Norway and its ‘boom’ of electric cars: lights and shadows of the future


Norway has become the focus of global attention thanks to its effective integration of electric vehicles. However, despite its undeniable benefits, there are always some disadvantages.

Norway leads the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), with the highest proportion of new EV purchases worldwide. As reported The New York Timeslast year, 80% of new car sales in Norway were electric, putting the country at the forefront of change.

By 2023, all taxis are expected to be emission-free, and the wireless system will help support this goal. On top of this, Norway is on track to reach its primary goal of having all new cars sold be zero-emissions, meaning battery-electric or hydrogen-powered, by 2025.

The key benefit for EV owners remains the green tax on purchase—no import or purchase taxes—leasing—no VAT on rented EVs—and EV ownership—no road taxes, taxes reduced on company vehicles.

“Buying a new electric car costs about the same as buying a good gasoline or diesel car now”says Christiana Bu, general secretary of Norsk elbilforening, the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association. Also, this does not take into account the savings in lower running costs, as well as the cheaper “fuel” costs per kilometer.

Source: Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association.
Source: Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association.

It’s all up for the EV until some issues come into play

In addition to implementing incentives for electric vehicles, Norway has also invested in world-class charging infrastructure to support the transition to more sustainable vehicles.

To put things in perspective, while Norway’s population makes up about 1% of that of the European Union, the country’s public charging points are equivalent in number to almost 8% of public chargers in the EU.


Norway’s experience suggests that electric vehicles provide benefits without the dire consequences some critics claim. On the other hand, its leading position has also made this country a point of observation to find out what the electric vehicle revolution could mean for the environment, workers and life in general And of course there are problems.

This includes unreliable chargers and long wait times during periods of high demand. Car dealerships and retailers have had to adapt. The change has upended the auto industry, making Tesla the best-selling brand and sidelining top automakers in the country like Renault and Fiat.

However, there is an even bigger problem: the emission of microscopic particles into the air due to tire abrasion. “Actually, they are much heavier than internal combustion engine cars, and that means they are causing more abrasion.” explains Tobias Wolf, Oslo’s chief air quality engineer.

On the other hand, and despite the fact that by 2015 Norway already had 10,000 charging stations and although this has increased exponentially since then, the inhabitants still complain that they are not enough.

Electric vehicle owners tend to spend more time at Circle K because charging takes longer than filling a tank of gas.  Source: David B. Torch for The New York Times.
Electric vehicle owners tend to spend more time at Circle K because charging takes longer than filling a tank of gas. Source: David B. Torch for The New York Times.

Sirin Hellvin Stav, Oslo’s deputy mayor for Environment and Transport, told an event that the city wants to install more public chargers but also reduce the number of cars by a third to make streets safer and free up space for walking and cycling. .

“We see it as an opportunity”said Hakon Stiksrud, Circle K’s head of global electric mobility, about electric vehicles and their future enhancements. “But if we’re not able to take advantage of those opportunities, it quickly becomes a threat.” Add.

Despite all this, it can only be said that the air in Oslo – the capital of Norway – is cleaner. The city is also quieter as the noisier petrol and diesel vehicles are being pushed aside. Greenhouse gas emissions in the capital have fallen 30% since 2009, but there has been no mass unemployment among gas station workers and the power grid has not collapsed.

Oslo has been a test center for electric vehicles for the rest of Norway, and Norway itself has been a success story for the rest of Europe and the world, albeit as always with its pros and cons.