Crown prince proud of electric car

Looking back on Norwegian innovation

haakon car

Photo: Beate Oma Dahle / NTB
Crown Prince Haakon is proud that he once drove a Think, Norway’s groundbreaking electric car.

Crown Prince Haakon reminisced about his first electric car—a Think from 2003 with a low range. At the same time, he expressed his pride about the project and Norwegian investment in electric cars.

“Here is a picture of the Norwegian car industry; a little bit of it at least. So, this is a Think. And I got one of those cars in 2003. At that time, it was used and had been around for a while,” said Crown Prince Haakon when he spoke at a seminar on green technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, on May 4.

The Norwegian electric car manufacturer Think had to throw in the towel over a decade ago, just before the electric car wave took off. But even so, the crown prince believes that the pioneer project had a significant impact in Norway.

“I have met many of those who worked at Think, and they are doing very well in many other industries now. I think it did a lot for the electric car mindset in Norway when we had these Norwegian electric cars rolling around. And that is something we have had success with, to increase the number of electric cars, emission-free cars, in Norway,” he said in his speech.

Diligent driver

The crown prince drove the distinctive plastic car from 2003 to 2012.

“It was an electric car, and Norway had invested in an electric car. We were allowed to drive in the taxi lane, so that we could get past traffic jams faster. There were several advantages,” said the crown prince.

At the same time, he admitted that the range was relatively poor.

“The car was called Think, and you had to think a little because here the range was not very long. So, in the beginning, I could drive from Asker where we live to the office and back again, but toward the end, we had to charge in each place,” he said.

The Norwegian crown prince and crown princess, Mette-Marit, rounded out a three-day official visit to Sweden on May 4. During the trip, they visited both Gothenburg and Stockholm, accompanied by Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria and Crown Prince Daniel. An extensive business delegation was along on the trip, and topics discussed included the oceans, the environment, health, clean energy, and green industrial development, of which Think is an example.

“I try to be a realistic optimist, also when it comes to climate,” said the Norwegian crown prince. “I believe in the great potential that lies in climate-friendly technology, that many of the solutions to our challenges can be found there, with the development and production of products and services that will improve our lives and our planet at the same time.”

He also called for cooperation across borders between Norway and Sweden and with other countries as well.

“There is no shortage of challenges, here in the Nordic countries, in Europe, or on the planet as a whole: there is the war in Ukraine, the aftermath of the pandemic, climate change. If we are to succeed in finding good solutions, we will have to work together across national borders,” he said.

Upgraded model

The mentioned Think electric car was on display in the Queen Sonja Art Stall at the royal palace in Oslo, in the exhibition “The King’s Cars,” which ran until May 15. When the exhibition opened this past winter, the crown prince could tell that it has actually been upgraded a bit.

“I got a little extra stereo system installed, with a bass box behind it. It’s not that big, because it couldn’t draw too much on the battery,” Crown Prince Haakon said.


This article originally appeared in the May 27, 2022, issue of The Norwegian American.

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NTB (Norsk Telegrambyrå), the Norwegian News Agency, is a press agency and wire service that serves most of the largest Norwegian media outlets. The agency is located in Oslo and has bureaus in Brussels, Belgium, and Tromsø in northern Norway