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Europe: Norway Leads the Way on Electric Carfs

Despite gaining its wealth from oil, Norway has staked its future elsewhere. In alternative transport, it’s now the world center for electric cars. Per capita, it has the most in the world, with 4,000 now running around its capital, Oslo.

In small cars, electric models now outsell all others, but new models are appearing for sale in every car type, including sports cars.

The cars get free parking, can use bus lanes and avoid congestion charges, so these incentives are driving ownership. As is, as one new owner told AFP, that although they are more expensive to buy they are much less expensive to run.

A typical range is 150 miles and that costs around $2.90 in Norway for an overnight charge.

Because battery life suffers in Norway’s winter, they’re developing a national network of charging stands where a “fill up” takes about 20 minutes.

Norway has a carbon dioxide emissions reduction target of 30 percent by 2020.

“The electric car is a very important tool for that, knowing that 40 percent of our emissions come from the transport sector and 60 percent of those come from road transport,” Transport Minister Magnhild Meltveit Kleppa told AFP.

Other governments are throwing their weight behind encouraging electric car use as well. British Colombia in Canada just announced it will build 120 electric-car charging stations

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