A country fuelled by hydropower has become the worlds electrical vehicle leader
In 1995, the lead singer of the 1980 s party -Aha and the head of the Norwegian environmental group Bellona climbed improbably into a converted electric Fiat Panda they had imported from Switzerland and set off on a superhighway trip.
They drove around Oslo refusing to pay the city’s sky-high superhighway tolls, parking illegally wherever they are unable to, and neglecting every penalty notice they were given. Eventually, the authorities concerned confiscated their automobile and auctioned it off to cover the fines.
But the stunt captivated massive media attention, and the point was drew. Soon after, electric vehicles were exempted from road fees, one of a large raft of motivations that have, over the years, facilitated realize Norway the country with the world’s highest per capita electric vehicle ownership.
Last month, in an economy hit by the coronavirus crisis, amply electric cars to be taken into consideration simply under 60% of Norway’s new vehicle grocery, and plug-in hybrids merely over 15%- entail three in four of all new vehicles sold were either wholly or partially electric.
It still has some practice to go, but “the two countries ” seems on course to meet a government target- set in 2016, with full cross-party parliamentary support- of phasing out the sale of all new fossil-fuel based vehicles and light-headed commercial vehicles by 2025.
” It’s actually pretty amazing how quickly the mindset’s changed ,” said Christina Bu of the Norwegian EV Electric Vehicle Association.” Even in 2013 or 2014, parties were sceptical. Now, majority decisions of Norwegians will say: my next auto will be electric .”
The story of how and why that has happened has a straightforward, if unexpected reasoning. First, despite has become a major oil and gas producer, almost all of Norway’s domestic power comes from a single, and renewable, source: hydropower.
That entails swapping to EVs is a much greener option for Norway than for countries whose power is generated principally by coal floras- and that if it wants to significantly reduce its release ranks, it has little choice but to green its transport sector.
Driven by the environmental imperative, the government began offering incentives to buy and move electric cars as far back as 1990, first by introducing a temporary exception from Norway’s exorbitant vehicle purchase tax, which became permanent six years later.
” This was an important step ,” Bu said.” Norway was a very poor country before we detected oil; gondolas were a indulgence piece. They’ve always been tariffed very highly. Cars in Norway are a lot more expensive than abroad. Without the acquire imposition, the cost of an electric car basically fell to that of an everyday gondola .”
Since then, electric car drivers have been given the right to park free of charge in some municipal car park, drive in bus paths, take ferryings without air tickets and, thanks to -Aha, drive toll-free. They are not required to pay VAT on their cars, or road tariff, and busines electric cars are taxed at a lower pace than petrol or diesel vehicles.
Some measures have changed over the years: to be allowed to drive in a bus corridor, for example, you now need to be carrying air passengers. A so-called 50% principle was introduced in 2017, granting local authorities to charge EV operators up to 50% of the parking fees, road tolls and ferrying proportions be applied to fossil-fuel vehicles.
But overall, said Bu, the” compounding of a big one-off saving when you buy the car, plus the substantially lower costs- fuel, fees, parking, maintenance- of actually driving it, still contributes up to a very powerful fiscal dispute. Over its lifetime, you really save a great deal of money with an electric car in Norway .”
That was certainly what persuaded Wenche Charlotte Egelund, 57, who purchased a VW Golf Electric with her collaborator two years ago when they moved out of central Oslo.” The motivations were crucial ,” she said.” The imposition and VAT exemptions, free municipal parking, free toll roads that means that we are avoid paying rush-hour traffic jams .”