Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



Norway Will Not Ban Gas & Diesel Car Sales

Originally published on Renewables International.
By Craig Morris

Just when you thought Twitter was only good for cat GIFs comes a tweet from Norway’s Climate Minister confirming that the global media have gotten the story all wrong.

It all started in English with this report at entitled “Norway has reportedly reached a deal to ban gas-powered car sales by 2025.” Elon Musk’s (of Tesla) tweet celebrating the news is also cited – and to be fair, the report says “the details are in some dispute.”

The source of the confusion is an article in Norwegian (in these days of browser translators, not an insurmountable obstacle) behind a paywall (okay, never mind). The Twitter swarm agrees that the Norwegian report is confusing. And the swarm handed me up the chain of command to Norwegian Climate Minister Vidar Helgesen, who tweeted what all of my other Norwegian contacts had already said.

Anders Bjartnes, editor of Norsk Klimastiftelse/Energi og Klima, helped me understand the issue by email: “the target will be backed up by a series of efforts (taxes, subsidies, charging stations, hydrogen infrastructure, differentiated rush-hour taxes, etc.) to maintain high speed in the transition.” He also quoted Norwegian MP Ola Elvestuen of the Liberal Party (since “liberal” practically has no clear meaning in English, see this description of the party):

“I am a liberal politician and don’t support the use of force to get rid of petrol and diesel cars. The goal is to make zero/low-omission cars so attractive that people choose them.”

Bjartnes also says that diesel & gasoline cars have already fallen below 50% of new sales in the Hordaland/Bergen area (for reasons we will have to come back to in a future article).

So there you have it: Norway is not going to prohibit its citizens from buying new diesel/gasoline cars, but it will implement progressive policies to encourage a transition towards electric vehicles. That’s great news, but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t add the following:

  • Norway continues to extract as much carbon from the ground as possible even as we all praise it for its progress in sexy issues that go viral. Because we count carbon emissions at the end of the pipe rather than the point of extraction, Musk and Co. may never mention Norway’s giant new gas venture in Iran. (They get to make a profit selling it to you, and you’re the bad guy for consuming it.)
  • All of these incentives will eventually have to be done away with. Once electric vehicles make up a large share of the car fleet, we cannot have them not paying tolls anywhere, traveling for free on ferries, parking everywhere for free, etc. The foregone revenue is eventually too great. We need a different kind of taxation.
  • Electric cars are still cars, and there is no place for them in a 2,000-Watt Society.
  • Electric cars are still cars, and they clog up our streets. We need far fewer cars. A shift from private ownership to participation in (possibly self-driving) fleets will be crucial here.
  • Electric cars are a patch for the problem of urban sprawl. Fix urban sprawl, and you don’t need so many electric cars.

… says the happy owner of a new electric bicycle – another issue we will have to come back to in a future post.

Reprinted with permission.

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.

Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Written By

We publish a number of guest posts from experts in a large variety of fields. This is our contributor account for those special people, organizations, agencies, and companies.


You May Also Like

Clean Transport

My four-year-old daughter loves movies and books about princesses. She likes to dress up like a princess. My daughters also like to ask me...

Clean Power

Norway is just a rich, European Algeria with a big piggybank. That means it's going to survive the transition adequately, but its economy is...


The sun rises as the small aircraft hits the frozen ground on the small island of Florø on the Norwegian west coast. My first...


The royal family of Norway is switching to electric cars as a way of supporting the country's plan to promote the EV revolution.

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.