Take a trip to Oslo, the capital of Norway, today and you may be surprised to observe that so many of the vehicles driving around the city are electric. In today’s Norway, if you buy a new car, it will take some explaining to your friends why you didn’t get a fully electric model - EVs are almost the norm, with a whopping 84 percent of all new cars purchased being electric in January of this year.
And as it so happens with success stories like this one, it did not come about overnight and without work being put in to make it happen. EVs first became popular in Norway with the introduction of locally assembled city runabouts like Buddy and Th!nk, which at first were completely exempt from paying road tax and most tolls, and they could use bus lanes in cities and also park for free.
This was almost 20 years ago, but moving to the present, EVs are not exempt from anything anymore in Norway, however, you still have less to pay if you drive electric. One big improvement in recent years in the country is the proliferation of fast charging stations of the kind needed to quickly juice up a modern 100+ kWh luxury EV in a reasonable amount of time.
Most Norwegians’ goal is to charge at home, but those who do not have this option can today rely on a strong network of fast chargers, as well as special electric vehicle parking facilities that have chargers for each spot, as The Fully Charged Show discovered in this new video shot in Oslo.
They cover everything from history to the current context in order to make Norway’s formula as simple as possible to understand and possibly replicate in other countries that are not as advanced in terms of EV uptake. It seems unlikely that another country will be the first to move to an electric-only passenger car market, although the battle for who comes second will be quite interesting.