By on June 5, 2016

Occupied Norwegian TV Show, Image: Yellow Bird

Elon Musk tweeted his joy when a Norwegian paper announced a proposed ban of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles in the nordic country by 2025.

The proposal itself is built upon good intentions. By eliminating sales of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles, tailpipe emissions will slowly reduce. The country is famously energy independent, thanks to massive offshore oil reserves, which can be converted into hydrogen or used to generate electricity. And electric vehicles are increasingly popular in the country thanks to massive incentives funded by oil exports.

The proposal has me wondering about something else entirely: could the fossil-fuel-vehicle ban have serious political ramifications in Europe? Norwegian serial drama Okkupert — Occupied in English — might have some answers.

The premise of the series: Norway decides to turn off the oil tap to the rest of Europe. The European Union says, “Nah, we still want that,” and Russia installs itself as Norway’s overseer via a velvet glove occupation.

Now, I’m not saying that Russia is going to takeover Norway because a few political parties in the nordic nation want to ban the sale fossil-fuel vehicles. However, this may be the tip of a very interesting iceberg.

Norway’s economy dependent on oil and gas revenues. Unlike other nations, Norway has been incredibly smart and conservative with its resources, and national oil company Statoil directly employs some 27,000 employees. While it reaps the benefits of those reserves, Norway has heavily invested in the private ownership of electric vehicles through massive incentives, far more so than any state or federal government in the United States.

So, in the future, should the rest of Europe decide similar measures be part of its collective future, how will Norway — one of the largest exporters of energy to the rest of Europe — sustain itself? Are the four political parties as part of this agreement pushing a snowball from the top of a mountain? Will it get bigger and bigger in size to the point where Norway’s economic crutch, the export of oil, is no longer be profitable if the rest of Europe follows Norway down this political path?

This will be an interesting story to watch — especially from afar.

[Image: Yellow Bird]

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85 Comments on “Life Imitating Art with Norway’s 2025 Fossil-Fuel Vehicle Ban?...”


  • avatar
    likenissan

    I think this is a great step forward. Of course there will be some gasoline vehicles in Norway for many more years, it is great that their government is showing decisive leadership.

    I expect the transition will take longer for big trucks, ferries etc, but this is a great start.

    In the process I assume Norway will phase out the current EV privleges, such as tax breaks, bus lane access, free parking, free ferry rides …

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      “their government is showing decisive leadership”

      General Custer showed decisive leadership, for about as many people.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Privileges always gets phased out once mere equals starts being able to afford qualifying for them. It’s totalitarianism 101: The equals must sacrifice for the “common good”, so that the more equals can enjoy privileges. Nothing new under the sun (or Aurora Borealis).

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    This is a terrible idea. What about ambulances, firetrucks, police cars, etc. Would you really want an ambulance that took HOURS to refuel? Being chased by a serial killer? Too bad, police can’t make it for 12 hours until the cars juice up.

    The technology just isn’t there yet and that’s not likely to happen for many many years if ever.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      Are you being serious? The examples that you state are exactly the kinds of vehicles where daily mileage is well known, and backed-up by decades of hard data.

      Norwegian fleet managers know the exact likelihood of a police car accumulating over 300 miles during an 8 hour shift (bet you it’s nil), and can allocate resources accordingly.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      They would absolutely accept the loss of life.

      I think it was Norway because they are the Scandinavian NATO member, but it could have been Sweden – as part of balancing their budget, they operated their air force only during normal business hours. If the Russians had made an incursion into their air space, evenings or weekends, well, Vladimir could have flown all the way to Scotland.

    • 0 avatar
      JustPassinThru

      Spoiled, ignorant voters and others, who put their faith in government and believe a law ORDERING something is the same as ACHIEVING it…are carrying this to its natural end.

      The technology is not there. It will not be cost-effective for many decades after it is created – IF it ever is.

      What this does is replace economic choices with government fiats and diktats. And in the end, it will result in a lower standard of living, and lower productivity – as more effecient tools and options are denied people within these regions. It’s sold as “forward-thinking” – but in reality it’s a sort of crypto-Luddism.

