Editor’s Note: the video and article below are great, but I wanted to highlight that we’ve been covering Norway’s electric car leadership for a long time. See the articles on the bottom of this article for a lot more detail, and also see the video interview I conducted with with Ola Elvestuen last year in Barcelona. This article is an especially useful one explaining why Norway is such an EV leader. —ZS
When it comes to electric vehicles and overall happiness, Norway seems to have things figured out. With 15% of the new car market share, electric cars have become the best-selling vehicles in the small Scandinavian country, and this video from Nissan explains how that’s possible.
Through smart and effective use of its natural resources, tax incentives, and government policy, Norway has become a global leader in renewable energy. 98% of its power is supplied by sources like hydroelectric, which allows Norway to supply battery-electric vehicles with clean, green energy. This wasn’t always the case though, though over the course of the past three decades support for electric vehicles has grown into a highly effective incentive program.
As detailed here before, Norway eliminates all of the hefty vehicle taxes it passes on standard combustion-powered vehicles. The government has gone even further though by offering free parking, charging, no tolls, and access to bus lanes (despite the complaints of some bus drivers). Other vehicles like the Tesla Model S have benefited massively from these incentives.
Since the Nissan LEAF went on sale there in 2011, ownership in electric vehicles as slowly but surely grown, and in the past year it has absolutely exploded as more EVs become available and word of the incentives gets out. For the average EV owner, this adds up to literally tens of thousands of dollars in savings annually, and for buyers of the Tesla Model S the savings can be in the six-figures. 1 out of every 100 vehicles in Norway is now an electric,
Could a similar program work in the US? Or does Norway just lend itself better to electric vehicles for some reason? There’s some talk of reining in the incentives already, but has the country already hit the tipping point?
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