am

The poor purchasing manager probably had no option.. Norway’s Parliament passed a law in 2022 which said that from 2022 all new cars purchased by public authorities had to be zero emission (electric or hydrogen powered) and the same for new buses from 2025. The Mayor of Oslo, like Sadiq Khan in London, probably wanted to virtue signal and ordered that the buses had to be electric.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
December 14, 2023 10:03 am

According to one source, Olso has a bit over 6,900 km of bus routes.

Bus • Oslo • CityTransit Data (uitp.org)

Dennis Gerald Sandberg
December 13, 2023 11:46 pm

How can a city be dumb enough to order over 100 buses without first buying a half dozen to test for two years. Incredible. I thought only blue cities here in the US were in a class of their own, wrong,

Eric Vieira
Reply to  Dennis Gerald Sandberg
December 14, 2023 12:58 am

There was possibly 10% for some big guy …

Reply to  Dennis Gerald Sandberg
December 14, 2023 2:12 am

The purchasing manager in Oslo somehow forgot that it gets very cold in Norway in Winter, and that batteries don’t work well in the cold. Stupidity is certainly not confined to the US.

Meanwhile, this is happening to Teslas in Finland (where it also get very cold):

Reply to  Dennis Gerald Sandberg
December 14, 2023 10:48 am

I thought it was common knowledge that these vehicles performed poorly in very cold weather. Democracy is falling apart if people keep voting for these numbskulls.

Curious George
Reply to  Dennis Gerald Sandberg
December 14, 2023 11:08 am

Testing first would be rational, not progressive ..

Reply to  Dennis Gerald Sandberg
December 14, 2023 3:36 pm

When a “new” technology is being provided with grand promises from the salesmen, why buy ANY of them. Just have them provide 2 for a trial with the purchase contract to be completed IF they meet the promised performance levels.

Videotape the sales spiel, document the claimed performance completely.

After a year, tell them to come pick up their crap.

BUT the federal government probably paid for the 100, so free money, the city thought, until they were stuck with the cost of fixing the mess.

Reply to  Drake
December 14, 2023 9:42 pm

Videotape the sales spiel, document the claimed performance completely. After a year, tell them to come pick up their crap.

Unfortunately, ALL new vehicle sales agreements state that “any and all statements made by sales personnel are non-binding”. You sign that agreement before the sale becomes final.

Oh, you didn’t read that small print on the back before signing? Good thing your wife liked the upholstery color and the makeup mirror.

December 14, 2023 12:52 am

Story Tip

Meanwhile in the UK….

A proposed test in Redcar would have seen Northern Gas Networks (NGN) supply hydrogen, instead of natural gas, to as many as 2,000 homes for heating and cooking.
But on Thursday, a new document published by the Government said the Redcar trial would no longer go ahead due to trouble acquiring hydrogen for the scheme. 

It comes after a similar trial in Whitby, Ellesmere Port, was abandoned due to a revolt among local residents.

Redcar’s local council warned its own area’s scheme was facing a similar revolt last week.
An update to the Government’s hydrogen strategy today says: “We have now decided not to proceed with the proposed trial in Redcar as designed, due to issues in obtaining a robust, local hydrogen supply.

So what are they proposing to do? Make some!

Energy Secretary Claire Coutinho is to approve plans for hydrogen factories around UK coasts as part of the drive to achieve net zero.

Ms Coutinho is to publish a “Hydrogen Roadmap” within days, setting out how Britain will produce and use the gas in industrial quantities.

Hydrogen offers a clean alternative to natural gas and could potentially replace diesel as a key fuel for lorries, trains, and ships under net zero. It could also replace gas in heavy industry.

The roadmap is understood to include plans for large-scale hydrogen production facilities, seeding an entirely new UK energy industry and thousands of new jobs.

And what are they going to make it out of?

The spokesman said: “By 2030, we aim to deliver 10 gigawatts of low carbon hydrogen production capacity, including at least half from green hydrogen sources, supporting more than 12,000 jobs and up to £11bn of private investment across the UK.

