The Norwegian government is considering a new directive that would require most new vehicle purchases by public authorities to be electric from 1 January 2022. The proposal will now be subject to a three-month period for consultations and comments before it can come into force.
If the regulation is adopted in its current form, public authorities will be required to procure only purely electric cars, vans and city buses from the beginning of 2022, with two exceptions. According to a statement by the Norwegian electric car association Elbil, the only exceptions are “cargo vehicles that require more range than is currently available” and city buses powered by biogas.
There is already some critique of the proposal: Unni Berge, communications manager for the Electric Car Association, says, “We already see that the proposal is incomprehensibly lax on vans, where only vans under 1,760 kg have zero-emission requirements.” Berge insists that the requirement must apply to all vans that can be driven with a regular Class B driver’s licences. “There are many good, electric alternatives, and more will come. Ordinary consumers choose electricity like never before, so there is no reason why municipalities and the state should not do it. From now on, the public sector must choose electric vehicles.”
Minister of Climate and Environment Sveinung Rotevatn says, “We have tried to formulate the requirements in a way that plays a part in both technology development and those who will use the vehicles. For most people, zero-emissions are now, fortunately, the natural choice, and this requirement ensures that as many people as possible get there as quickly as possible the new regulations propose that requirements for zero emissions in public procurement of passenger cars, light vans are introduced from 1 January 2022, while requirements for city buses will apply from 2025,” says Rotevatn.
In Norway, 6,731 new electric cars were registered in July, setting the EV share in new car registrations at 64 per cent last month. Norway’s most successful model across all drive types was the Ford Mustang Mach-E with 898 new registrations. Compared to July 2020 (4,408 new registrations), the 6,731 electric cars were an increase of 153 per cent.
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