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 2017, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) had a 21 % market share in Norway. The transition 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)
Recent updates on Norwegian EV policy:
- Access for BEVs in bus lanes in Oslo require carpooling with at least one passenger during rush hours (2015)
- Free municipal parking up to cities to decide (2017)
- Zero annual road tax (2018)
- 40% reduced company car tax (2018)
- 50% price reduction on ferries (2018)
- Zero re-registration tax for used zero-emission cars (2018)
The Government has decided to keep the purchase incentives for zero-emission cars until the end of 2021. The VAT exemption for zero-emission cars in Norway has been approved by the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) until the end of 2020. After 2021 the incentives shall be revised and adjusted parallel with the market development. As of January 2017, it has been up to the local governments to decide the incentives regarding access to bus lanes and free municipal parking.
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, which implies 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 has decided on a goal that all new cars sold by 2025 should be zero emission (electric or hydrogen).
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. The fast-charging stations have been successfully established on all main roads with the exceptions of Finnmark and Lofoten.
Norwegian EV policy history