They are going to make half of it out of natural gas!


Reply to  michel
December 14, 2023 1:25 am

The spokesman said: “By 2030, we aim to deliver 10 gigawatts of…hydrogen”

They measure hydrogen in watts? I have literally no idea what that word salad is trying to tell us.

The Real Engineer
Reply to  quelgeek
December 14, 2023 3:57 am

He probably meant something a bit more complex like “we aim to deliver 10 Gj of heat equivalent per second in the form of hydrogen”. As he and the Public don’t understand what a Joule is, they try to relate it to electricity! He also didn’t say if this 10 GW was 24/7 or for one second. Bit of an error there. Another point, this much hydrogen from electricity 24/7 would require more than 30 GW of wind, which we don’t have and will probably never have spare.

Reply to  The Real Engineer
December 14, 2023 7:25 am

One spark in the wrong place and that 10 GW of hydrogen will be delivered in somewhere between 1 millisecond and 10 seconds, depending on flame speed of the mix.

Reply to  The Real Engineer
December 14, 2023 9:46 pm

I want 10 Hiroshimas of hydrogen delivered. Lets talk in terms people understand.

The Real Engineer
Reply to  michel
December 14, 2023 3:52 am

Hydrogen is very expensive at this time. Enough for your heating for a couple of hours costs £100 or so from BOC. It is in cylinders, and purer tan probably needed, but still… I expect the scheme ran out of subsidy money, and the hydrogen was made from natural gas anyway, throwing out a huge amount of CO2. Oh dear!!!

David Dibbell
Reply to  michel
December 14, 2023 3:58 am

Redcar’s local council warned its own area’s scheme was facing a similar revolt last week.”

This reminds me of the scene in Chicken Run – “the chickens are revolting!”


And yes, the hydrogen schemes are absolutely insane.

Eric Vieira
December 14, 2023 12:56 am

Battery power is based on chemistry, which slows down by a factor of about 2, for every 10°C temperature drop. So compared to 20°C, one has at -10°C a 30°C difference, or 2 to the third power which is 8 times less power. This effect has also disastrous effects during charging with over 50% more losses if one charges on cold batteries. If electrical energy has to be used to keep the bus and especially the battery warm, then the losses are even heavier. E-Busses in Nordic countries: forget it.

The Real Engineer
Reply to  Eric Vieira
December 14, 2023 3:59 am

They forgot to forget it! Amazing ignorance. It also means that the bus available power will be 1/8 of normal, which is probably not much good, particularly for the internal heating!

Reply to  Eric Vieira
December 14, 2023 7:45 am

Ohmic heating losses in the battery during periods of normal-use discharge will warm the battery internals (particularly the electrolytes) such that they don’t remain at starting ambient temperature for very long.

Your point (Arrhenius scaling of chemical reactions) is well made . . . but real world experience suggests the cold-induced reduction in battery output (kWh) is not nearly as severe as being 1/8 that resulting from a 30°C temperature drop.

“According to AAA, EVs often lose 12% of their range in cold weather, but the loss leaps to 41% with the heater on full blast.”

“At an observed 3.91 miles per kWh, we calculate a potential 313.4 miles of range in the 70-75 degree temperature range versus 225.7 miles of predicted range in the range of 15-20 degrees (2.82 miles per kWh), which represents a 28% decrease in range.”

The Real Engineer
Reply to  ToldYouSo
December 15, 2023 2:17 am

You are confusing reduction in capacity with reduction in delivery ability. I was discussing delivery, the capacity reduction is another snag. The battery will probably warm up a bit, but as this is the cause of thermal runaway, the cooling system will probably keep it well below a useful rate temperature. Li ion is a very tricky thing to keep safe, as we keep seeing!

