Kyle and I were pretty shocked at the number of high-profile EV entrepreneurs and activists we found at the Santa Monica Tesla store on Model 3 reservation day. Paul Scott, Dency Nelson, Zan Dubin Scott, the EVANNEX boys, Bjørn Nyland, and … the founder of the first official (registered) Tesla Motors Club — Tesla Motors Club Norway.
Naturally, I took the opportunity to interview most of these people. Below is an insider update on EV sales and policy in Norway from Robin Laumb, founder of Tesla Motors Club Norway and now a board member of Norway’s EV association. Below that is a chat with Bjørn Nyland — it’s not really an interview, as we were initially just having a fun little friendly chat, and he was with his wife who was interested in seeing California, not playing with EV toys and boys.
Anyhow, with Norway the clear global leader in EV sales on any relative basis, it was great to run into these guys and spend some time talking with them about the “EV dreamworld” of Norway.
I was pretty determined to make you watch the first video, rather than summarizing in text like I normally do, but here are some key points from the chat:
- Norway has revoked EV access to some of the country’s HOV lanes (the reason/excuse being that they’re doing maintenance on a lot of tunnels to make it easier for emergency vehicles like ambulances and police cars to get through).
- Nonetheless, Robin doesn’t think HOV lane access and free use of toll roads is all that important for EV adoption any longer.
- The VAT exemption is still the big boy (can cut the cost of an EV in half compared to what it would be with Norway’s humongous VAT added on), and it isn’t going anywhere, so that’s positive news.
- The “neighbor effect,” as Robin calls it, is a big driver of growth right now. Basically, as you would think, the point is that word of mouth is becoming a big factor.
- Surprisingly, despite 20–25% of new car sales being EVs month to month, many Norwegians still lack awareness about and experience with EVs. One would think that was completely surpassed in a place like Norway, but it apparently last quite a long way through the adoption curve — well, I guess almost toward the end.