      • 0 avatar

        I would add that Americans do not want to be Norway, or France, or anything European in general. Don’t tell us what to do. We escaped that kind of tyranny and ended it entirely with the battle of Yorktown.

        If you want the country to be like Norway, wage your political battle. Get the question on the ballot and let the people vote. If the people vote the internal combustion engine out then we’ll all live with it.

        A monarchy we are not. When a ruling party decrees how you live it is never a “great step forward.”

        As a footnote: Vladimir Lenin founded a publication named “Forward.” He was widely regarded as a very forward thinking person.

        And so, Elon Musk “tweeted his joy.”

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          WhiskeyRiver,
          Oddly enough there are similarities in the US to compare it against an EU nation than most anywhere else on the globe.

          You will find the US works more closely as a part of the EU than say Australia, NZ, Singapore, Israel, Japan and many more nations.

          The US runs on a mixed economy like many EU nations. Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong have what is termed free economies. This has is good and bad points.

          But, like Charles Darwin believed in the Evolution of the Species, I believe the same can be said for our culture and societies.

          We will adapt what seems to work the best within the Western Culture. The US doesn’t own this. Just because the US “does” means we must follow. The US might have this wrong. I doubt it, but Norway is IN a better position to make this work were the US isn’t.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        @justpasinthrough,

        I agree with you, only wanted to point out that electric cars are many decades old. They had electric cars in the 1900s.

        One day, technology will advance to where BEVs will be equivalent or superior to ICEs in terms of refueling time and range.
        If they become widely accepted, more power to em (no pun, I swear! lol).

        However, the minute they start removing older ICE cars through regulation (enormously large registration taxes if not a zero emissions car, road tax for the same, excessive fuel taxes), that’s the day they will tick me off. I won’t be forced into something by way of backhanded laws meant to “encourage” me to “do the right thing” by making it virtually impossible for me to excersize my freedom of choice.

        I don’t appreciate a government that decides what’s best for me and inflicts its will upon me, even if they are “nice” about it with anti-choice focused policy.

        • 0 avatar
          TonyJZX

          I love V8s. I have two cars both with the GM LSX V8.

          Be that as it may, I’m ok with this. Norway is a country that really doesnt matter in the scheme of things all due respect.

          They dont make cars they dont make much of anything and with only 5 mil. people. Who cares?

          Be that as it may, I respect the govt. for doing this.

          People who say the technology isnt there yet. I hope that by 2025 it is there. And why would you blame the govt. for that?

          The combined trillion dollar companies *should* make it their top priority to “be ready” by 2025.

          Tesla will definitely be there by 2025. What’s your excuse?

          If a little egomanical shyster huckster (I kid, maybe not) is well on the critical path by 2025 then why isnt everyone else?

          The good thing about all these conservatives who wont be forced by govt. to move with the times is that they will be dead in the forseeable future. I count myself among them.

          You wont be getting my V8s any time soon but I hope the next gen is all electric.

          I hope I dont need to teach my kids how to drive in a 6 litre V8. Is that a bad thing? I dont think so.

          I have a fervent wish that the EU follows Norway and forces all city cars to be largely electric. I dont hold much hopes for the rest of the Western non EU world but I’m realistic about that.

          Of course I expect all service and govt. cars like fire ambulance to continue with ICE but then I’m not silly enough to expect them to not get an exemption.

  • avatar
    LDeaton

    Population of Norway is 5 million. How much oil do they control? Run the whole place on some D cells.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      LDeaton,
      Lots of oil, but it is diminishing.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        North Sea oil production has been in decline for awhile. But Norway’s fields in particular, is still flowing loads of gas. Enough so that it significantly effects Western Europe’s bargaining position vis-a-vis Russia on energy issues.

        Norway is in a sufficiently naturally privileged position to be able to pull off partytricks like this. In addition to oil, they are also a major producer of hydroelectric power, enabling their e-cars to be unusually CO2 stingy even as e-cars go. Of course, they are dong this for no real reason at all, as they are also too small to ever have the scale to develop an electric car industry, no matter how many first mover regulatory advantages it is being handed.

