EVs and Hybrids Have Outsold Conventional Vehicles in Norway

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【Summary】The generous incentives in Norway for electrified vehicles have finally paid off, as hybrids and EVs outsold gasoline- and diesel-powered machines last year.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Feb 18, 2018 9:30 AM PT
EVs and Hybrids Have Outsold Conventional Vehicles in Norway

In the United States, gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles reign supreme. With automakers coming out with their total sales figures for 2017, pickup trucks, SUVs, and crossovers, the majority of which are powered by gas, sold by the hundreds of thousands. Electric cars and hybrids, on the other hand, haven't caught on yet

Norway Leads The Way For EVs

That isn't the case in Norway, though. Back in 2016, the country, spurred on by government incentives and public enthusiasm, saw approximately 105,000 plug-in electric vehicles registered in the country, making EVs more popular than anywhere else in the world. The trend has continued, as Norway, according to The New York Times, recently saw electric and hybrid cars outpace fossil-fuel-powered machines in sales in 2017. 

As the outlet points out, Norway is a major oil exporter and seems like an unlikely country to become a champion of eco-friendly machines, but the country's incentives and incredible benefits make it a prime location for EV buyers. 

Multiple countries around the world have attempted to make eco-friendly vehicles like EVs and hybrids more attractive. In its fight against air pollution, China recently banned the sale of 553 vehicle models that didn't meet the country's incredibly strict emission regulations. The move to ban cars is an attempt to get one out of every five vehicles to run on alternative fuels by 2025, reports The NY Times. France also has a plan in place to end the sale of fossil fuel-powered vehicles by 2040

While the rest of the world is struggling to get EVs on the road, Norway is basking in the sales, as the outlet reports that approximately 52 percent of new vehicles sold in the country ran on alternative forms of fuel, citing Norway's Road Traffic Advisory Board, OFV. Diesel-powered vehicles, despite being viewed as eco-friendly cars once upon a time, are now viewed as harmful machines for their noxious emissions and didn't do as well in sales as previous years, claims the outlet. 

"This trend will only increase," said Oyvind Solberg Thorsen, OFV's director. "This is good for both road safety and the environment." 

Sales Are Only Expected To Increase In The Future

According to Christina Bu, secretary general of the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association, electric-vehicle sales could've been even higher. But states that buyers continue to wait for the upcoming Tesla Model 3, which has been plagued by production problems

The reason for Norway's success with EV sales, as The New York Times reports, boils down to government subsidies and tax breaks on offer, which makes the machines much more affordable. And the country also has a nationwide network of charging stations, has cheaper parking spots for EV drivers, offers those in EVs to use bus lanes for those with full vehicles during rush hour, and offers exemptions from road tolls, claims the outlet. 

Needless to say, with all of those upsides, EVs have skyrocketed in popularity in the country. "I had been wanting an electric car for a long time for environmental reasons, but they were expensive," said Zanete Anderson Lilley, a senior adviser in Norway at the World Wildlife Fund, an environmental advocacy organization. "If it wasn't for the subsidies, I guess most people would still choose fuel," she said. 

As Norway's EV program reveals, government subsidies and tax breaks make EVs more attractive. Unfortunately, for many American consumers, a recent Republican tax bill proposal would eliminate the electric vehicle tax incentives, which were worth up to $7,500 per vehicle. With the loss of the incentives and the cheap price of gas in the United States, gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles will continue to outsell their eco-friendly counterparts for the foreseeable future.  

via: The New York Times / Photo By: Carlos Bryant/Flickr

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