Norway’s cattle breeding organization, Geno, has introduced electric cars into its AI technician fleet as part of the company’s green strategy being extended throughout its cattle operations in a bid to bring benefits to the Norwegian Red breed in the domestic and international marketplace.

Geno invited four technicians who travel more than 17,500km (10,873 miles) a year in Norway to take part in the project and use Geno-branded BMW i3 cars. “We will look especially at the performance of the cars in winter temperatures and then decide how many additional electric cars to introduce in 2020,” says Geno’s Cedric Oeglaend who is co-ordinating the project.

“As more choice of electric cars becomes available, we will consider the type of electric car required for technicians, such as those suited to longer distances or 4x4 cars for those in more remote areas.”

Geno estimates that by moving its 10 highest mileage technician vehicles to electric power could reduce its technician service running costs by approximately 500,000NOK (£42,400 or €49,600) per year and reduce emissions by approximately 30 tonnes of CO2 per year based on average emissions of 100 g/km.

“We are committed to reducing environmental pollution and we are looking at modifications to our whole business,” says Mr Oeglaend. “Norway is a country where the environment is highly valued. We are taking a global lead in the cattle breeding and genetics sector in developing a more environmentally efficient and sustainable industry that meets the targets set by world leaders.”

A major part of Geno’s business is the exporting of elite genetics to more than 30 countries, for pure and cross breeding herds. Geno is active in the UK and Ireland and supplies Norwegian Red genetics, typically into cross-bred programmes for dairy herds, through Genus ABS and in Ireland through Dovea Genetics.

In the first half of 2019, 45% of car sales in Norway were electric. The country has a target to increase this to 100% by 2025. The Norwegian government offers incentives such as zero VAT on electric car sales until at least 2020, and free tolls, reduced car parking charges and free use of bus lanes. Electricity in Norway is relatively cheap compared with fuel and the country has a network of charging points enabling electric vehicles to operate effectively.