        What Norway cannot afford to do, is mothball it’s fossil fuel fields. So in the end, all they are doing, is just participating in a look-at-me game of rich-oilman-guilt, while handing gas and oil to those “polluters” down on the continent.

        Scandinavia could conceivably be a pioneer in infrastructure charged BEV-over-rail-highways, as neither Norway nor Sweden suffers from nearly the run-amuck lawyer driven nimbyism strangling the US, and there is still some residual remains left of the Swedish auto industry. If they do successfully pull that off, they cold develop valuable expertise similar to what they currently enjoy in offshore drilling, supply and production (Norway), and more general industrials an pharma (Sweden).

        With the salary structures they have, they both need sector expertise in at least one high value field to keep the Viking ship afloat. And a reasonably non-destuctive relationship between regulators, labor and industry, which is a bit of a requirement for development of large scale infrastructure, seems to be one of their most enduring advantages, compared to most other locales.

  • avatar
    dagb

    This is missing an important piece:
    “The country is famously energy independent, thanks to massive offshore oil reserves, which can be converted into hydrogen or used to generate electricity.”

    Norway is self provided with electricity from hydro electricity, and if all cars where electric only about 10% of the total production is required for powering them.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Paris is banning old cars starting next year.

    http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2015/02/12/paris-to-ban-all-old-cars-from-city-limits-starting-next-year/

    Change is coming and you better learn to adapt.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      “Change is coming and you better learn to adapt.”

      Not if we’re old enough.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        We’ll just get you a new compressor and keep you going for another 25 years:-)

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          R-12! Not none o’ that newer piss water.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          R-12! Not none o’ that newer pi$$ water.

          • 0 avatar

            The ban in Paris is purely political. Of the top most air polluted cities in the world, Barcelona is 64th, Brussels is 67th, Marseilles is 85th, Antwerp is 87th, Paris is 89th.

            By way of comparison, US cities on the list are Los Angeles 66th, Houston is 71st, Phoenix is 79th.

            Nobody is rushing to ban old cars from Phoenix.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            I was thinking the Paris ban was largely a ban on, literally, fuel for protesters’ bonfires……

            But, it seems it’s just more of the same old alienate-poor-immigrants-further-by-removing the-only-cars-they-can-afford European “integration politics.”

    • 0 avatar
      JustPassinThru

      Change by logical economic choices, is natural and normal and cannot be stopped. The written word replaced the tribal storyteller; the printing press replaced calligraphy; the steam engine replaced the horse and the internal-combustion engine replaced IT.

      Those were logical choices – where the options expanded based on available technology and the choices made based on economic factors.

      NONE of this involves a King, a Parliament, a Commissar, a bureaucrat or anyone else ORDERING these changes – just because! Because the bureaucrat or Commissar is even more ignorant than the peasant of environmental and economic tradeoffs.

      We already have something similar – these Ethanol Mandates. How much FAIL do we need to go through before the bureaucrats reverse this or are removed?

      • 0 avatar

        Interestingly, I looked up cities in Norway on the most polluted cities list.

        Oslo is 178th and Trondheim is 199th. There’s only two cities in the world cleaner than Trondheim.

        So cleaning up air pollution has nothing to do with whatever silly decrees are being by the monarchy in Norway.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      They won’t say it, but it’s a stinkin’ health epidemic, more so than “smog concerns”, visibility, etc. Most cars in Paris are ’97 and newer, pre emission, cancer causing diesels. So why dance around the problem, including early death, premature infants, etc.

      Why not just admit it?? France fukked up ROYALLY, with highest concentration of subsidized diesel cars/fuel, anywhere in Europe.

      • 0 avatar

        Has very little to do with air quality in Paris. As I pointed out above, Paris has better air quality that Phoenix, Arizona.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Paris smog (along with Phoenix’, according to you) is known to top Shanghai smog that cancels air travel.

          • 0 avatar

            I have facts DenverMike. Where’s yours?

            Look, to a large degree I’m just yanking your chain. I’ve seen the Paris smog pictures too.

