Norway says half of new cars now electric or hybrid

March 6, 2017
Somewhat paradoxically, Norway, the biggest oil producer in Western Europe, has adopted a generous policy to encourage the purchase of cleaner vehicles

Norway, which already boasts the world's highest number of electric cars per capita, said Monday that electric or hybrid cars represented half of new registrations in the country so far this year.

"This is a milestone on Norway's road to an electric car fleet," Climate and Environment Minister Vidar Helgesen told AFP.

"And it serves to showcase that green transport policies work," he said in an email.

Sales of accounted for 17.6 percent of new vehicle registrations in January and accounted for 33.8 percent, for a combined 51.4 percent, according to figures from the Road Traffic Information Council (OVF).

In February, those proportions fell slightly but remained high at 15.8 percent and 32 percent, respectively.

Somewhat paradoxically, Norway, the biggest oil producer in Western Europe, has adopted a generous policy to encourage the purchase of cleaner vehicles.

While cars with combustion engines are heavily taxed, electric vehicles are exempt from almost all taxes.

Their owners also benefit from numerous advantages such as free access to toll roads, ferries and parking at public car parks, as well as the possibility of driving in bus lanes.

In December, Norway registered its 100,000th electric car.

Still handicapped by limited range and high prices for larger models like those from Tesla, electric cars also face competition from the growing popularity of hybrids.

Sales of these cars, which combine combustion engines and electric motors, have been boosted by the arrival of improved models and a revision of the Norwegian tax system, with rates that are now based on the level of polluting emissions, rather than engine power.

Norway wants to limit of new vehicles to 85 grams per kilometre by 2020, a goal it has almost achieved: the figure stood at 88 grams in February after 84 grams in January—compared with 133 grams when the decision was taken in 2012.

Explore further: Norway revs electric cars to 100,000 units

Related Stories

Norway to reduce electric car incentives

May 7, 2015

Norway plans to gradually reduce some of the incentives offered to drivers of electric cars, which now account for almost a quarter of the country's new car registrations.

Vroom: Gov't to require hybrid, electric cars to make noise

November 14, 2016

New hybrid and electric cars are required to make noise when traveling at low speeds so that pedestrians, especially those who are blind or have poor eyesight, will hear them coming, under a new rule released Monday by the ...

Recommended for you

Google braces for huge EU fine over Android

July 18, 2018

Google prepared Wednesday to be hit with huge EU fine for freezing out rivals of its Android mobile phone system in a ruling that could spark new tensions between Brussels and Washington.

EU set to fine Google billions over Android: sources

July 17, 2018

The EU is set to fine US internet giant Google several billion euros this week for freezing out rivals of its Android mobile phone system, sources said, in a ruling that risks fresh tensions with Washington.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

gkam
1 / 5 (4) Mar 08, 2017
At what degree of market penetration do the incentives for EVs stop making sense? Somehow we have to pay for road taxes, which now is done through fuels. Do we do that through mileage taxes at the end of the year, or what? Annual registration fees?

There will be a lot of issues to work out, as in all developments.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.