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Published on December 3rd, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan


Norwegian Electric Car User Findings (10 Charts)

December 3rd, 2013 by  

Norway has the highest number of electric cars in the world. But it seems that news is just getting onto people’s radars. If you didn’t notice, my story the other day about electric cars becoming the top sellers in Norway was a rather popular one. As of right now, it has received over 116,000 pageviews — definitely one of our best articles of the year. In that piece, I noted that I’d be sharing more of what I learned about Norway’s electric vehicle (EV) leadership and market in a handful of additional stories, and I used a chart from a study that I want to dig into now.

The chart I used (below), showed that the most important EV incentives for Norwegian EV owners (in order) were:

  1. Free toll roads
  2. No vehicle purchase tax
  3. Low fuel costs
  4. Access to bus lanes
  5. Free parking
  6. Low annual road fee
  7. Free charging & the EV charging network
  8. Free ferries

most important EV incentives Norway

But there were a number of other interesting findings from this study, a study which garnered the responses of 1,858 EV users. I’ll just run down most of them through charts and brief comments. For even more, check out the full study.

Interestingly, EV ownership is spread all around the geographically large country. I anticipated it would be centered in just a few large cities, but it’s actually quite distributed.

EV Norway distribution

Not very surprisingly, only 15% of the surveyed EV owners had just one car.

cars in household

Importantly, EVs replace other cars. They are pulling people away from mass transit and human-powered transportation a little bit, but not to a great degree.

EVs replace cars

When asked how much an electric vehicle replaced a conventional car, 90% said completely or to a high degree. (Of course, 35% is far more than the 15% that own only one car, indicating a lot of room for people to ditch their extra cars.)

replacing gasmobiles

Matching the reality of EVs versus gasmobiles, the large majority (~90%) agree that their EVs have low running costs, and the majority agree that their EVs save them time. I’m actually curious about the 10% who didn’t agree that their EVs had low running costs. Norway has cheap electricity (from hydro power plants) and expensive gas — who would say that they don’t have low running costs? But I guess that 10% could more or less be people who switched from public transit, biking, walking, or carpooling. Or perhaps they’re just the negative type.

low running costs

One of the most interesting ones to me: when asked why they switched to an electric car, a strong percentage did actually say to save the environment (29%). More in line with what I’d expect, most of the remaining respondents said to save money (41%) and to save time (22%).

why switch to electric car

Grooving with owner satisfaction surveys in the US, a whopping 91% of survey respondents were “very satisfied” with their electric vehicles, and they other 9% were at least “satisfied.” Only 7 respondents were less than satisfied, but that just amounts to a rounding error.

satisfied with electric car

Asked to guess what is most important for others to buy electric vehicles, survey responses were quite mixed, but longer EV range and predictable EV policy were clearly number one and two. However, whether or not those really are the most important factors is anything but a certainty.

EV incentives

Importantly, 95% of owners can charge their cars at home over night (~85% at their own house and ~10% at a shared apartment building). This shows the need to roll out charging stations out more multi-family developments, and also to increase public and work charging stations enough that home charging isn’t so critical. We’ve seen similar results in the US, and it’s a expected finding.

access to charging

There’s not much there that’s shocking, but it does help to confirm US EV survey findings and common assumptions, and there were a few minor surprises — for me at least.

Keep an eye on all my EVS 27 coverage here, and also keep a close eye on the latest Norway cleantech news.

Or simply keep an eye on our electric vehicles channel or subscribe to our free electric vehicle newsletter for all the hottest electric vehicle news and commentary.

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA] — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in this company and feels like it is a good cleantech company to invest in. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort on Tesla or any other company.

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