            Everything I’ve said here is backed up in statistical facts though.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Well… Are they a secret? I’ll wait here

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            “I have facts DenverMike. Where’s yours?”

            Whiskey, don’t be a progressive. Nor play one on the internet. It’s unbecoming for seemingly literate people.

            There are no hard “facts” wrt “air pollution” in the abstract, since there is no slid agreement on what “air pollution” constitutes. Not all particles are the same, etc….

            Official “statistics”, in any field, and “studies” are just excuses for rulers to rule arbitrarily. Not any different than official Koran interpretations in Iran. Pretending “we” and “our rulers” are somehow “diiiiferent”, and better, is just simple kool-aid drinking folly.

        • 0 avatar
          NickS

          You’ve definitely never been to Paris. If you ever go, you’ll breathe a very different experience from the one you get from that air quality index. London can be even worse.

          The Europeans have completely fcuked up royally with the diesel kool-aid they’ve been drinking all these decades. — Denver mike is spot on, and beat me to it too.

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            I was gonna say, walk the streets of Paris and breathe that $hit they call air. Phoenix has worse air quality?, my a$$ it does.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Phoenix/Tempe/Scotsdale, that whole area has excellent air quality.

            I just spent two days and two nights this past week at my brother’s house in Scottsdale, shopped at the Arizona Mills Mall, ate at El Pollo Loco, Claim Jumper and Joe’s Crab Shack.

            Not a bad breath of air while there. But it was warm!

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale has awful air quality.

            In fact, among the worst in the U.S.

            http://www.mnn.com/health/healthy-spaces/photos/7-us-cities-with-the-worst-air-pollution/phoenix

            “A new area moved to the top of the most-polluted list when judged by year-round particle levels: Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz. Particle pollution is a combination of soot, dust and aerosols that are suspended in the air. Cities with year-round particle pollution face unhealthy levels day-in and day-out, while those with problems with short-term levels have “spikes” in particle pollution that last anywhere from hours to days.”

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            DW, yeah there’s dust and particle suspension like in any desert clime. Even where I live in NM.

            But it’s nothing like the carbon particulate contamination and NOx pollution that are worse in other places I visited recently, like Mexico City for instance.

            Lots of people move to the Phoenix area every year because they want to. They wouldn’t do that if air quality is bad. People with lung disease move to the Phoenix area, as do many cancer patients, for treatment and recovery.

            I had no problems with the air quality when I was in Phoenix last week. Good, clean living.

            Judging by all the tourist license plates I saw, a magnet for tourism as well. Hell, they even come down from Canada!!!

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Fred,
      The French found that it wasn’t just all vehicles that cause the pollution problems. Newer diesels will be allowed. I wonder if GDI vehicles will be exempt?

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        1st ban all pre “DEF/SCR emissions” diesels, ban all TDI VWs, then figure out the remaining. There may not be a reason to go any further, past dirty diesel autos.

        • 0 avatar
          NickS

          “1st ban all pre “DEF/SCR emissions” diesels, ban all TDI VWs”

          this. of course it will be hugely dirsuptive to remove all those — there is a ton of light-duty diesels in european cities.

          it is utterly unbelievable what the Europeans have done to their citizens.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            What if you own a pre ’97 auto? But do you know what’s MORE “disruptive”?

            Asthma? Emphysema? Lung Cancer? Premature Babies? Early Death?

            It’s hard to tell if France in truly concerned about those, or its citizens, but I’m sure the healthcare costs are staggering.

          • 0 avatar
            NickS

            Oh, no doubt, diseases are much more disruptive.

            Their health care system and costs are not comparable to ours. Managing healthcare cost inflation is obviously always an issue with any big healthcare system, but in general Europeans (incl. their govts) have lower health costs for the same treatment. Canadians too. A Canadian colleague who’s lived here for several years is still confused about all that crap with our health insurance we Americans accept as “normal”.

            (cue the predictable reflexive criticism of the religious opposition to anything involving govt, europeans, socialism, …)

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      “Los Angeles 66th”

      I just saw a reporter on TV standing on a hill with Los Angeles in the background… and was taken aback by the amount of smog blanketing the skyline. It looked about the same as it did in the 60’s! Maybe I was seeing a “bad air” day, but it looks like more EV’s would certainly help that situation.

