Norway: Tesla is in pole position for the race to EV goals

Four of the five new Norwegian cars that were sold in 2022 had been powered by batteries, including Teslas. However, some industry professionals fear new taxes might prevent the country from achieving its goal to be the first nation to ban petrol and diesel automobile sales by 2025.

Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc., an electric-only company, sold more Norwegian cars than any other brand in the second year. This was despite having a 12.2% market share ahead of Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), which had 11.6%.

China may be the largest car market, but Norway, with its population of 5.5 million, is the most populous country in the world. It has the highest number of electric cars, and generous subsidies have made it an ideal place for automakers to launch models.

According to the Norwegian Road Federation, the share of new battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) was 79.3% in 2022, up from 65% in 2021. This is an increase of 2.9% from a decade ago.

The Tesla Model Y was the most-loved model in 2018, ahead of Volkswagen’s electrical ID.4 and Skoda ENYAQ in third.

Oil-producing Norway, which aims to eliminate the sale of diesel and petrol cars has exempted battery electric vehicles (and other internal combustion engine competitors) from tax.

Tax exemptions can help reduce emissions but they also cost the state 39.4 Billion Crowns ($4.0B) in revenue lost in 2022 according to the finance ministry. The center-left coalition government seeks to limit the benefits of high-end cars.

The price of an electric Porsche Turbo S would be at least 1.7 million Norwegian crowns. However, if the tax had been paid as it is for petrol-fuelled vehicles, it would have cost more than 2.1 million.

The Norwegian Automobile Federation, an association representing car owners, stated that a new tax on auto sales based on weight might also impact BEV sales. Electric engine systems weigh more than those fossil fuels.

Thor Egil Braadland, spokesperson for NAF said that “we are worried about the sales dropping because the government proposed a new weight tax.”

He also said that the government failed to adequately address one of electric car owners’ main problems: charging stations and payment.

Braadland stated that Norway needs 10-15 apps in order to become a competent EV owner.

NAF advocates for an “e-roaming” solution, which would allow users to use any charging station without the need for multiple apps.

The government supported its policies for electric cars.

The electric car is now the norm for Norwegians. This means that we need to examine how society uses its funds,” Johan Vasara from Labour, who was a Norwegian state secretary in the Norwegian transport ministry.

Vasara stated, “We are confident that the electric vehicle will be here to stay,” and added that government must focus on other transportation segments such as heavy goods vehicles.


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