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Published on December 5th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan


How Expensive Are Gasmobiles In Norway? VERY (& That’s Logical)

December 5th, 2013 by  

The other day, as you know, I published a story about electric cars taking over the top spot in monthly Norway auto sales (two months in a row), which also included a breakdown of some of the key incentives that have triggered that. Interestingly, the most important EV incentive for EV owners was free access to toll roads. However, “no purchase tax” came in at #2. One of our readers decided to tweet to me on just how big those purchase taxes are in Norway for conventional vehicles. The prices he tweeted are pretty eye-opening.

He tweeted that the Norway prices for the VW Passat, VW Touareg, and Porsche 911 Carrera 4S. (My searches come to practically the same numbers — probably just currency exchange differences since I calculated these about a week later.) So, I’ll just share his numbers, compared to the US prices:

  • VW Passat base price in Norway = $54,387. In the US = $29,115.
  • VW Touareg in Norway: $130,000. In US: $43,995.
  • Porsche 911 Carrera 4S in Norway: $262,419. US: $105,630.

Notice the difference much?

Granted, Norwegians are mighty rich compared to Americans, but that’s quite a notable price difference — they certainly aren’t twice as rich. As indicated previously, a huge chunk of each of those high prices comes in the form of taxes.

Oh, one more, without those taxes (since it is an electric car and isn’t taxed), the Tesla Model S comes to $75,656 in Norway. That’s just a tad more than the $71,070 that it costs in the US.

Obviously, this price difference between electric cars and gasmobiles/dieselmobiles is going to make a difference. But here’s an important point: gasmobiles should have very high taxes. They harm human health tremendously, costing the US alone about $120 billion a year. In many countries, that also means importing costly oil; or, in the case of Norway, exporting less of it. Either way, that’s a big financial loss for the country. For a little perspective on that, check out this chart from the head of corporate planning Nissan Europe regarding daily oil expenses for numerous European countries:

oil imports

Daily oil expenses in European countries.
Slide credit: Francisco Carranza, Manager of Corporate Planning at Nissan Europe.
Photo credit: Zachary Shahan / EV Obsession / CleanTechnica

In case that’s hard to see, note that daily oil expenses in some of Europe’s leading countries are as follows:

  • UK — €24.51 billion ($33.47 billion)
  • Germany — €30.1 billion ($41.1 billion)
  • France — €23.97 billion ($32.73 billion)
  • Spain — €20.48 billion ($27 billion)
  • Italy — €24.63 billion ($33.63 billion)

If countries can use home-generated electricity instead of oil (note that electricity is several times more efficient for powering a car), then these countries can save a ridiculous amount of money every year… again.

And then there’s the whole global warming crisis, which just makes the cost of oil that much higher.

These things add up, and societies should be trying to include these extra costs (aka externalities) into the price of driving a gasmobile. And, of course, they shouldn’t be including them in the price of driving an electric car.

So, in my opinion, Norway is acting quite logically when it comes to taxing gasmobiles and dieselmobiles while not taxing electric cars. Kudos to Norway!

As for the rest of us…

Keep an eye on all my EVS 27 coverage here.

Keep up to date with all the latest electric vehicle insight and news by closely watching our electric vehicle category or by subscribing to our electric vehicle newsletter (it’s free!).

Read more Norway cleantech news if you’re enthusiastic about this forward-looking society. 


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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species). He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. 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, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.

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