Norway's perks for EVs and PHEVs include free access to bus lanes, highway tolls, ferries and parking, not to mention a big tax rebate. As a result, the country is less than 250 units away from hitting its 50,000-vehicle limit for those perks, which were initially estimated to expire in 2017. In fact, last month, more than 25 percent of the four new cars sold in Norway were plug-in vehicles. The government is now saying it will review the incentives and put forward a new plan in the next budget, which is due in May.
Late last year, Nissan put out a video saying that electric vehicles had about a 15-percent new-vehicle market share in Norway, and that the Japanese automaker had sold more than 15,000 all-electric Leaf vehicles in the country since starting sales there in 2011. Last spring, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Tesla Model S broke Norway's all-time monthly sales record for a single model in March 2014, with almost 1,500 Model S vehicles sold. This is for a country whose population is less than that of Colorado.
Whether those days will soon be gone remains in question. Advocates will push for some sort of extension on the perks, but opponents in government say the incentives have cost the country as much as $500 million a year in tax revenue.