Elon Musk has taken to Twitter to congratulate Norway for its decision to ban fossil fuel cars by 2025. Actually, Elon may have been a little optimistic in his praise. Norway is strongly considering such a proposal and all four major political parties have signed on to it in principal, but the policy has not yet received final approval.
No matter. Norway is a global leader when it comes to taking action on climate change. There is a strong likelihood that the sale of fossil fuel cars will in fact be outlawed by 2025. In the meantime, the country is moving forward aggressively on many fronts to lower its carbon footprint.
Just heard that Norway will ban new sales of fuel cars in 2025. What an amazingly awesome country. You guys rock!! pic.twitter.com/uAXuBkDYuR
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 3, 2016
Norway already gets more than 90% of its electrical energy from renewable sources. It has such an abundance of hydroelectric power, it supplies some of its surplus to Germany. It is also constructing an undersea transmission cable to send some of that electricity to the United Kingdom.
Norway is one of Tesla’s best markets, primarily because the incentives the government has put in place for electric vehicles make them price competitive with conventional cars. Ordinarily, a new car buyer pays a substantial amount of tax on the vehicle, but electric cars are exempt. EV drivers also get to use commuter lanes, have access to priority parking and free electric chargers in Norwegian cities, and are exempt from paying tolls on Norway’s numerous ferries, bridges, and tunnels.Norway is also planning to invest nearly a billion dollars in improving its bicycle commuting infrastructure. The plan is to create separate bicycle highways between the cities and the suburbs so people and bike to work without competing with automobiles.
The government will meet again on Monday to try to hammer out the final terms of its zero emissions vehicle policies. In addition to passenger cars being zero emissions by 2025, the proposals seek to make 75% of intercity buses zero emissions by 2030 and 50% of cargo trucks as well. Norway is also pioneering the use of hybrid electric passenger and cargo ferries for coastal marine traffic.
Elon may have jumped the gun a little bit with his tweet, but Norway appears to be on the brink of becoming fossil fuel free sooner than any other industrialized country.
Thanks to Leif Hansen for alerting us to local news reports from Norway.