Norway could sell its last gasoline-powered vehicle in April 2022, three years before the date set by the Scandinavian country’s government. That’s according to a recent report released this week by the Norwegian Automobile Federation (NAF).
The report is based on recent vehicle sales data in the country. According to the Norwegian Road Traffic Information Office, less than 10% (9.66%) of the 110,864 vehicles sold in the first 8 months of 2021 were gasoline or diesel powered.
This represents a significant drop compared to the same period in 2019 when 21% of sales were gasoline cars. In 2017, electric vehicles in Norway accounted for less than 50% of vehicle sales.
“Sales of new gasoline and diesel cars are disappearing in Norway,” said Thor Egil Braadland, Norwegian government liaison to NAF. “If the trend continues from the last four years, sales will be over in the first half of 2022. That’s much sooner than even the most optimistic electric car enthusiasts thought possible.”
While gasoline-powered vehicle sales seem poised to end naturally, it won’t be the end of traditional vehicles on Norwegian roads.
“Most people still own a used gasoline or diesel car,” Braadland said. “About 85 percent of the cars on Norwegian roads still have gasoline or diesel engines. But the new car sales show that we are seeing the beginning of the end for the fossil fuel car.”
Gasoline-powered vehicles will still be sold, although dealers in Norway are offering many more options and models to buyers wanting an electric vehicle. In addition, experts in the country believe that internal combustion engine vehicles will continue to be present and relatively popular in the used car market.
One reason for the popularity of electric vehicles in Norway is the many incentives offered to consumers to go electric. These include:
- Reduced rates of over 50% for paid parking and toll roads.
- Much lower taxes on electric vehicles (about 25% less) and very high taxes on gasoline vehicles. These taxes essentially fund the rebates on electric vehicles.
- Restricted access to some cities with a gasoline vehicle.
- Electric company vehicles get a 50% tax break.
This means that an electric car generally costs less than its gasoline equivalent. A Volkswagen e-Golf, for example, costs about 800 euros less than a traditional Golf in Norway.