Sunday, 5 February, 2023

One in five cars on Norway's roads are electric

OSLO: One in five cars on Norway's roads are electric, a share that has doubled in less than three years, the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association said Monday.

"The snowball is rolling faster and faster and a growing number of good electric car models are on Norway's roads", the head of the association, Christina Bu, said on its website, reports AFP.

While it took almost 10 years for the country's electric car fleet to go from zero to 10 percent of the market -- a level reached in March 2020 -- it took less than three years for the share to then double to 20 percent, the body said.

A market share of 30 percent could be reached within two years, it said.

By comparison, 0.64 percent of cars on France's roads were electric, according to French government figures from January 2021.

Norway, which is paradoxically Western Europe's biggest oil and gas producer, aims for all its new cars to be "zero emission" -- in other words, electric and hydrogen -- by 2025.

Clean cars benefit from several advantages in the Scandinavian country.

Among other things, they are largely tax-free, enjoy lower fares for road tolls and public parking, and can in some cases use public transport lanes.

Electric cars now represent about 80 percent of Norway's new car registrations, as an increasing number of models become available.

With the growing popularity of these cars, and the loss of income for the state, Norwegian authorities have started to roll back some of the benefits.

As of January 1, the 25 percent VAT exemption on the purchase of new electric vehicles will only apply to the first 500,000 kroner ($50,000) of the car's price.

The change is expected to affect high-end electric car makes, such as Tesla, Mercedes and Audi.