Renault doesn't want to be left out in the Norwegian cold. The French automaker knows that EV sales are through the roof in Norway, so it is finally bringing the Zoe EV to the Scandinavian country.

The launch event was a bit odd, with 15 Zoe's available to be driven on the running track at the Olympic stadium in Oslo. There were also workshops that hyped the little EV's benefits and the Chameleon charging station. The French ambassador and Norway's environment minister were also there. Renault says it expects Norway to now become a "flagship market" for the Zoe.

Norway has some of the strongest pro-EV legislation on the planet, allowing the cars to drive in the bus lanes to avoid traffic snarls, huge tax incentives and free charging and parking. These benefits have led to electric vehicles sales of over 20,000 units in a country with only five million people.
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Renault ZOE arrives in Norway
April 07, 2014 | ID: 56700
Renault ZOE arrives in Norway

Norway is the leading market for electric vehicles in Europe, accounting for 12% of the electric vehicles on the road. So Renault ZOE was given a grand welcome at the Olympic stadium in Oslo on Tuesday, March 25, at an event attended by the French ambassador and Norway's environment minister.

A fleet of some 15 Renault ZOEs were available to be test driven on the athletics tracks and six workshops were organized to showcase the features of Renault ZOE, particularly the charging system (the Chameleon charger).

Norway is spearheading electric vehicle penetration in Europe. This success can be attributed to the government's pro-EV policy, especially a strong financial incentive since electric vehicles are exempt from VAT, which is 25% in Norway. The popularity of electric vehicles is also due to the privileges offered to owners: free public parking, free charging stations in the street and in public parking lots, the right to drive in bus lanes, exemption from city tolls, and a lower annual road tax than for fuel vehicles. Also, 10% of Europe's charging infrastructure is located in Norway, even though it is home to only 1% of Europe's population.

With all of these incentives, Norway is set to become a flagship market for Renault ZOE.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      Marco Polo
      • 11 Months Ago
      The Zoe is a great little car. However, despite all the promotion by Renault, French government support, (the French government is a large shareholder) , the Zoe has failed to reach the sales figures Renault believe would occur. This has been the biggest problem for small EV's. All the pre-market surveys and enthusiasts endorsed the popular belief that the public would flock to short range, small commuter EV's. The idea that "people only drive 30 miles per day" became such an article of faith among EV supporters, that even the Automotive companies came to believe in the veracity of the dogma. It all sounded so logical. Sadly, even the most successful of the 'commuter cars' the Nissan Leaf, hasn't been a commercial success in terms of volume production. The very determined Carlos Ghosn has persisted with purely EV models, and is to respected for his commitment to EV technology. I hope the Zoe does well in Norway, a unique market where the government provide incentives and regulation favouring EV technology and heavily disadvantaging ICE.
        AndY1
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        I believe, that Zoe hasn't done well because of the battery lease program. I haven't met anyone, who'd want to have the battery leased and for such a high price with a limited number of kilometers allowed for a certain amount of money. If at least Renault had given you the option to buy the car with the battery, without the lease. The other (maybe even bigger) reason was, in my opinion, the inability to charge the Zoe from the ordinary home Schuko plug at 10A, which every other EV allows and we're provided with the mobile EVSE unit with the car. You don't even get a mobile EVSE unit with the Zoe, only a wallbox. So, how am I going to charge the Zoe when visiting parents? Zoe allows 16A single phase charging from Schuko plug, but you have to buy an unofficial mobile EVSE unit from the internet, but it can be costly. Since I'm an EV enthusiast, I was not bothered to get one, but most folks just doesn't want to deal with that. They want a car and a cable, with which they can charge the car at home and at friends/parents/... Wallboxes/Mennekes plugs are rare, Schuko plugs are everywhere.
      Marco Polo
      • 11 Months Ago
      @ AndY1 Valid points Andy. The battery lease program was again an early attempt to overcome the price premium for EV's. The reasoning being to associate the cost of the battery, with the price of gasoline, instead of the purchase price of the car. Needless to say, it wasn't effective. You are also correct regarding the confusion over charging regimes. Convenience, and ease of usage, is always a key selling factor in any technology. But Renault was a pioneer, and each of these concept was very widely supported at the time.
      danfred311
      • 11 Months Ago
      Renault-Nissan, if you lower your prices to a reasonable level sales will be explosive in Norway. It's so stupid that you are holding back, fooled by short sighted greed. You sell the Leaf in USA for 28k$ but in Norway you want 38k$ (afaik there is no tax on EVs in Norway at all so the prices can be directly compared). How do you explain that difference? 22kWh costs 4k$ from LGchem so why does a Zoe cost 33k$ when a Clio costs 17.6. Stupid Ghosn. You undermine your own 6bn$ investment and give away market share that could be otherwise totally dominated by your lead. Or are you afraid it will undermine your ICE cars. Either way, very poorly executed.
        Marco Polo
        • 11 Months Ago
        @danfred311
        @ danfred311 Carlos Ghosn is stupid !?! Ghosn has built over 100,00 EV's, whereas you have produced nothing except a diatribe of annoying, idiotic nonsense.
          danfred311
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          GM has produced many chevy volts as well but Bob Lutz is still stupid enough to think global warming is something Al Gore made up. Yes Carlos Ghosn is stupid. You only have to look at the design of the Leaf to be sure of that. The lead acid starter battery in it is another hint. Joining Better Place wasn't exactly genius either. Would you care to defend those decisions, o cowardly anonymous one?
          Marco Polo
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @ danfred311 Often I get angry with your spiteful little rants about real achievers, but then I remember you're more to be pitied, than despised. Dan, I've said it before , and I mean it sincerely. Get out of your little room, stop posting these envious malicious slanders about people you don't (and never will) know. Join an EV enthusiasts club in your home town, make some friends, build something, something real, of your own, and get a life ! Dan, you are always claiming to be of the Christian faith. That's good, it's good to believe in something, but the main message of Christ's teaching was about love, kindness and tolerance, not hated and calling others stupid and inferior. Join an EV enthusiasts club in Denmark, help with their projects, relax and try to fit in, make some real friends, forget about needing to feel superior, just learn to appreciate the effort of your fellow human beings, no matter how imperfect.
        Spec
        • 11 Months Ago
        @danfred311
        A battery pack with BMS costs $182/KWH? No, I don't think so.