"Everything for Norway" is that country's motto, but too much might not be a good thing when it comes to Norway's electric-vehicle incentives. The plan in Norway is to shower extensive perks on the first 50,000 electric-vehicle buyers as a way to take advantage of the country's cheap and relatively healthy hydroelectric power. The twist is that that number may be reached by mid-2015, about two-and-a-half years ahead of schedule, according to The Guardian.

The country provides perks like free parking, an extensive recharging network, use of bus lanes and free ferries and road tolls to push sales of models such as the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S. All told, EV subsidies in Norway are worth about $8,000 per vehicle.

As a results, EVs now account for about 10 percent of new-vehicle sales in Norway, and now there are about 21,000 EVs registered throughout the country. If you applied that number to the US on a per-person basis, you'd have more than 1.3 million registered EVs here. That as many as all the vehicles in New Hampshire.

Nissan made news last October when its all-electric Leaf became the best-selling vehicle (no matter what powertrain) in Norway, and in this the company was merely following Tesla's lead. The Model S was the Norway's most popular new vehicle in September.


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  • 15 Comments
      Jim McL
      • 10 Months Ago
      Interesting that most of the EVs in that photo are the Norwegian Think City, since they have been on the roads in Norway for about 15 years now. All of those Thinks in the photo are the newer (Ford A306) models. A great car.
        Nick Kordich
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Jim McL
        It's a photo from Zero Rally 2011: http://www.flickr.com/photos/53255589@N05/5817184947/in/photolist-9S3Aqc Their Flickr pool shows quite a variety of cars present in 2012 (there were at least ten Nissan Leafs and half a dozen Tesla Roadsters, as well as a Mini-E and and a Fisker Karma and a trio of Mercedes FCVs): http://www.flickr.com/photos/zero_org/sets/72157630121736576/ The 2013 event was canceled, but they are planning one for 2014: http://www.zerorally.com/ Danny King: "Flickr" is not an image credit. When you take someone's photos off Flickr, you obviously have the source. Please take a moment - just a second - to the decent thing and give them a proper image credit in exchange for the use of their photo.
      • 10 Months Ago
      Great news from a country where almost all electricity comes from renewables. But as everything in life this is also not black-and-white. The original source’s title: “Norway has fallen in love with electric cars – but the affair is coming to an end” Let’s see why: The news from Norway strongly demonstrates the recent survey on EVs from Sustainability Group (which I quoted in the BMW public charger article). Bottom line: fuel cost savings is the main driver of the decision to purchase an EV, while the high cost of purchasing plug-in EVs is the single most imposing barrier to EV sales growth. Looks like it is true in Norway as well (which is the world's fourth richest country). Guardian: “Battery-powered cars are not just exempt from high rates of purchase tax, and VAT, but pay no road and ferry tolls or parking fees, cost less to insure and can be charged up for free electricity from thousands of points.” So, the “fuel” is FREE. I think this doesn’t require any explanation (just like the other free incentives). Guardian: "You can buy a Nissan leaf for 280,000 NOK (£26,500) which compares with 300,000 (£29,400) for a VW Golf.” Thus, a Nissan Leaf is simply way cheaper than even a VW Golf by £2900 (ca. $4765), eliminating the single most imposing barrier (i.e. price) to EV sales growth. Maren Esmark, CEO of Friends of the Earth Norway says: “We needed a new family car. We got a Nissan Leaf because it was really cheap and we did not want to pollute the air… We felt we were supporting the technology but the reason why most Norwegians are buying them is because they have a lot of money and can afford two cars, and because they can use them in the bus lanes.” And a Norwegian commenter (mooseonachopper): “Keeping a car in Norway is an expensive concern; new cars cost twice as much as in the UK, virtually all roads have a toll and most towns have a toll to enter… Additionally you have to pay an annual car tax and the value of the car is added to your 'wealth' so you pay a tax on that… As long as the incentives remain electric cars will be popular as a second car or for those that rarely travel far from town.” But how long will the incentives remain? “But, says the government, the Norwegian love affair with electric cars may end sooner than expected. Incentives will be withdrawn, or reconsidered, when 50,000 zero emission cars have been registered or come 2018, whichever is the earliest… Besides, the allure of quick commuting and free fuel is wearing thin as they become more popular and defeat the purpose for which people bought them. The vehicles are now so popular that they dominate the bus lanes into Oslo, making up to 75% of the vehicles alowed in them. In addition, it's getting harder and harder to find unoccupied public charging facilities.” And we reached the good old question: What If All Cars Were Electric? I don’t answer it now, but the topic might be worth for a future article on ABG progenerating some record number of comments.