Peta of Newark
December 14, 2023 12:57 am

and one would have hoped that a European website would know how to spell kilometres

But no. Wrap up warm, grow web feet and take the bus
(the bus might not make it but the journey itself will bad enough. Esp in an artic. Tried those in London and were universally hated)

Metres Meters My Ass.PNG
Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 14, 2023 1:04 am

Maybe it’s the Norwegian spelling?

Wim Rost
Reply to  atticman
December 14, 2023 2:25 am

Google Translate gives a Norwegian ‘kilometer’ for the Dutch ‘kilometer’. Very European. But different from the French ‘kilomètre’ which is also European.

Krishna Gans
Reply to  Wim Rost
December 14, 2023 6:41 am

The original Meter is placed in Paris if I remeber well.
In Norwegian it’s spelled as in German.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Krishna Gans
December 14, 2023 8:30 am

THIS is a meter

Krishna Gans
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 14, 2023 10:07 am

We were talking about the Norvegian 😀 Kilo(meter) 😀

History of the metre

December 14, 2023 1:03 am

Buses “Break Down” Due To Cold

In a time of global boiling? – h/t Gutwrencher

December 14, 2023 1:05 am

Just wait for the first really bad winter storm and people stuck in battery powered cars.

The inconvenience of an interrupted bus journey will seem a very minor problem then…

Federico Bar
Reply to  Hysteria
December 14, 2023 6:16 am

Wait and, even if it’s not extremely cold, pray that the bus doesn’t explode. Which I understand can happen any disgraceful moment.,

Dave Fair
Reply to  Hysteria
December 14, 2023 3:04 pm

No sane person would drive an EV in a winter storm, especially in the mountains or over the distances in the Western U.S. How about during a hurricane evacuation?

EV additions to the transportation fleets is like wind and solar additions to the electric grid: Once beyond a low percentage of penetration, the whole thing falls apart.

Reply to  Dave Fair
December 14, 2023 3:26 pm

No sane person would drive an EV in a winter storm

There’s a lot of not sane people out there.

Reply to  Dave Fair
December 15, 2023 3:29 am

A sane person would not, sure. But the virtue signallers doublethink enough that they could.
The watermelons once refused my proposal of pilgrimage for personally paying respect to the polar bear population (so to speak), but anything even a slightest bit less obvious has good chance to create much needed selection pressure.

December 14, 2023 1:10 am

The absurdity becomes madness when it’s clear they themselves know that the AGW and standard climate models are nothing but pseudo-science :

From CDN (Climate Discussion Nexus) yt channel :

Article from the Statistisk sentralbyra (Statistiks Norway) :
“To what extent are temperature levels changing due to greenhouse gas emissions?”

From the abstract :
The tests show that standard climate models are rejected by time series data on global temperatures.

Using theoretical arguments and statistical tests we find, as in Dagsvik & al. (2020), that the effect of man-made CO2 does not appear to be strong enough to cause systematic changes in the temperature fluctuations during the last 200 years.

2 other analysis with the same conclusions :
1) Analysis from weather balloons data done by Michael and Ronan Connolly who found no relation between atmospheric CO2 concentrations and global temperatures :

“Looking at the weather balloon data we can’t see a CO2 signature.”

2) In one of his presentation on the subect, Murray Salby (who saddly passed away in 2022) presents a cross correlation diagram between CO2 and global temperatures time series :

The diagram shows a correlation from temperatures to CO2 (right side of the diagram) and (if anything) a weak anti-correlation from CO2 toward temperatures (left side of the diagram) :

Feynman :
“It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.”

It’s high time, for a lot of people, to rethink from scratch all their climate beliefs.

Story tip :
What is the actual human impact in atmospheric concentrations?

Based on the analysis of the CO2 airborne fraction from a James Hansen 2013 publication (“Climate forcing growth rates : doubling down on our Faustian bargain”, see figure 3 and Hansen’s comments on the variations of this fraction), one can estimate the amount of CO2 it emitted.
But looking at the Mauna Loa CO2 records, we don’t even see a dent in the increasing trend … (and it’s even quite the opposite of what’s expected : we see a plateau in the CO2 trend plausibly caused by a cooling induced by the eruption).


