Norwegian govt under increasing pressure to reduce incentives for EVs

Norwegian govt under increasing pressure to reduce incentives for EVs


Norwegian ministers have recently been the subject of public criticism due to the perks they offer to electric car buyers; specifically, allowing EV owners to drive in bus lanes.

The numerous incentives and subsidies attached to buying an electric car in Norway have caused an unexpected wave of criticism.

It stems from the congestion caused by allowing EV drivers to use bus lanes during rush hour traffic.

Erik Haugstad, a bus driver in the Oslo region, said “It’s become a problem. I’m a bus driver and I want to transport my passengers as quickly as possible. So, I’d like electric cars to leave the bus lanes, where they’re getting in my way,”

“These delays have a cost for society. Time lost by thousands of our passengers in traffic is far greater than that gained by a few dozen electric car drivers.”

Incentives, including being able to drive in the bus lane, free parking, and exemption from sales and VAT taxes, has boosted the uptake of EVs in Norway, with 32,000 now on the roads (the highest number per capita in the world). In fact, around 48% of electric buyers attribute their decision to buy an EV to the government’s subsidies.

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration measured that 85% of all traffic in bus lanes is attributed to electric cars. Bus drivers and other members of the public are concerned that this is interfering with public transport services and dissuading people from using them.

However, electric car sales continue to rise and others say that, despite the recent criticism, the government should remain committed to the incentives in order to achieve climate goals.

Christina Bu, General Secretary of the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association.”It’s too early to remove the fiscal incentives. The market isn’t competitive enough yet”

“If the tax and VAT exemption ends, the market could collapse and it would be hard for Norway to reach its climate goals. We must increase the number of electric cars, not reduce it.”

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