The Scandinavian countries of Northern Europe are known for their pioneering ways.
It goes way back. The Vikings are said to have invented the comb. Because you have to look your best when ransacking and pillaging.
Today, Sweden’s IKEA has the flatpack furniture market cornered. Denmark gave us Lego. And now Norway are planning on leading the way in the uptake of electric cars.
In 2002, only 2% of vehicles sold in Norway were electric.
In 2015, that had risen to 22%, and it continues to grow.
To maintain the rising percentage of electric vehicles bought, Norway has created a program to make using them even easier.
It hopes to install public charging stations every 31 miles across all major highways in the country, which will take care of one major fear in potential buyers – the cars’ range.
In a region with notoriously high income taxes, buyers of electric cars can enjoy zero VAT or purchase tax, and other breaks like free parking, no road or ferry tolls, and access to bus lanes.
These incentives may eventually be phased out or left to local governments to decide, but it’s hoped the uptake of electric vehicles will receive such a boost beforehand that the trend will be irreversible.
On the plus side, when VAT is reintroduced to electric cars, it will still be lower than vehicles that run on gasoline.
And when road tolls are reintroduced, they’ll be based on emission levels of the vehicle in question. Once again, advantage electric car.
It’s clear that the world can’t continue with current levels of oil use and climate-changing emissions.
With brands like Tesla challenging how we think about electric vehicles, the future is surely plugged-in.
Norway, with their hope for sales to be 100% electric by 2025, are leading the way.
Can, and will, the rest of the world follow suit?
edit: step forward, India
Norway has had a long relationship with electric vehicles, dating back at least to 1989 when pop group A-ha (remember them?) promoted early versions.
For the country’s full history with electric vehicles, check out the infographic below.