Photo: Norwegian Embassy.Photo: Norwegian Embassy

Great interest in Norway’s drive towards an electric vehicles fleet

On Tuesday 6 December, the Norwegian Ambassador Unni Kløvstad was invited to speak at an event hosted by Beyond Zero Emissions to highlight avenues to increase the share of electric cars in the Australian vehicle-fleet.

The event, organized to present a new report on electric vehicles (EVs) by Beyond Zero Emissions, gathered industry leaders, policy makers, academics and climate activists to discuss the viable future for zero emission cars - and in particular electric vehicles - in Australia. 

The fleet of plug-in electric vehicles in Norway (including hybrid vehicles) is the largest per capita in the world, with Oslo recognized as the electric vehicles capital of the world. In 2013 approximately 20 000 electric vehicles were registered and by the end of 2016 that number is expected to have increased to over 100 000. In September 2016, almost 30 percent of new cars sales in Norway were electric cars. These figures far exceed those of any other country, and is double that of the second largest fleet in Europe and is growing faster than anywhere else in the world. Moreover, Norway's fleet of electric cars is one of the cleanest in the world because 98% of the electricity generated in Norway comes from hydropower.

Ambassador Kløvstad explained that this development is first and foremost due to a substantial package of incentives developed to promote zero emission cars. The incentives began already in the early 1990’s and since then the incentive program have been gradually introduced by a broad coalition of different political parties. The incentives include amongst other the exemption from 25 % VAT on purchase, access to bus lanes, free municipal parking and no charges on toll roads of ferries

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government’s Minister for Climate Change, Shane Rattenbury, also attended the event, and he highlighted the ACT’s proactive approach to encourage a green shift in the transport sector.

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