Norway’s Electric Surge


By John Gale

21 June 2018

On a recent visit to Norway, travelling by bus through Oslo on route to the airport, I was struck by the frequency of passing electric cars. From my vantage point on the coach, it seemed that every third or fourth car that passed us was a Tesla.This should not have surprised me since Norway’s fleet of plug-in electric vehicles is the largest per capita in the world. Oslo, it seems, is recognised as the EV capital of the world. It is expected that half of all new car sales in Norway in 2018 will be EVs. The rise in EV sales is not a national passion but one aided by Government initiatives such as tax incentives (imports taxes and vat are waived) and benefits like avoiding road tolls. This is all part of Norway’s ambitions to become carbon neutral by 2030.Since Norway is rich in hydropower the electricity it uses for road transport is “green” and zero carbon.

This week, Norway’s obsession with electric power took another step forward. On Monday. the first flight of a purpose designed 2 seater electric aircraft took place around Oslo airport. Taking the flight was the Norwegian Transport Minister and the CEO of AVINOR, which runs most of Norway’s airports. Norway has plans for all domestic flights within the country to be operated by electric aircraft by 2040.

Norway also has the only operating electric car ferry, the Ampere, which has been operating since May 2015. The ferry has been a great success; reducing CO2 emissions by 95% and is SOX and NOx free and its operating costs are reported to be 80% lower than diesel powered vessels. Apparently, the order books of the ferries manufacturer are now bulging.

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