Inside the Industry: How Norway Became a Major User of Electric Vehicles Car News

While much of the world has paved the way for the adoption of electric vehicles, Norway – rich enough in oil to entice like crazy and inundated with clean energy solutions thanks to its geography (renewable sources provide 98% of his energy) – has cracked. So much so that some analysts are now running trend charts which suggest he could sell his last car to pure ICE in the first half of 2022.

While that sounds fancy, given it’s hard to force a very low figure down to zero, 95% of the 110,000 new vehicles registered in Norway in the first half of this year were hybrids, plug-in hybrids or electrics.

While hybrids represent a loophole (electricity being obtained by burning gasoline and providing only a thimble of assistance), they don’t change the status quo too much. Of the 15 best-selling models in Norway, 14 are electric vehicles, and the only intruder is the second-placed Toyota RAV4 PHEV. The best-placed hybrid is the Toyota Corolla in 16th and the best-placed diesel is the Volkswagen Tiguan in 28th – one of only three in the top 50.

Almost 75% of cars sold in Norway in 2020 had an outlet, and whatever happens by the end of this year, that number will skyrocket again. In a country where weather conditions are known to be harsh (and notably draining the battery) and long-distance travel is common, it’s interesting how easily car buyers have switched to electric vehicles.

How? ‘Or’ What? A holistic, highly incentivized approach seems to be the answer. Buying or leasing an electric vehicle in Norway means paying a reduced purchase tax, VAT and VED. Company car drivers also receive substantial subsidies. Meanwhile, all road tolls and public parking fees are reduced by law, and electric vehicle owners can use the bus and taxi lanes. And more than 16,000 charging stations have been built, or around 10% of the European total, while Norway has less than 1% of its population.

Norway still has challenges to overcome, including handling all ICE cars off its roads. Despite all its success in selling new electrified vehicles, only around 20% of its fleet is rechargeable. Globally, the average lifespan of vehicles is around 14 years, but of course the averages include both upper and lower numbers. A 30-year decline is expected in Norway.

But if it’s hard to get there, getting there first is even harder. Between six and eight years ago, Norway had a share of plug-in cars similar to that of the UK today – and buyers had far fewer cars to choose from.

Are we going to achieve the same thing in the same amount of time? This is unlikely, given that our government has invested and incentivized less and has set an ICE deadline in nine years. But Norway has shown what is possible.

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This notice was published: 2021-10-04 05:01:24

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