Norway, or the highway

11 Jul 2019

As the EV revolution is slowly spreading across the globe, there is one country firmly ahead of the curve, Norway! About one in eight cars on Oslo roads is now an EV and the majority of new cars sold are fully electric. What’s the secret to Norway’s success?


Per capita, Norway has more EV drivers than anywhere else in the world. That’s remarkable for such an oil rich country. And Norway is an immense country with mountains and its well-known freezing temperatures. Not ideal circumstances for an EV. To make electric driving a success, the Norwegian government has ambitiously adopted incentives at an early stage.

Since 1990 there has been no purchase or import tax for zero emission vehicles, and in 2001 this was expanded to a VAT exemption. The EV adoption didn’t take off immediately: there were no electric cars to buy yet. In 2010 that started to change and the rise of the EV in Norway really began, now leading to 60% of all new registered vehicles already being either electric or PHEV.


Price equality

The success is mostly credited to these tax exemptions that make the price of -usually more expensive- EVs comparable to those of fossil fuel cars. But Norway offers lots of additional benefits to EV drivers, such as free parking, free use of the ferry, no tolls, no annual road tax and use of the bus lane in case of traffic jams.


Growing pains

Norway has more than 12.000 public charging stations, of which over 20% are fast chargers. With the exceptions of Finnmark and Lofoten, the Norwegian government has already established fast charging stations every 50 km on all main roads. Range anxiety isn’t really an issue anymore.

But even though most of the charging is done at home, according to the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association 80% of EV drivers fast-charge at a public station at least once a month. And 85% said they experienced queues at fast-charging stations “occasionally” or “often”. Especially on Fridays and Sundays when drivers rely on public charging for their weekend trips. These waiting times have created a new phenomenon ‘charging anxiety’.


2025 ambition

At Allego we are sure that together we will find a way to solve these growing pains. Especially since it doesn’t look like the rise of the EV is slowing down any time soon. Norway is well on its way to reach the next ambition; in 2025 all new cars sold need to be zero emission vehicles. If Norway can, it can be done anywhere.