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Can Norway’s Electric Car Success Be a Model for World?

Norway has emerged as the world’s largest electric cars market with over 11% of market share. The popularity of these environmentally friendly vehicles attracts international attention.
Can Norway’s Electric Car Success Be a Model for World?
Director of Norsk Elbilforening (Norwegian Electric Cars Association), Snorre Sletvold promotes their 100.000 EV in 2020 campaign. Photo : David L F Smith | Norsk Elbilforening
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Thanks to supportive government policies, Norway has become the friendliest place in the world for electric cars. Actually, the country is the most successful market for electric car producers, with more electric cars per capita than anywhere else in the world. One of the biggest sensation of the yeaR, Tesla Model S even managed to be the best-selling car in September, while the Nissan Leaf climbed to top over all car models in October.

Many ask now what makes these cars so popular in the country and seek whether the same trend can be imported to other countries, considering environmental factors.

There are several incentives that promote electric cars choice in Norway. Availability of free public charging stations as well as toll-free roads, ferries and the ability of electric-car drivers to use bus lanes are important factors for Norwegian drivers to choose electric cars over conventional alternatives. Also conventional vehicles can be relatively expensive in Norway due to high tax regime, while plug-in cars are exempt from paying any tax until 2018.

While these new players of Norwegian roads are expensive relative to their size and luxury, but the free tax regime bring down their price to around the same as petrol and diesel vehicles, making them a viable alternative for many Norwegian households.

A Culture in Norway

Professor Marianne Ryghaug at Norwegian University of Science and Technology also points out there is a cultural dimension to the enthusiasm for electric cars in the country beyond their time and money saving features. According to Ryghaug, they are widely seen as comfortable and efficient due to their small size, and also provide the satisfaction of driving a less polluting car.


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