Since the early 1990’s the incentive program have been gradually introduced by a broad coalition of different political parties.
Norway is leading the way for the transition to zero emission electric cars. In 2015, electric vehicles had a 22 % market share in Norway. This is first and foremost due to a substantial package of incentives developed to promote zero emission cars.
The zero emissions incentives include:
- No purchase/import taxes (1990)
- Exemption from 25% VAT on purchase (2001)
- Low annual road tax (1996)
- No charges on toll roads or ferries (1997 and 2009)
- Free municipal parking (1999)
- Access to bus lanes (2005)
- 50 % reduced company car tax (2000)
- Exemption from 25% VAT on leasing (2015)
The incentive program will be revised and adjusted parallel with the market development in coming years. The tax incentives will stay in place to 2018 and then be revised. From 2017 the local governments will decide the incentives such as access to buss lanes and free municipal parking. Free toll roads will probably be replaced with a new system with differentiated prices depending on CO2 and NOx emissions.
The overall signal from the majority of political parties is that it should always be economically beneficial to choose zero and low emission cars over high emission cars. This is obtained with the “polluter pays principle” in the car tax system. High taxes for high emission cars and lower taxes for low and zero emission cars. Introducing taxes on polluting cars can finance incentives for zero emission cars without any loss in revenues.
The Norwegian Parliament have decided on a goal that all new cars sold by 2025 should be zero (electric or hydrogen) or low (plug-in hybrids) emission. This is a very ambitious but feasible goal with the right policy measures. The Parliament will reach this goal with a strengthened green tax system based on the polluter pays principle, not a ban.
The European Clean Power for Transport directive recommends that there should be one public available charging point for every 10 electric cars by 2020. With an increasing market share from 22% in 2015 to 30% in 2020, the Norwegian EV population may by 2020 reach 250.000. This shows that there should be around 25.000 public charging points available by 2020. In 2015 there were only approximately 1.350 charging points complying with EU standards.
For longer distance trips, a well-organized charging network has to be in place. Even if EV owners are charging at home and manage without fast charging on a daily basis, they think it is important to have the option to fast charge when needed. They are also willing to pay a higher price for the service of fast charging. On average, three times more than they pay for electricity at home. The Norwegian Government has launched a program to finance the establishment of at least two multi standard fast charging stations every 50 km on all main roads in Norway by 2017.
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- EVS29 paper: The Norwegian EV success continues
- Norwegian charging station database NOBIL
- European Alternative Fuel Observatory
Norwegian EV policy history