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The Electric Vehicle Capital of the World

Over 30 % of all new cars sold in Oslo in 2015 and 2016 (Sept.) were electric vehicles (EVs) or plug-in hybrids. With more than 77,000 EVs, 35,000 in the Oslo-region, Norway is today the first mass market for EVs in the world.

Smart facts

  • a battery of smart local and national incentives
  • close cooperation with stakeholders
  • 35,000 electrical vehicles in the Oslo region

A battery of local and national incentives

Emissions reductions from transportation are key as this sector accounts for 60 % of greenhouse gas emissions in Oslo.

The EV success is due to a battery of local and national incentives developed to promote zero emission vehicles. This includes no tax purchase, no VAT, free parking, free passing through the toll ring, access to the bus lane, free charging and free transport on ferries.

To kick-start the adoption, the City has contributed to the deployment of a robust charging infrastructure, and 2,000 charging points for electric vehicles have been established in the city.

The City is replacing its car fleet (1100 cars) with EVs and is half way there.

Figure 1: Development in the number of electric vehicles in the Oslo region since 2009.Figure 1: Development in the number of electric vehicles in the Oslo region since 2009.

35,000 electrical vehicles in the Oslo region contributes to substantial reductions of emissions of SO, NO2 and PM.

Building on the success in the private market, Oslo wants to become the leader in commercial vehicles like freight, taxis and service EVs.

Figure 2: EV parade in front of the town hall. (Photo: parade@oslo kommune)Figure 2: EV parade in front of the town hall. (Photo: parade@oslo kommune)

Cooperation with stakeholders

Key success factors are that EVs must be cheap to buy, cheap and convenient to use.

Strong cooperation with stakeholders like; the EV Users Associations, Environmental NGOs (Zero & Bellona), R&D organizations, and relevant partners in EU projects (FREVUE, SEEV4 City) has been crucial for the success. 

The green transformation in transportation has also created new business opportunities in sectors like charging equipment, charging services, renewable energy, EV manufacturing, smart-grids, back-office systems and applications, both in Norway and Europe.

Figure 3: Opening of a quick charging station for taxis. Photo: Snorre Sletvold (Fortum) Figure 3: Opening of a quick charging station for taxis. Photo: Snorre Sletvold (Fortum)