The international trade fair eMove 360, organized recently in Munich, Germany, highlighted once again the topic of sustainable transport.
One good example of efficient switch to electric cars is Norway. The fleet of plug-in electric vehicles in Norway is the largest per capita in the world. In 2018 this country had the largest number of sold electric vehicles in Europe (72,689), followed by Germany and United Kingdom. Nisan Leaf was Norway’s best selling new passenger car model in 2018, marking the first time in any country that an all-electric car tops annual sales of the passenger car segment. In 2019, 48% of all new vehicles sold are electric. But, equally important, the fleet of electric cars is one of the cleanest in the world since 98% of the electricity generated in the country comes from hydro-power.
What are the reasons of such success? The adoption and deployment of zero emission vehicles in Norway has been driven by policy, and actively supported by the government since the 1990s. Among the existing public incentives, all-electric cars and vans are exempt from all non-recurring vehicle fees, including purchase taxes, and 25% VAT on purchase, making electric car purchase price competitive with conventional cars. Also, a tax reduction for plug-in hybrids went into effect starting in July 2013. In April 2015, after achieving the initial goal of 50,000 pure electric vehicles on the road, a decision was made to keep the existing incentives through 2017, and Parliament agreed to reduced and phase out some of the incentives beginning in 2018. Also local authorities were granted the right to decide whether electric cars can park for free and use public transport lanes. In 2016, through its National Transport Plan 2018-2029, a goal was set for all sales of new cars, urban buses and light commercial vehicles by 2025 to be zero emission vehicles.