Electric motor vehicles are all the rage in Norway, and the Parliament of Norway is in full support as EV’s near the 1% market share milestone. Almost halfway to its goal of having 50,000 zero emission vehicles, Norway will soon become the first nation to have 1 electric vehicle for every 100 vehicles on the road.
Charged up by the incentives put forth by the EV Norway program, the Tesla Model S and Nissan Leaf have both spent time at the top of Norway’s sales ranks, helping make up the 12% EV slice of new car sales.
Norway has been making EV ownership cheaper since the early 90’s by eliminating the EV import tax, reducing the annual registration tax, exemptions from road tolls, reducing the company car tax on EVs, and eliminating VAT (sales tax) on EV purchases. EVs are additionally allowed to travel in bus lanes nationwide and enjoy unlimited free rides on public ferries, but it has only been in past year that electric vehicle sales have surged in the Scandinavian country.
Norway has also made it easier to own an electric vehicle by increasing the installation of charging stations over the 4,500 count, with free charging at public stations. This means a charging station every 33 square miles, on average, compared to the 189 mile average gap in the states.
It should be noted that Norway’s 1,166 hydroelectric plants help counteract the complaints that EVs actually raise the greenhouse gas emissions when powered by coal burning plants, with 98% of the nation’s power derived from these methods.
With over 2,000 combined Tesla and Leaf sales racked up in the first 2 ½ months of 2014 alone, these incentives won’t last forever. The end date of the incentives is aimed for 2018, or when 50,000 EVs have been sold, whichever comes first. At the rate they’re going though, the incentives could run out in just a couple of more years.