      • 0 avatar

        Here’s a list of the worst air-polluted cities in the world. I do admit that it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me either.

        Enjoy

        http://www.numbeo.com/pollution/rankings.jsp

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          Almost all the cities that are worse than LA are in countries with little or no emissions regulations. With the notable exception of Barcelona, Rome and Turin.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Do you have anything that’s strictly “air pollution”? Seem like every study gives air pollution different weight. And is “air pollution” the same as smog that cancels shuts down airports?

  • avatar
    CliffG

    With Stavanger having some of the most expensive real estate on the planet thanks to their off shore oil industry, I’m reasonably certain they don’t want YOU to stop using fossil fuels. Fishing and weird architecture may not actually be enough to sustain a modern wealthy society I am willing to posit. I would also guess as 2025 gets closer and they start looking more closely at the size and topography of their country, the exceptions to the rule will come fast and furious.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Exceptions are the rule in all totalitarian systems. There will always be some that “needs” special treatment. Meaning, they are well connected. What makes Scandinavia and a few others less dysfunctional than the norm, is that they are small and homogeneous enough that “everyone” is well connected enough to get at least some consideration. While in larger, more stratified populations, the infighting over who gets what privilege, quickly becomes so entrenched that it strangles the whole project.

  • avatar
    dwford

    So the idea is to burn oil to produce electricity to power the electric cars?

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      I imagine so. More efficient per BTU, and easier to control and relocate emissions.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      dwford,
      Norway’s electricity is largely hydro-electric. So, EVs do make sense.

      What doesn’t is countries like Denmark that declared themselves the “greenest” because they reduced their coal fired power stations to near zero.

      But, the Danes buy their electricity from the Germans, which has a large coal fired component. It all in the spin at times.

  • avatar
    jammyjo

    This is interesting. I wonder if net pollution will increase or decrease. I predict people will buy a lot of petrol cars in 2024 and keep them running for about another 10 years. So we won’t know the outcome until 2035. It will change the economy – less petrol stations, more electricity use, higher electricity prices, charging stations popping up everywhere, less car ownership due to higher costs. It’s an experiment for the rest of the world to watch.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Let it go. Let it go. No ICE cars anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      JustPassinThru

      Progress doesn’t work like that.

      Progress comes from technological development – not from edicts from government functionaries or the commissariats or Supreme Soviets that control them. Dictatorial BANS simply de-motivate people – their choices are limited, and not by realistic factors, but by oppressive government.

      It didn’t work for the USSR’s Five-Year Plans; and it won’t work here. What it WILL do, is create chaos – motor manufacturers have to plan; and they cannot plan on selling vaporware. If the products that do exist are banned, they have to close their retail networks – in an orderly fashion; these things cannot happen suddenly.

      Even though reversal of these bans CAN and often DOES happen suddenly.

      Which is why you don’t find a lot of involved industry selling high-ticket goods in despotic or chaotic nations. Sales and financing of these things take infrastructure and planning; and one cannot plan for the whims of a Grand Poobah who woke up this morning with a Really Good Idea.

      • 0 avatar
        Waaghals

        1. This is not a law, it is a statement of intent for the current (conservative) coalition government.

        2. As this government is democratically elected, it is not a dictatorial ban.

        3. As Norway is, in fact, a democracy, and not the Soviet Union, it is very likely that this plan will be very revised and moderated over time due to public backlash and opposition. This would of course not be a factor if the country was under authoritarian rule.

        4. This will probably end up meaning higher taxation on gas/diesel cars, and probably a ban on private fossil vehicles in the larger cities. To the best of my understanding this plan (if it ever becomes law) will exempt long haul transport, and probably emergency vehicles. In addition, it is likely that anyone that would actually need a “normal” vehicles would be exempt.

        But, as I hinted at earlier: I don’t think this is going to happen.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          Um.. excuse me, Mr. Sober Buzzkill, but we’re having fun embroidering threats to our liberty here.

          If you’d like to join us there are yarn, needles and those little hoopy things on the table behind you.