        DaveMart
        • 10 Months Ago
        If all cars were battery electric the queues at the fast chargers on Thanksgiving Day sure would be something to see!
      EZEE2
      • 10 Months Ago
      Sebastian or Diminick will sniff, 'we already knew this, but we out the story in the que so it could be released at the precise moment where it would have the greatest effect. We don't expect you ignorant heathens to understand. Danny, only use the macaroni die yours art. We are going to have the rigatoni later for lunch.' 'I like turtles.' 'Way to go Danny', but, there is a big rebate on the focus electric, and with tax credits, the price can be had for around $20k. http://www.leftlanenews.com/ford-offering-6-000-cash-back-on-focus-electric.html
        JakeY
        • 10 Months Ago
        @EZEE2
        It's basically to bring the pricing to match the Leaf. The disadvantage of the Focus is the rear cargo space and no quick charging option. Also not sure if service support for it is as wide as with the Leaf.
        CoolWaters
        • 10 Months Ago
        @EZEE2
        Do you live near a fracking well? You seem to be sniffing some good stuff.
      • 10 Months Ago
      Well, it's actually the King's motto, which sounds a bit better.
      JB
      • 10 Months Ago
      The biggest intensive to EVs in Norway is appropriately priced gas prices at ~$9/gallon even though Norway has a lot of oil. The US government and US cities would be more efficient if the government did not subsidize gas use. Gas tax only covers 1/2 of the cost of the roads and the US Navy spends $65 Million / year to patrol the Straits of Hormuz. So any intensives to EVs in the US are undermined by subsides to oil and gas.
        DaveMart
        • 10 Months Ago
        @JB
        We have the same petrol prices as Norway in the UK and EV sales are miniscule. Its the other incentives, not fuel prices - and the UK has a £5,000 incentive at point of sale itself, but Norway has a lot more.
          JB
          • 10 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          My understanding is that the UK and Europe has better transit an cycling in areas. How do electricity prices compare in the UK? Its hard for a private car to compete with a transit done right or a bicycle in dense cities. Yet I don't know why EV sales don't do good across the pond.
          DaveMart
          • 10 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          Correction: Electricity in the UK is around £0.14kwh, or $0.23, not the $0.20 I gave above.
          DaveMart
          • 10 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          Electricity in the UK runs at around $0.20kwh, but there are a huge variety of deals which vary the rates, so if you were charging an electric car at night then you would go on a tariff which was cheaper at night, although you would pay more during the day. Cycling provision varies widely across Europe, from being really massive in places like the Netherlands and Denmark to much less in the UK. In spite of the increasing provision of bike lanes in the UK crowded city streets mean that cyclists are often in close proximity to traffic. Many places in the UK are also far more hilly than the Netherlands and Denmark, but the increasing use of electric bikes may help there: http://www.ctc.org.uk/resources/ctc-cycling-statistics I live in Bristol which is hilly. Every one of the places where cycling is more popular in England are much flatter! In fact, Bristol is the only hilly town of the 20 in that list! Here is a comparison of cycling in the UK and the Netherlands: http://www.roadswerenotbuiltforcars.com/netherlands/
        2 wheeled menace
        • 10 Months Ago
        @JB
        I am all for leveling the playing field. Gasoline is definitely subsidized here. Our federal budget which keeps the oil flowing on our terms from the middle east is in the 100's of billions of dollars per year territory.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 10 Months Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Electrical generation is also heavily subsidized. Much of the coal and natural gas that provides cheap electricity is the result of billions in government spending. Likewise, solar and wind generation also get billions and billions in subsidies. http://docs.house.gov/meetings/SY/SY20/20130313/100476/HHRG-113-SY20-Wstate-HutzlerM-20130313.pdf
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