Norway Takes the Lead in Electric Car Adoption

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Clean or hybrid vehicles accounted for more than half of new car sales last year in Norway, according to statistics released Wednesday, confirming the country’s pioneering role in transport electrification.

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The All-Electric Tesla Model S/Wikimedia Commons

Zero-emission cars (all-electric or, for a portion of the congestion, hydrogen) arrogated a market share of 20.9% in 2017 and hybrid cars, a category that includes rechargeable models (18,4%) and light hybrids (12.9%), accounted for 31.3% of new sales in 2017 according to figures from the Road Traffic Information Council (FVO).

These figures make Norway the world leader in the electrification of road transport.

In 2016, zero emission and hybrid cars accounted for 15.7 and 24.5% of new registrations in the Nordic country, respectively.

Norway, which is also paradoxically the largest producer of oil in Western Europe, has set an ambitious goal to sell only zero emission vehicles by 2025.

Unlike heavily taxed diesel or gasoline cars, clean cars currently benefit from an advantageous tax, almost non-existent in the case of all-electric cars, making their purchase prices relatively competitive.

Their owners also enjoy many privileges, such as free city tolls, free ferry rides and parking in public car parks, but also the ability to circulate inĀ  bus lanes.

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However, the effects of these measures on the climate and their cost are disputed and the authorities plan to gradually reduce some benefits in the future.

Last year, the right-wing government tried to remove one of the tax exemptions on big – and luxurious – electric sedans but had to finally give up this “Tesla tax” in the face of opposition from its center-right allies .

The Norwegian Electric Car Association welcomed the new statistics, while calling for continued state aid.

“The goal of 2025 is ambitious,” says the association’s secretary general, Christina Bu, in a statement.

“We need to go from 21% market share to 100% in seven years, which means we still have a way to go even if it’s going in the right direction and that the increase compared to 2016 is satisfactory, ” she added.

For her, the obstacle to an even faster expansion of the market is linked to the supply and production capacity still insufficient on the part of manufacturers while the demand of motorists is there, as evidenced by the long waiting lists for new models.

Eid Lee

Eid is a freelance journalist from California. He covers different topics for The Talking Democrat but focuses mostly on technology and science.