Norway has the most electric cars per capita in the world.
51 percent of all cars currently sold in Norway are electric or hybrid, and the country has pledged to reach a set goal of replacing 100 percent of cars on its roads with electric cars by 2025.
Car makers like Nissan, Mitsubishi, Peugeot Citroen and Tesla Motors see Norway and its 10,000 battery-powered cars as a reason for optimism in otherwise gloomy terrain.
But Norway didn’t become the capital of electric cars overnight.
They achieved this fit by offering incentives such as no purchase taxes on electric cars, free parking, free charging stations, and free access to toll roads.
In Norway, an electric car owner can even drive on the bus lane.
“The benefits are … too good. You can take bus lanes, get free parking and it costs very little to refuel,” Ole Marius Lauritzen, who is 44, lives 25 km (15 miles) outside Oslo and used to commute to his work at a bank by bus told Reuters.
The incentives have been so effective that lawmakers are thinking of eliminating them.
The Reuters reports:
“Norway’s an oasis in a huge desert,” said Peter Schmidt, editor of Automotive Industry Data Ltd. in England. “But it’s an example can’t be followed – it only works because Norway has a ‘supertax’ on normal cars.”
State subsidies, intended to promote a less polluting form of travel and cut greenhouse gas emissions, help bring the price of buying the top-selling electric Nissan Leaf in Norway down to 240,690 crowns ($42,500), competitive with the 1.3-litre Volkswagen Golf at 238,000 crowns ($42,000).
But in Britain, for example, while the Leaf is cheaper at 23,490 pounds ($35,500), including a 5,000-pound government subsidy, the same Golf sounds a bargain at 16,285 pounds ($24,600).