Open questions :
What are the in and out CO2 fluxes, chemical laws which are at play here ?
What can be inferred with respect to human CO2 emissions when compared to, for example, the 1991 Pinatubo CO2 emissions ?

Rod Evans
December 14, 2023 2:58 am

It may be pure coincidence, but once the announcement to stop the hydrogen home heating trial was made here in the UK the stock market moved up 2%.
I can only hope this is a sign investors in the UK are thankful sane energy thinking is returning to our system of decision making. In Norway it can get a bit chilly in winter so why they decided to put all their busses into the useless battery option is beyond sanity.
I would blame Greta but she is Swedish so that can’t be the case. Norway is also the main fossil fuel producing country in Europe (since the UK turned to the dark side) maybe someone in the energy sector there might comment on why the political class and councillors are so ignorant about real energy. How can they be so crazy to go out and buy 100 battery based busses that will never work in deep cold Norwegian winter?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Rod Evans
December 14, 2023 5:35 am

“How can they be so crazy to go out and buy 100 battery based busses that will never work in deep cold Norwegian winter?”

Good question.

The common sense approach would be to test a few buses and see how they do, not buy a whole fleet without testing.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Rod Evans
December 14, 2023 9:13 am

Something is definitely going on in Norway. In 2022 79% of all new cars sold were fully electric up from 64.5% in 2021. The Parliament has a national goal that all new cars sold by 2025 should be zero emission (electric or hydrogen).

By law all public sector procurement of cars from 2022 have to be zero emission and likewise public procurement of buses from 2025. Oslo obviously jumped the gun. A lot of other local authorities are probably grateful 🙂

Joseph Zorzin
December 14, 2023 3:19 am

Like- as if nobody warned about this….. Yuh, they didn’t care to listening those right wing climate deniers. 🙂

and it’s only the beginning of winter- what happens when it REALLY gets cold?

Joseph Zorzin
December 14, 2023 3:28 am

And what about trains? Are there plans for battery driven trains? Sure, in a city you can have electric trolleys, but what about long distance trains?

I’ve gone across America several times, years ago, on Amtrak- back then never gave a thought to the power source. I didn’t see any black smoke- so whatever they were/are burning, it must be fairly “clean”- at least regarding emissions.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 14, 2023 10:57 am

Just electrify the rails for trains, like they do for model railroads. I’m sure there would be no downside to a hundreds (thousands?) volt potential across two large pieces of metal on the ground spaced 5 feet apart

Joseph Zorzin
December 14, 2023 3:31 am

How about hybrid busses?

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 14, 2023 5:39 am

We’ve had them in London since 2014 or so.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 14, 2023 5:41 am

How about non-plugin hybrid busses?

December 14, 2023 3:38 am


December 14, 2023 3:43 am

I’ll bet that the diesel-powered busses that were replaced were garaged or had fuel/engine heaters so they would start in cold weather.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  rovingbroker
December 14, 2023 10:15 am

That is likely, but the focus of the discussion is range reduction. No matter the temperature, if you can get a diesel engine running, the range is not greatly affected by the ambient temperature.

Krishna Gans
December 14, 2023 5:42 am

ICEs won’t start either if it’s to cold, but that’s only a question of minutes with a little help of a friend.

Matthew Bergin
Reply to  Krishna Gans
December 14, 2023 8:38 am

What temperature are you referring to? My ICE vehicles have started easily at -40°, but I have good batteries. They did crank a little slow though.

Krishna Gans
Reply to  Matthew Bergin
December 14, 2023 10:14 am

Of course it’s a qustion of quality and age, but I made these experiences.
In the northern lands they use heating plugs to help start cars in the cold mornings.
My Volvo made in Sweden is able to use heating plugs, not being a diesel.