        • 0 avatar
          JustPassinThru

          “1. This is not a law, it is a statement of intent for the current (conservative) coalition government.”

          What, a government ban isn’t a law?

          That it’s not enacted YET doesn’t make it somehow a better idea. It’s Luddism to do it and it’s Luddism to consider it.

          “2. As this government is democratically elected, it is not a dictatorial ban.”

          What, there is no such thing as dictatorship-by-majority?

          Did you know Fidel Castro was elected? And Hugo Chavez?

          “3. As Norway is, in fact, a democracy, and not the Soviet Union, it is very likely that this plan will be very revised and moderated over time due to public backlash and opposition. This would of course not be a factor if the country was under authoritarian rule.”

          It needs to be SCRAPPED. Else it’s a diktat by a tyrannical government.

          If there’s a better way to move goods and persons than petroleum, it will be self-evident. Just as it became obvious 160 years ago that there was a better way to fuel lamps than whale oil.

          Government ORDERS don’t fit into that consideration of what’s best and what’s not.

          “4. This will probably end up meaning higher taxation on gas/diesel cars, and probably a ban on private fossil vehicles in the larger cities. To the best of my understanding this plan (if it ever becomes law) will exempt long haul transport, and probably emergency vehicles. In addition, it is likely that anyone that would actually need a “normal” vehicles would be exempt.”

          Yes, taxes. Social engineers love taxes.

          But they really HATE it when someone starts asking how much taxation is enough. Most Europeans have been taxed out of the private-car market and onto bicycles or government choo-choo trains; now they want to chase lorries and other conveyances out, too.

          Because it’s REALLY, REALLY Progressive and all that. The cost to people who have to bear the cost, doesn’t matter.

          Those who love social-engineering-by-government have a very-high tolerance for the pain of OTHERS.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Wow. You’re kind of like BAFO lecturing Americans about our business.

            But with vastly better grammar.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Kemmoron,
            If you think his comments are akin to my input in this article, then I do believe your comprehension skills are subpar.

            I might not proof read my commnets, but what I put forward must be entertaining and informative.

            Read my comments.

            I actually have a new laptop with a new keyboard. The keyboard on my old Toshiba can sometimes be intermittent with producing what I type in.

            In the end I really don’t give a fnck.

            Another thing Kenmoron. I’m as Amercian as you. I’d bet my balls I’ve spent my life working on more American equipement than most any person who comments on TTAC. Pretty much all and everything I do is American.

            Oh, my mother is a Frog, so when I was born she registered me as a Frog. But, I’m not French. Love the place. I’m considering buying a home in the US and France so when I retire I can just go from home to home as I see fit and follow the weather.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Kenmore,
            Sorry that I misspelt your name.

            Next time “Robert” I’ll make sure it’s correct. Okay RR.

  • avatar
    Jacob

    My understanding is that Norway is terrible place for a car enthusiast. New car tax rates are over 100%. A new VW GTI costs upward of $90K USD at nominal exchange rate. Now this.

    • 0 avatar
      Waaghals

      Taxes are high, so there are undoubtedly better places to be a gearhead.

      However, they are not THAT draconian, a base GTI cost about 439 000 NOK or about $ 54 000.

      This is partially due to a change in the tax structure that put more emphasis on CO2 and NOX rather than horsepower.

      If you want a V6/V8 gas engine, you still have to pay through the nose: A Mustang GT costs three times what the GTI does.

      If you want a TRUE enthusiast’s nightmare, look to Denmark. (180% tax on cars AND optional equipment).

      • 0 avatar
        Zykotec

        It totally depends on what cars you like tbh. There are places in the EU that are a lot worse, som have mentioned old cars bans in soem cities etc. Compared to the average income ‘normal’ cars aren’t really expensive unless you want huge engines. And its somewhat easier to be an old car enthusiast when buying a collectible car is not anymore expensive than an average family car, and there are no 500 hp SUVs with texting teenagers around to crush it by accident.
        Given Norways topography you would be better off being a boating enthusiast though , as a lot of places were obviously discovered and inhabitated by people using the waterways to get around.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      Pfft.. where you gonna drive you can’t reach by langskip and maybe a ti minutters gange?

