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Trollstigen in Åndalsnes, Fjord Norway
Trollstigen in Åndalsnes, Fjord Norway
Trollstigen in Fjord Norway.
Photo: Shai Pal / Unsplash
Trollstigen in Fjord Norway.
Photo: Shai Pal / Unsplash

Norway – the EV capital of the world

When it comes to electric vehicles, Norway is top of the class. They're everywhere! In 2020, more EVs were sold than any other type of car. Why is that?

“In 2020, 54 percent of new cars sold in Norway were EVs. And it's important to note that when we talk about EVs, we mean fully electric cars. Plug-in hybrids aren’t part of that number. If we included those, as they do in many other countries, we would reach a whopping 74 percent!” says Christina Bu, secretary general of the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association.

How has Norway managed to achieve such a high uptake? The political goal is for the entire Norwegian car fleet to be zero-emission (electric or hydrogen) by 2025. That's why there are all sorts of incentives in place: subsidies, cheaper parking, tolls and ferry tickets, and the right to use bus and taxi lanes on many roads.

“But the strongest incentive may be that we heavily tax the purchase of polluting petrol and diesel cars,” explains Bu.

It's no wonder then that no other country in the world has more EVs per capita.

Secondly, electric cars are cool! They are silent and don't create noxious fumes. And you can drive for several hundred kilometres before you need to charge. Not that charging is a major problem in Norway – we have almost 17,000 charging stations and counting, including 3,300 rapid chargers, all over the country. Say goodbye to range anxiety!

Charging station for EVs in Setesdal, Southern Norway
Charging station for EVs in Bygland.
Photo: Kirsten Leira

The easiest way to find a charging point is by checking ladestasjoner.no's map. To make sure you have access to charging stations, it's important to register with the major providers in advance. Norway has about ten of them.

“Even in the northernmost parts of Northern Norway – an area with huge distances, more reindeer than people, and really low temperatures in the winter – you can get around easily in an EV,” says Christina Bu.

According to her, about 40 new electric car models were launched in Norway in 2021. “That's more than all the new petrol, diesel, and plug-in hybrid models combined!”

If you want to take a road trip through the country, you can easily rent an electric car from most rental companies. In Geiranger and FlåmeMobility has even set up a rental service for a scooter-car (a small four-wheeler) with two seats and open sides. Perfect for sightseeing!

But why stop there? Cruise the fjords and lakes or go whale-watching on electric boats, travel with electric cable cars up mountainsides, and hop on good old-fashioned metros and trams in the big cities. Not to mention all the electric bikes you can rent. You can also visit a destination that is part of the Sustainable destination labelling scheme, or check out 10 ways to explore Norway for more eco-conscious travellers

The future is electric!

Norwegian EV numbers for 2020

Number of electric cars: 346,921
Share of vehicles: 12.06%

Number of plug-in hybrids: 142,858
Share of vehicles: 5.11%

Charging stations: almost 17,000
Fast chargers: more than 3,300

Source: elbil.no

Find charging stations at ladestasjoner.no (in Norwegian only) and visit elbil.no to plan your electric journey.

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