Matthew Bergin
Reply to  Krishna Gans
December 14, 2023 1:48 pm

The engines I am referring to were gasoline engines. When you wrote ICE’s I had a brain fart and diesels didn’t even enter my mind. I agree diesels in the cold can be a real pain in the butt to start.

don k
Reply to  Matthew Bergin
December 14, 2023 10:22 am

Gasoline engines will start OK in pretty cold temps. Unheated diesel, not so much below about 10F(-12C). And even if they start, they may not run so well.

What temps? As near as I can see 7F(-14C) on the morning of Dec 9. https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/norway/oslo/historic. Not all that cold by North American standards.

Paul B
December 14, 2023 5:55 am

I have several hand tools powered by lithium batteries. They are in an unheated workshop (new england) and they won’t hold a charge over night in the winter.

Do these EVs suffer the same mechanism? What is this phenomenon anyway?

December 14, 2023 6:26 am

Look on the bright side, Oslo. EV buses have a tendency to self-heat when least expected.

December 14, 2023 6:44 am

SH! Trudeau may still be seriously considering this for Ottawa. Don’t give him ideas.

December 14, 2023 7:03 am

I’m not quite sure how your tell Sirin Stav, Vice-Mayor responsible for environment and transport, in the Norwegian language, Oslo dialect: “Sorry, guy, but you just bought a pig in a poke.”

Reply to  ToldYouSo
December 14, 2023 12:10 pm

“You thought you bought a pig in a poke”
Bad luck! The pig seller slipped a cat in poke instead.
You don’t find out until you open the bag(poke) and see the cat which really isn’t happy and tries to escape.
When it does; You’ve let the cat out of the bag.

Reply to  p0indexterous
December 14, 2023 12:46 pm

Just so . . . although the origin of the phrase that I heard long ago, living in the deep South, was that the ignorant buyer only later found out that the animal in the “poke” was a skunk, not a pig.

Reply to  ToldYouSo
December 15, 2023 3:37 am

I would be very surprised if he does not speak “English (simplified)”. Wa-Benzi gonna Wa-Benzi.

December 14, 2023 7:04 am

What is Tesla doing to resolve/minimize this problem for their vehicles in cold climates?

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Retiredinky
December 14, 2023 10:17 am

The batteries have a self-heating circuit that engages when the temperature is low enough. I speculate that you can disengage this feature or program the kick-in temperature to some extent.

Coach Springer
December 14, 2023 7:05 am

“Funny” how comments can turn to solving the non-problem with better batteries, better management, hydrogen or hybrids. Why are the countries close to the article circle so intent on getting to the next ice age?

As for hybrids, they’re not net zero and are therefore unacceptable. Like natural gas. In this case, “Perfect” us the enemy of the unnecessary and costly.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  Coach Springer
December 14, 2023 9:42 pm

If there are better batteries why didn’t they use them in the first place.

CD in Wisconsin
December 14, 2023 7:20 am

“The range of the electric buses decreases drastically in the cold. The batteries run out more quickly,” according to sources. 


Lay in a really big supply of really, really, really long extension cords.

Krishna Gans
December 14, 2023 7:36 am

“The range of the electric buses decreases drastically in the cold. The batteries run out more quickly,”

Not that it wasn’t known before, what a surprise 😀 😀

Smart Rock
December 14, 2023 7:48 am

The bus in the photo at the top has a door in the “off” side. More ways to get out when the battery self-ignites? The articulated bus in the German newspaper doesn’t though.

Trolleybuses are cheap, reliable and long lasting. But apparently they aren’t trendy enough, even the hybrid ones, for high-end virtue signalling.

Jeff L
December 14, 2023 7:48 am

One again, it just goes to show that you can’t legislate physics & chemistry :)) Imagine that!

