Having 97 percent of the electricity used in the country coming from renewable sources Norway is already a low emissions country. However, the Norwegian government has set out to cut emission even further and thus aim to cut carbon emission by 40 percent from 1990 levels in 15 years.
Currently, the transport sector is responsible for one-third of the country’s total carbon emissions and this sector will therefore play a significant role in the future reductions. While the focus is first and foremost on greening the public transport sector, private vehicles sold on the Norwegian market must also undergo a transformation to reduce carbon emissions. The goals set for the transport sector by the Norwegian government therefore looks as follows:
- All municipal vehicles must be electric by 2015
- All public transit must be fossil-fuel-free by 2020
- All taxis must be zero-emission by 2022
- Close to 100 percent of new cars sold must be emission-free by 2025
In order to reach this transformation, electric cars have been granted a vast number of incentives.
On the financial side, there is no road tax (or registration fee), no sales tax, no value-added tax, and the corporate-car tax is lower. Furthermore, public parking is free; tolls on roads, bridges, and tunnels are free; ferry transport is free; and public charging is free. Finally, electric cars can also travel in restricted bus lanes.
As a result, Norway already has the highest percentage of electric cars per capita, and this year, almost one in five new cars sold in Norway is electric (18.4 percent as of June 2015). Electric-car sales have doubled every year for the past three years, and as of June 2015, 2.1 percent of Norway's 2.5 million vehicles were electric.
The investments in the electrification of the public transport sector is also vast. Electric buses are being rolled out, and the first battery-electric ferry has just been launched. Having relinquished its position as the pioneering electric car manufacturing country after the company Think went bankrupt in 2011, Norway now aims to be a frontrunner within the electrification of the maritime industry.
Having already reached such extensive results, a representative for the Norwegian government has indicated that the set goals are expected to be reached which in turn will radically reduce the Norwegian transport sector's carbon footprint.
The benefits of purchasing an electric vehicle will, however, be withdrawn as the number of electric cars grow. The city of Oslo has e.g. already been authorised to cancel the bus-lane access in case it causes disturbances to the bus schedules.