Norway Leads the Electric Vehicle Surge in Europe

Tesla Model S (front) and Nissan Leaf (back) in Norway

Tesla Model S (front) and Nissan Leaf (back) in Norway Credit: Norsk Elbilforening / CC BY 2.5

There is a lot of talk around Electric Vehicles (EVs) and currently, Europe is reportedly all set for a major expansion in this area. EVs have an immense support from the auto industry and the government, backed by technology, and ambitious emissions reduction targets seem to have a lot going its way.

In the last few years, Norway has been leading the way of electro-mobility. The capital, Oslo, is growing on bus-lane access for EVs, having recharging stations, toll-free travel for electric cars, and privileged parking. With attempts to combat climate change and to cut on pollution, noise, and congestion there were plenty of initiatives taken. Currently, Norway can boast of the highest per capital number of battery only cars in the world.

The Netherlands ranks No. 2 in e-mobility after Norway, is all set to have fossil fuel-powered automobiles by 2025. Many experts are expecting major breakthroughs in 2017 for electric mobility in Europe. Currently, Norway has around 500,000 EVs, and China has around 600,000 EVs and is leading. China also plans to deploy five million EVs by 2020. Ranking third globally, the US has lesser than 500,000 EVs but is experiencing a momentum with the Tesla’s Model 3 car.

Lars Mönch of Germany’s Federal Environment Agency added a reference of the Paris agreement on climate change where nations have committed to emission cuts and holding temperature increases to below two degrees Celsius.

Norway shows the way for the electric option with nearly 98% of electricity in Norway coming from hydropower and the EVs leaving nearly no carbon footprint. Norway reportedly has incentives to promote e-mobility which is backed by its lucrative offshore oil and natural gas business and includes exemption from a 25% sales tax.

In Europe, EVs growth can be attributed more to legislation than subsidies, such as the EU’s mandatory emissions-reduction targets for the new cars. An ambitious goal of having average emissions of all cars sold to around 40% less than the average car by 2021 seems to be one of the reasons for the growth in EVs. European car makers have reportedly approached the governments for more rebates and tax incentives in order to stimulate the domestic markets.

The e-mobility revolution is inevitable but it must seamlessly support clean energy.

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