OSLO: Driven by generous tax breaks (carrot) and increasing road tolls (stick), demand for EVs has been rising rapidly. Because of these tax breaks, electric cars can be sold at the same price as fossil fuel vehicles. EVs, however, are considerably cheaper to run.
This makes it attractive for Norwegian consumers to replace their diesel or petrol cars by electric ones. A recent poll showed that nearly half of the people, who are planning to buy a new car in 2018, want a chargeable one.
In fact, the demand for electric cars in Norway is currently growing so rapidly that car producers cannot keep up with it. Thousands of Norwegians have been waiting for months for their new EVs and car sellers have repeatedly extended delivery dates.
The waiting time for existing models like Volkswagen e-Golf, Hyundai Ioniq and Opel Ampera-e is between eight months and two years. Meanwhile, thousands have paid to be put on a waiting list for new models by Nissan, Tesla, Audi and Jaguar, which will be launched in the coming months and years.
Moreover, delays in electric car production also put Norway’s and the EU’s climate targets at risk. Under the Paris Agreement, Norway pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, relative to 1990 levels. How Norway will meet this target outside the emissions-trading sectors is currently still a matter of negotiations with the EU.
Transport is certainly the most important sector in Norway’s climate efforts. Emissions from transport have risen since 2005. In order to fulfil the Paris pledge, emissions will need be to cut by half by 2030. The Parliament has set an indicative target that all new passenger vehicles sold by 2025 should be emissions-free.