Narvik, a town of about 18,000 people, sits 220km inside the Arctic Circle. From the top of the ski mountain behind the city, you can look out and see nothing but ocean, or, to put it more precisely, the breathtaking Ofotfjord. Narvik is one of the northernmost cities in the world, first inhabited largely because of its port, which remains ice free only because of the warm currents of the Gulf Stream. Here, the mean annual temperature is a frosty 3.8 degrees Celsius. The warm weather lasts a brief three months. The roads are more familiar with snow and ice than they are dry wheels.
Here is also home to a man known around town as “Tesla Jens,” owner of more Tesla vehicles than any other individual in the world.
Jens Kratholm, a 56-year-old ophthalmologist, owns six Roadsters and a Model S. One of the Roadsters he gave to his wife, Ellen Røsnes, as a birthday gift, and the rest he shares among the couple’s six adult children, who drive the cars when they visit Narvik. But Kratholm also lets strangers test drive the vehicles and borrow them while he’s away. He even promotes the test drive opportunities to patients at his clinic.
“If we want to change the habits of people to begin driving electric cars, all the cars must be on the road at all times so people see them,” says Kratholm, who wasn’t interested in cars at all until he read about the Roadster in a glossy newspaper supplement. His previous vehicle was a Volkswagen minivan he had owned for more than a decade.
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