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Nowadays, anyone who is interested in the future of e-mobility is keeping a keen eye on Norway. This country, which has 5.3 million inhabitants, keeps setting new records when it comes to electric vehicles. Thanks to state subsidies, there are now around 200,000 electric vehicles on Norway’s roads; that is more per capita than anywhere else in the world. At present, more than one in three new cars are either electric hybrid.
From 2025, Norway plans to ban fossil fuel-based cars, with the exception of heavy lorries, for which there is no practical alternative. Five years after that, the plan is for all new ships to sail emission-free. Some 98% of the electricity required by Norway is produced by water power, making it climate neutral.
“Car buyers are changing from diesel cars much faster than anyone could have anticipated. My guess is that we may see the same customer behaviour in other countries too, where a diesel bans are currently being evaluated,” commented Viggo Gaare Paulsen, Managing Director at Hager Systemer in Oslo.
Another interesting observation Mr. Paulsen made was the fact that the maturing market for e-mobility is moves from buying new cars to car-leasing. “In the face of the fast technological development customers won’t make any mistakes and increasingly opt for a temporary lease of a car instead of purchase, as they want to take advantage of any future progress in battery or propulsion technology.”
Another important lesson from Norway’s energy success story: the popularity of e-mobility has at least as much to do with economic considerations as it does with ecological conviction. Norwegian drivers of electric cars do not pay any tolls, are allowed to use bus lanes on busy roads and can park for free in many places. What is more, electric cars are exempt from CO2 tax, nitrogen oxide tax and VAT – all of which are otherwise obligatory. All in all, new electric cars are better value than comparable models with an internal combustion engine. In conclusion, to encourage e-mobility, incentives really help to promote the most climate-friendly kind of mobility.