Norway and electric vehicles – a successful combination

(EurActiv, 11 Apr 2019) Norway now has approximately 200,000 electric cars, which constitute around 7% of the passenger car fleet. The exemption of purchase tax and VAT are among the financial incentives that made this possible, writes Jon Georg Dale.

Jon Georg Dale is Minister of Transport and Communications for Norway.

No other country in the world has more electric vehicles per capita than Norway. It has a simple explanation – political willingness and possibilities! Numerous benefits include less tax and user incentives, and abundant hydropower is important.

With many early adopters, Norway has been a frontrunner, and we see that politicians from many European countries look to Norway to learn and get inspiration for achieving similar results. We are happy to share our experiences and wish to be an attractive partner for the EU in this field.

In Norway we have seen a steady growth in the sale of electric cars. The first financial benefits were introduced already in the early 1990s with the removal of the vehicle purchase tax for all electric cars. In 1996, an additional exempt from annual motor vehicle tax was announced, and from 1997 drivers of electric vehicles did not have to pay on toll roads. Free municipal parking was introduced in 1999. We now see a tendency that electrical solutions also come in other heavier segments, which is very pleasing.

Mainly because of our incentives, new models and increased range, we have seen a tremendous growth in electric vehicles in Norway the last few years. Norwegians love driving to their cabins on weekends, and new electric cars are able to take us door to door without a fear of running out of battery power half way.

Infrastructure for charging is also important. There are now about 11,000 publicly accessible charging points in Norway. A dedicated app called Nobil from the Norwegian EV Association makes it easy to see where they are and how many are in use at any given time. Directive 2014/94/EU on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure is part of the EEA Agreement, and the Ministry of Transport and Communications are currently working on a national strategy for infrastructure for alternative fuels in transport.

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EurActiv, 11 Apr 2019: Norway and electric vehicles – a successful combination