RSS   Newsletter   Contact   Advertise with us

Too much of electric cars is not good for Norway

Staff writer ▼ | April 21, 2015
Norway is reviewing its subsidies for electric vehicles after government incentives made the country the biggest user of battery powered cars in the world, hurting state revenues, the finance ministry said.
Norway elecric cars
Ecology   Norway to review electric car subsidies
Norway registered its 50,000th electric car on Monday, almost three years earlier than expected thanks to government schemes that have cut taxes and provided a lot of benefits, including an exemption from tolls and parking fees, free recharging stations and the use of bus lanes.

A fifth of all new cars sold in Norway have been electric so far this year and Norway, accounted for a third of all European battery powered car sales last year, official data showed.

"Our goal is to present a final agreement on the review of the future of automotive and fuel taxes," the finance ministry said.

"The outcome of the review will be announced in the revised budget." The new, revised budget is due in May.

The current incentive scheme has been in place since 2012, but it came under criticism last year when sales of the Tesla Model S, a luxury sedan, soared and the budget lost $380 to $510m in expected revenue.

Teslas, starting at about $70,000 and retailing for about $100 ,000 with extras, accounted for three percent of sales last year, prompting calls to end subsidies for wealthy buyers. Sales of the Nissan Leaf and Volkswagen e-Golf have also risen.

The Norwegian Electric Car Association argues that the benefits need to be maintained longer as only two percent of the cars on the road are electric, still a relatively small figure.

Norway generates nearly 100% of its electricity from hydropower so the shift to battery powered cars results in a net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, part of the country's plans to reduce emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to the 1990 level.