By January 3, 2018 Read More →

Hybrid or EVs make up over half new car sales in Norway


Sales of EVs in Norway have been boosted by generous grants and perks offered to owners. Getty Images photo by Fredrik Bjerknes.

EVs exempted from almost all taxes in Norway

Reuters reports that sales of hybrids and EVs in Norway in 2017 rose to over half the new registrations in the Scandinavian, oil-rich country.

According to data released on Wednesday by the Norwegian Road Federation (OFV), pure electric cars and hybrids accounted for 52 per cent of all new car sales in Norway, up from 40 per cent in 2016.

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In terms of a national share of EVs, “No one else is close”,OFV chief Oeyvind Solberg Thorsen told Reuters. “For the first time we have a fossil-fuel market share below 50 per cent.”

In Norway, EVs are exempt from almost all taxes and owners receive grants, including subsidized or free parking, recharging and use of toll roads, ferries and tunnels. These perks can amount to thousands of dollars a year.

With Norway generating most of its electricity from hydropower, the shift to EVs and hybrids is helping reduce air pollution and climate change.

The International Energy Agency says sales of EVs in Norway rose to 39 per cent in 2017, up from 29 per cent in 2016.  The Netherlands came in second at 6.4 per cent.

“We view Norway as a role model for how electric mobility can be promoted through smart incentives,” a spokesman at BMW’s Munich HQ told Reuters. “The situation would probably be different if these incentives were dropped.”

The sources said other “good examples” of policies which encourage EV use are found in Britain, California and the Netherlands.

In 2017, the Norwegian government set a non-binding goal that by 2025, all cars sold should have zero emissions.  France and Britain have agreed to ban sales of gasoline and diesel cars by 2040.

Norway’s goal means that the country should continue to offer incentives for buyers of EVs, according to Christina Bu, head of the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association.

“It’s an ambitious goal only seven years away,” she told Reuters.

Last year, sales of zero emissions cars in Norway rose to 21 per cent from 16 per cent in 2016.

Sales of diesel cars fell to 23 per cent from 31 per cent in 2016 and according to Reuters, some regions in Norway are charging higher road tolls to diesel car owners than for gasoline-powered vehicles.

Revenues from oil and gas production have helped Norway amass a sovereign wealth fund valued at $1 trillion, allowing it to offer generous subsidies and grants for EVs.

A Volkswagen e-Golf sells for about 262 crowns in Norway, just above the import price of 260,000 crowns, according to the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association.

Meanwhile, a gasoline-powered VW Golf costs 180,000 crowns to import, ends up selling for 298,000 crowns after a value added tax and other charges, including a carbon tax and a tax based on the weight of the vehicle are included.

The subsidies are costing Norway and impacting the country’s bottom line.  The country’s 1.3 trillion crown budget projects a loss of tax revenues by 3 billion crowns a year due to EVs.





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