In the 1990 “s, the Norway government began introducing incentives for owners of electric vehicles. In 2001, a 25% VAT on new purchases of electric vehicles was abolished, and in 2005, drivers were allowed to use bus lanes. But the biggest changes began around the turn of the millennium, when road tax was cut, tolls on roads and public ferries were abolished, and free parking was offered in city parking lots.
Norway EV Adoption Strategy
The country’s nationwide charging infrastructure has been launched with government money, and private companies have taken over the operation with great interest. A number of used electric vehicles from other countries are also imported to Norway because of their lower price compared to the new ones. This phenomenon explains the high demand for electric cars in Norway, as the manufacturers cannot offer enough vehicles, and the trend to import registered electric cars from other European countries.
Norway the World Leader in EV Adoption
Norway is a world leader in the proportion of electric and hybrid cars on its roads. Of the 15,552 cars registered nationwide in September, 61.5% were electric cars. The Norwegian electric car market is powered by most of the new cars registered since September that are electric or hybrid.
At the time, the Nissan Leaf sold 716 units, representing 5.6% of all new car sales. The new Volkswagen ID3 was the best-selling car with 12.8% of the sales, followed by the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2.
At the end of the 1990s, the Norwegian government set itself the goal of putting 50,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2017. They succeeded more than two years faster than expected. In July 2016, the first electric vehicle with a number plate of the second series was registered on the roads.
In March 2019, nearly 60% of the new cars in the country were electric – a record number that would have been even higher had it not been for thousands of Norwegians stuck on long waiting lists and dealers struggling to import enough electric vehicles to meet demand.
Norway – EV’s are the new Normal
The take-up of electric vehicles, made affordable in part by tax breaks for consumers, is so high that the number now stands at more than 200,000 pure electric and plug-in vehicles which rose by 40% last year. On the road, in Norway, it is evident that electric vehicles are quickly becoming the norm. New launches such as the Audis e-Tron are available as a premium option among the many models of different vehicle manufacturers in Norway.
At the beginning of the millennium, the Norwegian government began courting potential buyers of electric cars with lower road taxes, the abolition of tolls, and free parking in municipal parking lots. At the end of August 2014, Norwegian Ministers came under increasing pressure to reduce non-financial incentives and tax breaks for electric vehicles in order to ease the growing congestion problems, a decision by the central government. To create incentives to switch to vehicles, the government has invested heavily in charging infrastructure and incentives to buy electric vehicles.
Norway – Success Story
The success of the introduction of electric vehicles was unexpected, and the central government plans to retain the non-financial incentives and tax breaks for electric vehicles until the end of 2017 when they reach 50,000 units. With ambitious emission reduction targets, rising support from the government and the automotive industry, and rapid technological progress, electric vehicles appear on the verge of a major expansion in Europe.
Europe’s northern peripheries, populated by Norway, have been pioneers of e-mobility for years and even decades. Norwegian adoption of electric vehicles is ahead of most countries and gives us an insight into the future of what could be a big market in decades to come.
There are early signs that demand for petrol and diesel is slowing and electric vehicles are gaining momentum. Norway’s market share in electric vehicles was 50% of all new cars last year, higher than any other country. And 60% of new cars sold in Norway in March 2019 where electric vehicles (EV) – the latest record statistic to capture Norway’s electric vehicles (EV) as the Nordic nation seeks to stop fossil-fuel car sales by 2025.
The number is so high that thousands of Norwegians are on long waiting lists at dealerships and have difficulty importing enough vehicles. The adoption of electric and plug-in hybrids has been creeping along in the last decade but electric cars still account for only 2% of new-car sales in the USA. A country not far behind is the United States, where electric vehicles accounted for 11% last year.
Norway has the highest rate of electric vehicles as a percentage of the car market, with 54% of all new cars sold being electric vehicles. Norway is a small, rural country with just over 5 million inhabitants that has built up hype around electric cars. Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said that electric vehicles in her country have become a status symbol and that widespread adoption has been stimulated by government policies.
Critics argue that the incentives promoted by the country favor the wealthy who can afford new cars, while lower-income owners can afford to use gasoline-powered models that remain cheaper than used electric vehicles.
Asked whether Ibsen Lindal, energy spokesman for the Norwegian Greens, sees the used gas car market as an obstacle to the nationwide trend towards electric cars, he said he hoped it was only a matter of time before electric vehicles became affordable for all Norwegians. Lindal said he expects electric vehicles to displace new gas-powered cars from the Norwegian market within three to five years.
Next year, Norway, which is increasing the vehicle tax on electric vehicles, will benefit from a 90% discount, compared with $229 per year for the same motorcycle. As its plans continue to gather pace, the government says the incentives driving the boom will be aligned with what other road users are paying.
Norway opened the world’s largest charging station earlier this year which can charge up to 28 vehicles per hour. The momentum of electric vehicles is also growing in the US, as evidenced by the 400,000 people who paid $1,000 for a waiting list for Tesla’s $35,000 Model 3. China is the world leader in electric vehicle deployment with 600,000 electric vehicles on its roads and has an ambitious plan to deploy five million electric vehicles by 2020.
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