  • avatar
    orenwolf

    I can’t imagine the freight and construction sectors will be ready to switch from ICE anytime soon.

    A 2013 study says road pollution causes about 53k premature deaths in the US each year. Why that alone isn’t enough to want to reduce emissions has always baffled me.

    Regardless, an outright ban, imho, isn’t the right way to go here. Incremental taxation as disincentive would seem to make more sense, and is standard practice in Norway already. You want to pollute? Pay for it.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      orenwolf,
      It took Australia thirty years to transform it’s high subisidised auto industry into a free market. That is selling more or less of the same.

      I do believe this is a very optimistic call by the Norseman.

      What might occur and this is very likely is Norway’s reliance on oil money will reduce it’s GDP enough to make this very expensive and Norway will need to reduce taxes on motor transportation.

      Norway must restructure its economy first and gradually make the change.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      They sorta forgot to mention the disasterous, cancerous health effects of diesel emissions, especially the unfiltered, pre emissions kind, because France sponsored diesels, like it was Red Bull at the X-Games.

  • avatar
    markf

    Typical Euro-Liberal, elitist idiocy.

    Is Norway full of Nuke Power Plants generating all the electricity? Until then STF up about “tailpipe” emissions. Just like all the folk who think EVs are “clean” you are just moving you emissions from the tailpipe to the coal/oil/gas firing electricity plant.

    • 0 avatar
      markogts

      Hydropower generation capacity is around 31 GW in 2014, when 131 TWh was produced; about 95% of total production.

      It’s wikipedia, should be quite easy to check before writing wrong comments…

  • avatar
    markogts

    The country is famously energy independent, thanks to massive offshore oil reserves, which can be converted into hydrogen or used to generate electricity”

    No. Electricity production in Norway is almost completely based on hydropower, please corre t the article.

    They realized it’s nuch more clever to sell the oil to those other countries where people still believe electric cars and renewable energy are not viable.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I’ll believe this when I see it.

    Norway has had it good for many years relying on the wealth generated by it’s North Sea oil, almost Arab like. I do believe that Norway has better spent the oil money, or better still saved it.

    The Netherlands also made a sh!t load from North Sea oil. The Netherlands became very reliant on the oil money and when the tide turned against the Netherlands it’s economy needed readjustment, actually worse than the changes Australia has made with it’s reliance on export dollars from minerals.

    I do believe if any nation can move to EVs first the Norwegians do have an advantage.

    Countries like the US, Canada, Australia, NZ where the car is more a fabric of life this will harder to implement. It would be easier for us to adopt producing energy from our homes, solar energy.

    But, the large power generators and owners of the grid don’t want this. Imagine if all energy was owned by the individual? The big end of town will fight tooth and nail to own energy.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    What’s the environmental impact? This has been studied a fair bit.

    Renault did a lifecycle analysis of the same Fluence sedan powered by gasoline, diesel, and electricity. Total carbon emissions for the electric version over 150,000 km were about half those of the gas version. IIRC this chart includes everything, from mining the materials for the battery to driving the car its last mile: http://www.greencarreports.com/image/100483506_lifecycle-carbon-emissions-of-electric-renault-fluence-ze-versus-gasoline-diesel-versions.

    There’s also a neat infographic at http://insideevs.com/infographic-electric-cars-really-green/ with EV pros and cons. Some takeaways from those stats and others:

    EVs are more energy intensive to make, but less energy intensive to run. Depending where you live, it might take 50,000 miles for the net environmental benefit to begin.

    The gasoline car MPG equivalent depends on how clean the energy grid is. The same EV will get 218 MPGe in hydro-powered Paraguay, 87 MPGe in mixed-source Canada, 40 MPGe in modernizing Mexico, or 20 MPGe from the aging coal-fired plants of India.

    Similarly, C02 emissions vary per power source, from 370 grams per km in India to 70 g/km in Paraguay.

    Deaths due to air pollution, again, track the source of the power. Convert the entire fleet to EV, and they might go up 75% in India and down 75% in Paraguay.

