In most European countries, you will probably spot one. We’re talking about Tesla cars: Norway, and particularly Oslo, has the biggest number of Tesla cars per capita in the whole world, to the point that you hardly see a “regular” car anymore in the streets. But what’s the reason behind this? Below, we’re trying to shine a light on the reasons why the electric car is such a big hit in the Land of the Vikings.
It’s good for the environment
Let’s start with the obvious: electric cars are more environmentally friendly, and Norwegians care deeply about the environment. Going zero commissions and reducing air pollution is a point of pride for this country, along with its extensive recycling network – and electric cars is the way to get there. Especially when almost all of Norway’s electricity comes from hydropower, so it’s cheap and clean to begin with, and can power all these electric cars.
It makes your everyday life easier
Driving a Tesla car in Norway has many perks. For one, you get free parking. And you can drive in the bus lane which is significantly faster (something that would accrue heavy fines if you had a “regular” car). Also they’re very efficient: a Tesla car can go from zero to 100km per hour in just 3.1 seconds, which makes them a breeze to drive and easy to handle when you have to react fast on the road. Plus, because electric cars are so popular, there are charging stations everywhere (the city of Oslo has about 2,000 of them) so you never have to worry about running low on power. And did we mention that charging them is completely free, too?
It’s, actually, cheaper
Have you heard the rumour that if you want to buy an electric car in Norway, the government will pay half of it? Well, there’s some truth to that: although Teslas are expensive cars, you save a lot of money on taxes (as you don’t have to pay registration fees and get tax deductions for owning electric cars, versus the steep taxation on “regular” cars), so it evens out. It’s currently more cost-effective to buy a Tesla car in Norway than to buy a BMW, for instance. But you also save money in your everyday life by using an electric car: for instance, you don’t have to pay any tolls to go in and out of Oslo.
The government wants you to have them
It’s not just easier for you to buy a Tesla car in Norway, it’s also easier for the companies to sell them, as the government offers them the opportunity to avoid paying sales taxes for selling electric cars. This is all part of the plan to end sales of gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2025, which might sound ironic for a country whose economy is basically sustained by oil and fossil fuels. But Norwegians will tell you that the system works: they extract oil in a greener way than other countries, they sell it to the countries who need it the most, and use their significant resources to make their own country as green and oil-free as possible. Teslas are the most logical step in that direction.
How Norway Is Impacting the Oil Industry with Rapid Electric Car Adoption
For a country that reinvented itself thanks to the discovery of oil in the 1970s, it’s always surprising when realizing how little Norway has grown to depend on the oil industry for its own needs. In the last few years, electric cars have become the norm and steps to rely less on petroleum have been taken. Now, the oil industry is starting to notice.
The laws of supply and demand
Norway is a big country, which means changes may take a while to have an effect on the grand scale of things. But the changes Norway has been making these last few years with regards to petroleum have started creating a ripple effect. According to the final figures released by the Norwegian government for 2017, the sales of petroleum products have declined across the board – for the first time since 2014, at least. A 2.2% decline in overall petroleum product sales has been reported, with motor gasoline sales showing the biggest fall (2.9%). To put it simply, the demand for petroleum used in cars is not that big anymore in Norway.
The EV revolution
Instead, electric vehicles are taking over: a trend known as “EV revolution”. It started with a rise in the popularity of electric vehicles such as Tesla and Nissan Leaf in the past four years, and last year the market share for them was over 50% of the total amount of new cars bought. One in two cars bought in Norway is electric, a rate higher than any other country in the world.
There are many reasons for that. After years of being an important petroleum producer, Norway has been working to become more green and environment-friendly, even if that means not depending on its own products. The plan is to end sales of gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2025, and the Norwegian government has offered many “perks” to people making the switch, such as big tax deductions, free charging for the cars, and exemption from paying tolls, to name a few. At the same time, there is a plan in place to make all of Norway’s short-haul flights entirely electric by 2040 as well as a newly passed law that will make Norwegian fjords ‘the world’s first zero-emission zone at sea’. According to experts, Norway’s ever-growing EV fleet has already started having a real impact on the oil industry – and the effects are expected to become even more prominent in the years to come. But don’t worry, Norway will probably be alright, and the environment even better for it.