Norway Hits Electric Vehicle Record and the US Should Take Notice

Photo of a time lapse photo showing the milkyway galaxy, and busy highway at night.

For the first time, electric vehicles outsold traditional combustion-engine vehicles in Norway in March, accounting for 58 percent of all new cars sold.

Norway has been able to shift away from combustion-engine vehicles using a variety of incentives, which the US should consider adopting to help boost market adoption here. 

Benefits for electric vehicle owners in Norway include exemptions from vehicle import duties and registration and sales tax. Electric vehicle drivers also have access to bus lines.

However, the Norwegian government plans to phase out the incentives in 2021. Already certain exemptions have ended, including free municipal parking.

It’s not realistic that the government would employ the incentives for an extended period of time, particularly as it’s clear they’ve done their job. Approximately half of all cars sold in Norway in 2019 are expected to be electric, up from 31.2 percent in 2018 and 20.8 percent in 2017, according to Reuters.

If the US ever wants to reach this point, the government must implement more incentives since right now electric vehicles are just too expensive for the average consumer. The current tax credit isn’t enough and the Trump administration is threatening to do away with it entirely.

A larger tax credit wouldn’t need to be in place indefinitely. It would only be necessary for a set number of years until market adoption takes off.

Norway didn’t reach this point on just incentives alone, but they certainly played a big role. The US should take notice.