The Norwegian government has set an ambitious goal of 2025 for all new vehicles produced to be zero-emission ones — a more lofty goal than Canada or the United Kingdom’s goal of 2040. Norway is already doing an impressive job at promoting and incentivising EVs over traditional vehicles, working to make it cheaper to own an electric vehicle, while making it more expensive to own one that uses petrol.
Norway offers extremely generous incentives to the owners of electric vehicles, but it brings up the question of how long the country will be able to continue these programs as adoption of these vehicles increases. Oslo is in the process of banning vehicles from its downtown area completely, having removed the remaining 700 parking spaces from its downtown core at the end of 2018 — spaces that were an important perk for owners of electric vehicles.
However, there are still several perks that EV owners benefit from:
Free parking in some municipalities like Oslo, but not Trondheim (it cost 50 NOK/$7.65 CAD for the first hour and 25 NOK/$3.85 CAD after that) — it is up to local governments to decide this, but the price cannot be more than 50 percent of the price for fossil fuel cars
Some riksvei roads still offer toll-free drives, but the country is in the process of eliminating the complete exemption to tolls, with EV-owners being charged a maximum of 50 percent of the normal price
Oslo is beginning to charge 10 NOK/$1.55 CAD during the day and 5 NOK/$0.75 CAD during the night to charge EVs, which the city hopes will help free spaces from people who use them to park but not charge — gas in Oslo cost around $2.15 CAD per litre, according to CNN Money, while EVs take only a couple hours to fully charge
By simultaneously promoting the use of electric vehicles (by creating incentives such as discounted parking and toll-free driving) while discouraging the use of petrol cars, Norway is a leader in learning how to get people to switch to more environmentally friendly modes.
Registration of electric vehicles in Norway
In the United States, a federal incentive is available for people purchasing an electric vehicle. It offers up to $7,500 USD credit for purchases from authrnakers with under 200,000 sales — when the company reaches that point, it gets halved for six months ($3,750) before halving again ($1875) and then finally, gets eliminated. There are efforts to extend the credit until 2022 or to raise the limit from 200,000 to 600,000 vehicles sold, who would be eligible for a $7,000 credit.
Meanwhile Norway has wanted to have every vehicle on the road, water and rails to be zero-emission, a goal ranging back to 1990 when it eliminated the purchase tax on zero-emission vehicles. But as the number of vehicles using electricity becomes a majority, cities are able to slowly remove the incentives that convinced people to switch in the first place:
Oslo’s mobility manager Portvik will begin to charge EV drivers a €1$1.50 CAD toll on the ring road
Charging rates will be €1/$1.50 CAD per hour for curbside charging machines, including parking
The purchase tax on all new cars is currently calculated by a combination of weight, CO2 and NOx emissions, but will be changed to have more emphasis on emissions
As the undisputed leader in EV adoption, it’s clear that other countries should look towards Norway to learn how to push these environmentally friendly vehicles in their own countries.