As the largest per capita electric vehicle (EV) market in the world, Norway offers a glimpse into the future of the energy transition, and the crucial role that EV-equipped refueling stations have to play.
As part of a licensing agreement with Shell, St1 owns and operates 300 retail stations in Norway. For Øyvind Andreassen, St1’s retail operations manager in Norway, stations are the crucial infrastructure driving rapid change.
“People need energy, and we are best equipped to provide them with it. We have the world’s highest number of EV’s per person here in Norway, and in my hometown of Bergen we have the highest number in the world for one city,” explained Andreassen.
Andreassen has been in the business of customer service throughout his career. After working in retail stores during his youth, he went on to become a sales manager for Shell Norway in 2007, progressing to Marketing Manager for the West Coast in 2002. This was followed by a 13-year stint as an entrepreneur, when Andreassen took over 10 Shell stations in Bergen, before returning as regional manager to what had become St1, back in 2019.
Today, Andreassen is responsible for 2500 station employees and 33 million visits a year to the stations under his remit, and is feeling more positive than ever about the energy transition.
“At St1, we’re investing so much in EV charging at the moment. We’re increasing the number of charging points, increasing the share of biofuels, and we aim to build more wind power in Norway.”
“This gives me a lot of energy to continue to be a part of the disruption that needs to happen,” he added.
The people in our organization is key
While the stations and people Andreassen are responsible for are a crucial part of the picture, he acknowledges that simply providing the infrastructure is only half of the task at-hand.
“The biggest challenge for us now is to change mindsets and support customers to make changes too.
While Andreassen said that the ability to learn something new every day is his favorite part of his job, what drives him to come to work every day is something deeper.
“The people in our organization and at our stations are the ones making a true difference. During the pandemic, they stood on the front line with nurses, doctors, and retail workers and did an important job to keep society functioning during this incredibly difficult time.”
“This is what I am most proud of, as it shows the real value of what we do.”