Lessons for the U.S. on Electric Vehicle Adoption from Norway

Norway proudly holds the title for the highest electric vehicle adoption rate globally. According to the Norwegian Road Federation (OFV), a remarkable 82% of new car sales in Norway in 2023 were electric vehicles (EVs).

In stark contrast, estimates from Kelley Blue Book indicate that only 7.6% of new car sales in the United States were electric last year. Meanwhile, in China, the world’s largest auto market, 24% of new car sales in 2023 were EVs, as reported by the China Passenger Car Association.

Abundant hydropower makes electric cars
Abundant hydropower makes electric cars in Norway one-third the cost of gasoline vehicles.

“Our goal is that all new cars by 2025 will be zero-emission vehicles,” stated Ragnhild Syrstad, the state secretary of the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment. “We believe we’re on track to achieve that goal.”

The Norwegian government initiated incentives for EV purchases back in the 1990s, offering benefits such as free parking, access to bus lanes, toll exemptions, and crucially, zero taxes on zero-emission vehicles.

However, it wasn’t until about a decade ago, with the introduction of Tesla and other EV models, that sales truly started to surge, noted Syrstad.

Oslo transforms with electrified ferries, buses, and charging stations, paving the way for sustainability.
Oslo transforms with electrified ferries, buses, and charging stations, paving the way for sustainability.

Furthermore, Norway’s capital, Oslo, is making strides in electrifying various modes of transport, including ferries, buses, semi-trucks, and even construction equipment.

Gas pumps and parking meters are being replaced by charging stations, painting a picture of an electric utopia in the making. Norway’s grid has thus far managed the influx of EVs smoothly, thanks to its abundant hydropower resources.

“Electric cars are perhaps a third of the price of gasoline cars because we rely on close to 100% hydropower. It’s cost-effective, readily available, and renewable. That’s a significant advantage,” explained Petter Haugneland, the assistant secretary general of the Norwegian EV Association.

Michael Manua
Michael Manua
Michael, a seasoned market news expert with 29 years of experience, offers unparalleled insights into financial markets. At 61, he has a track record of providing accurate, impactful analyses, making him a trusted voice in financial journalism.
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