Norwegian Gas Station Becomes First in World to Replace All Pumps With Electric Chargers

"Gas station" may no longer be an accurate description for a Circle K refueling outlet in Oslo, Norway, after it became the first in the world to replace all gas pumps with electric car chargers earlier this week.

The Oslo Circle K is one of the company's 16,000 gas stations around the world, but this location is the only one from any company to completely convert to electric fueling. The conversion to electric fuel "fast chargers" came at the same time as the United Nations Climate Action Summit was taking place this week in New York.

Christina Bu, secretary general of the Norwegian Electric Car Association, said in a press release that it "was extra fun to highlight this" at the same time world leaders were discussing climate change.

gas pump
Environmentalists hope traditional gas pumps will become a thing of the past. Getty

"We're in a new era. It is a historic milestone that the gas station chains replace fossil fuel pumps with quick chargers. We congratulate Circle K for investing properly in electric cars," said Bu.

"Soon we will see that more and more petrol and diesel pumps are being replaced by fast chargers and gas stations are becoming energy stations," she added.

Aside from the symbolic significance of the conversion, there also seems to be plenty of demand for "energy stations" in Norway. Sales of electric vehicles account for 44 percent of all new car sales in the country, while traditional vehicle sales are declining. The below chart from Statista shows just how popular electric vehicles are in Norway, compared to other major global economies.

Electric Vehicle Rates

Gasoline-powered vehicles still account for the majority of cars on the road, but Circle K believes the market is changing.

"We have never done this before. There are fierce battles over the square meters at gas stations, and the gas pumps still deliver the core products and drive most of the traffic to our stations," said Circle K Vice President Sverre Rosén, in a company press release. "But now there is a development in Norway. Fast charging is in high demand and there is a growing customer segment. It is nice to be a pioneer for the whole world in this way."

electric car charging station
Electric car charging has become faster over time, and the newest chargers producing a useful charge in minutes. Getty

Unlike traditional fossil fuel-burning vehicles, fully electric vehicles produce no carbon emissions. As scientists believe fossil fuel usage to be the chief cause of climate change, many believe that the importance of reducing the amount of fuel burned is becoming more urgent. It is currently predicted that more than half of the world's major cities could be under water within the next 50 to 150 years if emissions levels go unchanged.

Electric cars have become increasingly popular over time, with rapidly improving technology increasing the range of the cars, while the time it takes to charge them has gone down. Leading manufacturer Tesla is currently building charging stations capable of adding 75 miles of driving range to a vehicle in only five minutes, according to a report from The Verge.

Environmentalists, as well as electric car makers and enthusiasts, hope that the vehicles will replace fossil fuel-powered cars in the near future. The accelerating pace of climate change has only added fuel to the fire.