Norway reconsiders electric car privileges
The Norwegian Ministry of Transport is considering abolishing or reducing privileges for electric vehicles in taxes and tolls in larger cities. According to its own statements, the government wants to push ahead with the traffic turnaround – and not simply replace combustion engines 1:1 with electric cars.
According to Transport Minister Jon-Ivar Nygård, the reasons are not only lower revenues but also a delay in the transport turnaround. “It’s great that people use electric cars. But it’s not good if people get into their cars and drive to busy urban areas instead of walking, cycling or using public transport,” the transport minister is quoted as saying. However, a final decision on the matter is still pending, the minister told broadcaster NRK.
While total registrations in Norway have declined by 15 per cent this year, electric cars have increased by 28.9 per cent compared to the same period last year. In April, 74.1 per cent of all new registrations in Norway were purely electric, in March even 86.1 per cent.
According to the current legal situation, the tax rate for electric cars is less than 50 per cent of the tax on comparable petrol or diesel cars. At the time of purchase, there is no value-added tax of 25 per cent. In addition, tolls and parking fees are lower in many places. Subsidies for hybrid cars, on the other hand, have already expired.
With the sum of these measures, the electric car has become the number one drive system in Norway. As NRK reports, there is a lack of money for investments in infrastructure projects or public transport due to declining revenues as the share of electric cars increases. “We have seen a trend, especially during the pandemic, that car traffic has returned,” Nygård told the broadcaster.
The Norwegian electric vehicle association Norsk Elbilforening rejects the abolition or reduction of privileges. Association head Christina Bu points out that more than 80 per cent of cars in Norway still run on fossil fuels and that the privileges are one of the most important reasons why people choose electric cars.