    Norway is currently powered primarily by hydro, making them one of the 10 cleanest places to run an electric car.

    These figures are a few years old. EVs get cleaner as the grid does.

    • 0 avatar
      Waaghals

      My name is Waaghals and I’m back to ruin everything again!

      @hotpotato
      I take no issue with anything you are saying, but due to power market shenanigans most Norwegian power customers don’t actually use hydropower because we sell all that to the Germans so those dolts can be “environmentally friendly”.

      The only way a Norwegian household can run exclusively on hydropower is if they specifically ask for it from their provider. Naturally no one thinks to do this since they see power lines and dams everywhere.

      Of course, all of this is pointless since if the Germans use our hydropower, we have to use their coal/nuclear making the whole thing pointless.

      I guess the point I’m making is: If you want to deal in sophistry, EVs in Norway mostly do not run on hydropower.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      >> EVs are more energy intensive to make, but less energy intensive to run.

      I’m guessing you’re referring to the long process of drying the electrodes for the battery. That’s one of the steps some battery companies are looking to eliminate. I know of at least one that says they’ve already succeeded. It cuts about 22 hours out of the time it takes to make a battery and saves energy.

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    Ehhhh…..

    I can see where Norway can envision a future where they export more oil someday because they concentrate on EV’s fueled by hydro power and natural gas fired combined cycle power plants.

    Maybe yes, maybe no. Lots of things can change in eight or ten years.

  • avatar
    Crosley

    If Norway were truly committed to a world without fossil fuels, they would stop pumping the evil oil, but that’s the only thing keeping the place afloat. Can you imagine what that would do to Norway’s economy?

    It’s basically a Nordic Saudi Arabia that has developed zero industry outside of oil and fishing.

    They would rather just virtue signal with laws like this than actually make real sacrifices. The moral superiority is what drives them. I’ll believe they are committed when they stop pumping oil from the North Sea.

    I wonder how much the Earth will cool when this law takes effect?

    • 0 avatar

      Forestry, at least at one point, was massive in Norway.

      • 0 avatar
        Waaghals

        Forestry is still a thing.

        So is fishing (which is quite big), shipbuilding, various marine trades (submersibles, marine engines, hull design) defense and aerospace, production of energy intensive metal alloys like aluminium etc. (with hydro power) and the worlds 13th biggest telecom.

        All of this isn’t that impressive, it might even be considered damning with faint praise, but for a country with 5 million inhabitants it isn’t bad.

        Losing oil revenue is going to degrade our standard of living, and things might still go very wrong, but we are not Saudi Arabia, or Venezuela or whatever. Heck, we are not even the Netherlands.

        • 0 avatar

          I think Norway might be the world’s largest producer of Winter Olympics medals per capita as well.

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          What percentage of your economy is heavy metal bands?

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          If you take away the oil, the competitive position of all the rest get substantially worsened, as so much of “background” costs (infrastructure, social costs etc) are likely currently being carried by the oil industry. not just directly, but also as a result of high taxes on earnings derived from high paying offshore work and ancillary services.

          That turned to to be a bigger problem in the Netherlands than direct loss of revenue. Cradle to grave all kinds of things, “suddenly” had to be funded the way others have to, by taxation of competitively exposed industry. Significantly reducing non-oil areas in which the country’s industry remained internationally competitive.

          Take shipbuilding, a fairly labor, and pollution, intensive industry. The offshore sector most likely heavily subsidizes basic engineering and development, as offshore vessels tend to be highly specialized and cutting edge compared to more mundane craft. Absent this subsidy, high wage, high regulation Norway would be a tough place in which to build ships.

          It’s a bit like how the US civilian aerospace industry would face a very different competitive picture, if it wasn’t for all the knowhow gleaned from work on military craft.

          But of course, unless the frackers manage to bring costs down an order of magnitude and expand internationally, there won’t be much of a threat to big, established offshore oil and gas producers for quite some time. And even if they do, Western Europe will have serious incentives to retain production capacity in a place not beholden to Russia and pipelines though Turkey and or/the Middle East.

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