Andy Pattullo
December 14, 2023 8:37 am

The busses have a range of 250 km (downhill on a warm summer’s day). What is so alarming about this is that the outcome described was already known and predictable before a contract was ever signed to buy these white elephants. Other civic governments are continuing to do the same in spite of all the evidence this is a sink hole for money out of which will come precious few if any benefits. We need to ask ourselves how we keep electing and appointing people so clearly out of touch with reality.

December 14, 2023 9:23 am

“The city of Oslo took delivery of 183 new electric buses last April with the aim of becoming “emissions-free”.”

The buses probably worked well through spring and summer when the weather is relatively mild, but problems became apparent with the onset of winter.

Even the batteries used to start ICE vehicles tend to have trouble in winter. The city planners in Oslo, which is not known for a tropical climate, should have planned for a test run by buying a few buses in October or November, and making the purchase of more buses contingent on the results of winter performance.

I read somewhere that Greta Thunberg drives an all-electric Nissan Leaf. If its battery is like those of the Oslo buses, she may not go far from Stockholm all winter.

December 14, 2023 9:39 am

Well now, who would have thought it would get really cold in Norway during the winter and there by significantly effect battery performance? I would like to think that cities like Trondheim would not follow suit but based on the IQ level displayed so far, one has to wonder.

Philip Mulholland
December 14, 2023 10:00 am

I worked in Oslo in January 1997, the office was located on the Langkaia overlooking the Børvika. Most mornings a small harbour boat would sail past breaking the sea ice. That was a cold city.

December 14, 2023 10:49 am

Is this news being covered in Boulder, Boston, California and other e-Bus utopias?

Elsewhere the news is cold.
story tip
China’s Cold Blast to Put Power Supplies Under Huge Pressure (yahoo.com)

December 14, 2023 11:49 am

More good news.

December 14, 2023 12:35 pm

Why did the citizens of Oslo vote for such an expensive and radical proposition? They did vote, right?

Trying to Play Nice
December 14, 2023 1:57 pm

Oslo tends to have mild temperatures compared to many cities. The min temperature in December according to Google is -4.7C or 24F. The article doesn’t say what the temperature was during the cold snap but I would hope busses could run at 24F.

Edward Katz
December 14, 2023 2:29 pm

Maybe I missed it, but what were the exact temperatures during this cold snap. From the picture, it looks as though the streets were wet, so some melting was occurring probably from ice-melters laid down on the pavement, and I’d bet the mercury was no lower than minus-5C= 23-above zero F. How reliable would these buses be in places where daytime winter highs average minus-12C=10F and overnight lows are typically minus25C=minus 13F?

Fred the Head
December 14, 2023 3:11 pm

Well, that saving energy plan is working after all.

December 14, 2023 3:53 pm

I think the Lutefisk has turned bad.

December 14, 2023 6:13 pm
John Pickens
December 14, 2023 6:30 pm

Here in the US, the Philadelphia SEPTA system was left holding the bag by current EPA head, and multi-million dollar Proterra investor, Jennifer Granholm.

SEPTA may lose the $24 million it spent on structurally flawed Proterra electric battery buses now that the troubled manufacturer has filed for bankruptcy.
The 25 buses were pulled from Philadelphia’s streets in January 2020 after six months when SEPTA found cracks in their frames and other problems. One of the electric battery buses burst into flames late last year in a South Philly depot.

December 15, 2023 3:01 am

but then reality hit!

Doesn’t it always?

Not coincidentally.
«…So it is reality itself that progressivism attacks. Reality is the perfect enemy: it always fights back, it can never be defeated, and infinite energy can be expended in unsuccessfully resisting it.» ― Mencius Moldbug, “An Open Letter to Open-Minded Progressives”

Stewart Trickett
December 15, 2023 9:26 am

A week ago it got down to -14 C. That’s cold, but it’s not really cold for a city at 60 degrees latitude. Under -20 C is not unheard of .

How could they not know this? Did they not test out these buses out on a small scale for a year or two beforehand?

December 15, 2023 2:27 pm

Who’da thunk that a tropical town like Oslo would ever suffer cold temps?

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