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How Norway became the most electric car-friendly country

UNITED KINGDOM | Wednesday, 13 March 2019 | Views [40] | Comments [1]


The UK has plans for all new cars to be electric by 2040. Given that we have less than 11 years before the effects of climate change are irreversible, some politicians have suggested that this transition needs to happen sooner. Some other countries, by contrast, have already begun to move towards electric cars, seeing the economical and environmental advantages. The following article looks at the most electric car friendly country in the world, Norway, highlighting the ways they have hastened the transition, encouraged Norwegians to go-green and offered incentives and benefits.


Almost a third of all car sales in Norway last year were electric. This is a good sign for the countries plan to have only zero-emission cars by 2025. While the government admits there is still a long way to go, they boast the highest percentage of electric-cars of any country in the world. But how has Norway managed this?


  1. Tax-Exemption: The key incentive for electric-car driver in Norway is that they become exempt from most taxes. This makes it economically beneficial for people to go electric and has encouraged a big shift away from diesel and petrol in recent years.


  1. Other incentives: Drivers of electric cars in Norway can also enjoy other benefits such as free parking and charging ports, encouraging drivers further towards eliminating gas-guzzlers for good.


It does seem a stupidly simple concept: if you make it beneficial for drivers to buy electric cars - they will! Unfortunately, the initial cost of these models is still one of the main reasons why petrol and diesel models make up two thirds of Norway’s cars. For example, although Tesla is one of the fastest growing car brands in the world, its cars start from around $50,000 and are simply too expensive for many people, regardless of the long-term financial benefits. This does pose some interesting questions:


Have the results of Norway’s electric car incentives been successful? And, is 2025 a realistic target?


The short answer would be yes (kind of). In 2018, sales of pure electric cars rose by 40% to over 26,000 units in spite of a total car sales decline of 6%. Sales of petrol and diesel cars, by contrast, dropped by 17% and 28%, showing a positive trend towards electric-cars. However, in spite of its success, many don’t believe Norway can realistically achieve their goal. A key argument for this is that most people do not have a private parking space and, without access to a charging point at home, are very unlikely to go electric.

In conclusion, Norway’s shift towards renewable energies and environmentally friendly cars is a welcomed step forward. That being said, Norway is a relatively small country and the impact of other countries will outweigh their efforts to go green. When you consider China’s comparative size and then the fact that only 2% of cars are electric, their efforts to appear futile. This is why other countries should be learning from their example, imposing incentives for electric car drivers and creating more electric car friendly areas with frequent charging ports.

Tags: electric car, norway



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