Norway to phase out fossil fuel cars by 2025 – DW report

According to DW report, 100,000 EV’s are already on Norway’s roads. The country aims to phase out fossil fuel cars by 2025. Norway is the electric car capital of the world. Nearly 40 percent of all new cars sold in the Scandinavian country are now electric. And the country is not stopping there. The aim is to phase out fossil fuelled vehicles altogether by 2025. But can it be done? And how much does it matter if one of the world’s largest oil and gas producers get rid of petrol and diesel cars?

Based on the estimate, about 321 electric cars were registered in Norway in 2007 but by the end of year 2016 there were over 100,000 electric cars on the roads in the Scandinavian nation, which has a population of 5.2 million.

No other country in the world comes anywhere close to that level of electric vehicle (EV) ownership per capita.

Erik Figenbaum, chief research engineer at the Norwegian Institute of Transport Economics in Oslo, said, “I think ten years ago [today’s situation] would have been regarded as science fiction”

“When I talk to researchers and politicians in other countries they cannot believe what is happening in Norway. It has been a tremendous development.”

Great benefits of electric cars:

If you ask electric car owners in Norway, they will tell you the huge success of plug-in EVs is down to two factors: they are cheap and very convenient.

“You pay much lower taxes, so it’s cheaper than a normal diesel or gas car, and also you can drive in the bus lane all the way to town, which means it’s really, really fast to get to work,” explained Inger Sethov, as she brushed snow off her VW e-UP! before getting ready to whiz past the queues on her way to work in Oslo.

Thanks to a government incentive, she paid no VAT on her car, instantly wiping a whooping 25 percent off the sales price. Then there is free city center parking and charging, free ferry crossings and access to use the bus lanes.

“It’s a no-brainer,” she said.

No fossil fuel cars after 2025?

Norway’s EV market has nearly doubled year-on-year since 2011. Right now, nearly 40 percent of all new cars sold are electric, and sales are edging towards a 50 percent tipping point.

There are still more than two million fossil fuel vehicles on Norwegian roads, yet buoyed by the success tax cuts have brought to EV sales so far, Norwegian politicians now want to phase out petrol and diesel cars altogether by 2025.

“We should also make it more expensive to drive a fossil fuel car to give people more incentive to change,” said Eivind Trædal, a city council member for the Green Party in Oslo.

Yet even a 100 percent electric car pool would not be enough for Norway to cut its emissions in line with what the country signed up to at the Paris climate summit.

The country is one of the world’s largest oil and gas producers and exporters, and depends on carbon trading and support against deforestation to meet its emission commitments.

“Norway is still one of only two countries in Europe where emissions are still increasing,” said Nina Jensen, head of WWF Norway.

“There is limited political will to talk about our biggest emitter, which is the oil and gas sector. Emissions from oil and gas have increased in Norway by 80 percent since 1990,” she added.

“So if we really want to do something about climate change, and we want to get serious, we really need to start doing something about our oil and gas production,” Jensen said.

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