Journey to the Future - A Truck Driver's Electric Adventure - Girteka - Responsible Logistics

Journey to the Future – A Truck Driver’s Electric Adventure


“In my 15 years driving through Norway’s landscapes, I’ve seen a lot,” begins Odd Thore, a Thermomax truck driver who’s witnessed first-hand the industry’s shift towards electric trucks. “From hauling food across the country to working in road maintenance, I’ve always relied on the rumble of a diesel engine beneath me. But now, it’s time for a change.”


From diesel to electric in Norway


Meet Odd Thore, an experienced truck driver, delivering goods across snowy Norway in an electric truck. This is a new experience for him, as within his 15 years’ experience he drove only diesel trucks. Yet now as Girteka Group is shifting into sustainable transport solutions, he had the privilege to gain experience and skills by driving a Volvo battery-electric truck.


Odd fondly recalls his diesel days, “There’s something about the growl of a Scania or the steadfastness of a Volvo that gets into your blood. Each journey had its own story, each truck its own character. Yet now facing the shift from diesel to electric also brings full of joy, new experience and skills as well as the need of different behavior and habits.”


In Norway, the trucking industry is undergoing a significant transformation with the rise of electric trucks, marking a pivotal shift towards sustainability and innovation. This Scandinavian nation, known for its commitment to environmental preservation and cutting-edge technology, is at the forefront of adopting electric vehicles in logistics and transportation. The share of electric vehicles (EVs) is remarkably high compared to the European average. In 2022, plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) accounted for 79.3% of the market share in Norway[1]. And this is also being seen in HDV. The Norwegian government has set ambitious targets for the adoption of emission-free trucks. By 2030, all new trucks in Norway must either be emission-free or run on biogas.


And therefore more and more logistics companies are shifting their transportation services to zero emissions solutions, using battery electric trucks. Making the switch to electric was a leap of faith for Odd. “I was curious, maybe a bit skeptical. How would these electric giants measure up on the roads in such circumstances we have in Norway?” he wondered. The decision was a significant turning point, marking a new chapter in his career.


Electric revelation as a beacon of hope


The first drive in an electric truck was a revelation for Odd. The silence inside the cabin, a stark contrast to the diesel engines he was accustomed to, was the first thing that struck him. The truck, while mirroring the interior of its diesel counterparts, brought a sense of tranquillity and swiftness. He was particularly impressed by the rapid warming of the truck and the smooth, swift acceleration.


“The silence was deafening,” he laughs. “I was used to the constant hum of a diesel engine, but this… this was different. It felt like stepping into the future. Being constantly on the road makes the truck itself very important in terms of my working conditions. Therefore, such elements like the noise, that can not only influence the capabilities but also experiences from driving, is an argument for new generations to join as a professional truck driver.” – he adds.



“I remember when I started to work as a truck driver. The trucks by that time were great, but now comparing them to what the future can bring, gives me hope, that the truck driver job is on the edge of change. Knowing all the latest technology solutions, like AI tools for route planning, cruise control assistance, and all driving features, and probably many more that I cannot even think of, is really an argument for young to join this profession. And if you put on top of it working for a company that invests in the newest assets, like Girteka, you get only the benefits.” Odd summarizes.


Another benefit is smoothness in terms of acceleration. While advanced diesel trucks with cruise controls are today mandatory for the best experience while driving as well as safety and eco-driving effects, electric truck gives an opportunity for drivers to understand and analyze the energy consumption while accelerating or slowing down using kinetic energy. “Normally I used to go through eco-driving training to understand how my reaction and way of driving influence the level of fuel consumption and emissions. Now with an electric truck and instantly available information, I can analyze it by myself, checking reactions, effects of each pedal pushing.” – he adds. Yet, today electric trucks are not without challenges.


Tackling Electric Truck Challenges


Despite the advantages, the switch to electric wasn’t without its hurdles. The two-axle structure of the truck posed a significant challenge, leading to frequent concerns about overloading, safety, and driving capabilities, especially in snowy Norway. “The two-axle design is a bit of a puzzle, especially with the power axle getting easily overloaded. I got used to driving with 3 axles, which gives me a better feeling of the truck on the road being fully loaded.” – Odd concludes.


Another topic – charging – required more time than refueling a diesel truck. This adjustment in his routine was a learning curve, but one that Odd navigated with the expertise of a seasoned driver.


Looking to the future, Odd is optimistic. “I believe we’re just at the beginning. Electric trucks will become more advanced, and more suited to our needs. I’m excited to see where we go from here.” His experience has given him a unique perspective on the evolution of trucking.


Reflecting on his journey, Odd sees his move to electric trucks as a blend of old and new. “Trucking is in my blood, diesel or electric,” he says. “What’s important is how we adapt, how we embrace these changes. I’m proud to be part of this new chapter in trucking with Girteka.”