Updated March 1. Our contact in Norway tells us that Norway is considering changes to its EV incentives but that no changes have been instituted as of yet. We apologize for any misunderstanding. The story has been modified to reflect this new information.
Norway has some of the most generous EV incentives in the world. That is one reason why Tesla sales in Norway have been strong since the Model S was first introduced in 2012. Many Model S sedans are used as taxis in Norway’s major cities. It also helps that Europe has high gasoline and diesel fuel prices, while Norway has some of the lowest rates for electricity of any country in Europe, thanks to its abundant hydroelectric resources.
However, Norway is considering a package of proposals that would trim back some of those incentives, according to Norwegian website Side3. The sales tax and VAT exemptions will remain in place at least until the end of 2017, when they are scheduled to be renewed, amended, or allowed to expire. Electric car owners could now pay full fare on all toll roads and ferries in the country and reduced tolls on its many bridges. They could also pay reduced tolls for use of the ring roads around Norway’s major cities.
Access to bus lanes may be restricted in some areas. Electric cars have become so popular in places that there is no room left in express lanes for buses. Free parking in cities might be eliminated or scaled back. In some areas, access to free parking will be determined by how much carbon dioxide a vehicle emits. That restriction will apply most often to drivers of plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Side3 also reports that the new policies call for all new cars, buses and light commercial vehicles to be “zero emission” by 2025. Only two categories fulfill that requirement — battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The new policy states, “Until zero emission vehicles take over, petrol and diesel cars sold shall be rechargeable hybrids and, wherever possible, use biofuels.” (Note: translation by Google.)
Many nations are reexamining their policies regarding EV incentives. Georgia eliminated its tax credit for electric cars last year. EV sales in The Peach State have fallen by 90% since then. California is finding some of its HOV lanes overloaded with alternative fuel cars.
Government policies will likely change in light of experience. For the moment, Norway seems to feel it is the right time to tap the brakes on some of its EV incentive programs. None of the changes should have any significant impact on Tesla sales. Thanks to EV enthusiast Leif Hansen for alerting us to this story.
Photo credit: Side3.no