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4 January 2018

Norway achieves its transport emissions target three years early

More than half the new cars sold in Norway last year were electric or hybrid, which has led to the country already reaching its transportation emissions target initially set for 2020.

In 2012, Norway announced that 85 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre will be the official target for transportation-related emissions by 2020. The target represents the average emissions per passenger kilometre in new cars.

Back then, the target was considered particularly aggressive, as it was even 10 grams/kilometre lower than the standard set by the European Union.

According to the Road Traffic Advisory Board, the average emissions per passenger rate for all the new cars sold in Norway in 2017 was 82 g/km. In December alone, the number was 74 g/km due to increased sales of Tesla vehicles at the end of the year.

In 2017, a total of 158,650 vehicles were sold in the country. 25 percent were electric and 27 percent were hybrids. Diesel cars dropped to last place in the sales charts, representing less than 24 percent of the total share.

Tesla is one of Norway’s most popular car manufacturers because the vehicle’s proportions make it easy to carry sports equipment and other necessary items for cabin weekends.

The deployment of electric vehicles has spiked in recent years due to favourable tax incentives, which make zero-emissions cars more attractive compared to conventional diesel. Often, the VAT on cars can add some thousands or even tens of thousands of extra pounds to the price of cars, making the tax relief a very strong incentive considering the augmented price of EVs in relation to diesel cars.  

Last November, the EU suggested that the tax incentives in the country must soon come to an end, as the price of EVs is falling, and the government’s investing in charging infrastructure increases. However, the Norwegian government has officially requested an extension of the zero VAT permission until 2020 and it now awaits the EU’s response. 

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