Norway’s Transport Minister Discusses Electric Cars


Electric Vehicle Parade in Norway

Electric Vehicle Parade in Norway

Norwegian Transport Minister Ketil Solvik-Olsen recently shared its thoughts on electric car adoption in Norway.

Norway has by far the largest share of EVs in new car sales (some months over 20%) and per capita in the world.

Those results comes from high incentives that are provided for the first 50,000 EVs – we should note there is not an automatic mechanism to remove them as soon as that number is reached:

“A few years ago, we introduced tax breaks and other incentives for electric car buyers. Compared to vehicles running on fuel, electric cars come at a very good price. Moreover, if you drive an electric car, you can park and use all the roads for free, including ferry rides in Norway, and drive in bus lanes. We invested heavily in recharging infrastructure, which together with the incentives encouraged people to buy electric cars. It helped cut CO2 emissions in our cities and put in place a sustainable model with vehicles running on clean electricity.”

But could other countries follow the footsteps of Norway?

Q: Do you think other countries could learn from Norway’s experience?

A: It depends. Norway has a surplus of energy from the hydroelectric power plants because we are building a lot of wind farms and hydro generators. But if countries start building poweplants to feed the electric car grid, shifting from car to plant emissions, it might not be worthwhile.

Each country will have to look at their power supply. Our experience might not work in countries with a strong automobile industry. We succeeded in increasing electric car sales, because we kept high taxes on regular cars and cut taxes on electric cars.

Soon, the mark of 50,000 EVs will be reached, but Norway already has problems with some congested bus lanes due to too many electric cars. Incentives will be step-by-step softened.

Q: With more electric cars on the road there, there was congestion in the bus lanes and a loss off ferry companies revenues. How are you addressing these challenges?

A: The parliament passed legislation on electric cars in 2007 after discussions on climate change. The agreement was that there would be no taxes on electric cars, and we’ll keep the perks until 50000 electric cars are on the roads. But the market developed so much faster than we expected. As we succeeded a lot faster than we thought, we are now looking into easing up on these problems this year.

Electric cars will continue to be treated favourably in the tax system. Most likely, we will not remove all electric cars from the bus lanes but we’ll probably close down one or two of them where electric cars are too many and are creating a problem. There will be changes. Some of the benefits will slowly go away. But we hope that the market itself will also provide cheaper electric cars, even though some perks will be lost. “

Video of interview below:


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8 Comments on "Norway’s Transport Minister Discusses Electric Cars"

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Last year at this time the statistics showed that more than 20% of newly sold cars were electric in Norway. Here is the proof.

In Jan 2015 it was 18% and in Feb too. As I type this the site does not have the March stats yet. I will be very surprised if it is less than 18%.

But guys here is the punch line. These guys up there in Norway are hard at it. The will soon reach the 100% of all newly sold cars to be electric. From another side they will forbid ICE’s from driving in some parts of Oslo and this will expand to other cities and other Nordic countries.

They will very quickly replace all the fleet in Norway to pure electric. They have about 3 million cars.

I wish all countries of the world would learn from these guys. There will be no war for oil, no dirty air etc.

Bravo Norway.

Norway does have the advantage of a lot of hydro power generation… EVs can use that directly, so it already makes sense. In countries with a currently primarily non-renewable grid, the ecomomics will take longer to make sense.

Pure electric cars in Norway is pure stupidity. The range drops by 50% in severe winters and there is no free heat. PHEVs makes most sense due to hily terrain and severe winters, but Norwegian government won’t admit its blunder and fix its mistake. It is a pitiful condition developing there.

Once 100% cars are electric, they will have to pay the VAT. And there won’t be any value in using bus lanes; other lanes will have fewer cars.

It’s truly admirable that you can type and share your thoughts with others on the internet. But unfortunately, nothing you post regarding EVs makes any sense…


26.4% EV+PHEV plug-ins in March this year 🙂

How many e-Golfs ? They were pushing hard in Jan and Feb, transfiguring the BEV market

BEV incentives come up for review after 50k units are sold. They are not automatically removed.

All parties in the governing coalition say financial incentives will continue as is through 2017 when general elections are scheduled.

What is likely to be removed as bus lane access for BEVs. As there are so many BEVs it is making city buses late and getting them off schedule.