November 2

Why Norway — the poster child for electric cars — is having second thoughts

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OSLO, Norway — With motor vehicles generating nearly a 10th of global CO2 emissions, governments and environmentalists around the world are scrambling to mitigate the damage. In wealthy countries, strategies often revolve around electrifying cars — and for good reason, many are looking to Norway for inspiration.

Over the last decade, Norway has emerged as the world’s undisputed leader in electric vehicle adoption. With generous government incentives available, 87 percent of the country’s new car sales are now fully electric, a share that dwarfs that of the European Union (13 percent) and the United States (7 percent). Norway’s muscular EV push has garnered headlines in outlets like the New York Times and the Guardian while drawing praise from the Environmental Defense Fund, the World Economic Forum, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. “I’d like to thank the people of Norway again for their incredible support of electric vehicles,” he tweeted last December. “Norway rocks!!”

I’ve been writing about transportation for the better part of a decade, so all that fawning international attention piqued my curiosity. Does Norway offer a climate strategy that other countries could copy chapter and verse? Or has the hype outpaced the reality?

Energy News Beat 


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