By on February 10, 2021

EV

Actor Will Farrell describes Norway’s EV leadership in one of the more amusing Super Bowl commercials, and how General Motors is looking to change all that here at home.

EV

According to a Forbes.com article, in March 2019 almost 60 percent of new cars sold in Norway were electric vehicles (EV), in a country bent on stopping the sale of fossil-fueled vehicles by 2025. While unit sales of EVs are higher in China and the U.S., the percentage of EVs in Norway is higher than anywhere else in the world.

The reasons are numerous, not the least of which is Norway’s domestic hydroelectric production. With almost all their electricity coming from a renewable source, it’s easier and infinitely less expensive than it would be for a conversion to occur here. Add the financial incentives and charging infrastructure the Norwegian government has put in place, and it’s a near-perfect scenario you likely won’t see happening in the U.S. anytime soon.

EV

Lowered road taxes, removal of toll road and ferry charges, and free parking were among the benefits of EV ownership in Norway as far back as 1990. A 25 percent sales tax on new EVs was lifted in 2001, and you could drive your EV in the bus lane starting in 2005. While the government started building charging stations, now private enterprise has taken over, and there’s even overseas interest in their construction and operation. All this for a country of 5 million Norwegians, or about the size of South Carolina, our 23rd most populated state.

Image: GM

Working with such a small base, it’s understandable why the government reached its goal of 50,000 zero-emission vehicles in operation three years earlier than they had anticipated. The used-car market in Norway remains gas-powered, so incentives for EV ownership are seen as nothing more than tax cuts for the wealthy. Many Norwegians argue it’s doing nothing to take gas-fueled vehicles off the road, but what would you expect in a country obsessed with electric-powered technology, in aircraft, boats, and other sectors?

EV

You only need to look at Norway’s neighbor, Sweden, to see the folly in attempting to replicate what was done there. In 2010, Sweden had more new EV registrations than Norway. Today, Norway’s EV numbers are ten times that of Sweden. Why? The demand for electricity in cities increased faster than the availability of kW hours, especially in Stockholm, the capital.  Just as they are recommending here, power companies and EV advocacy groups want to incentivize EV owners to charge only during off-peak hours so as not to overtax our power grid. Fascinating, no?

[Images: General Motors]

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23 Comments on “GM Hypes Norway’s EV Leadership...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The difference with Sweden is more likely that they didn’t incentivize EVs like Norway has.

    Insufficient infrastructure would be a *consequence* of rapid EV proliferation, not a cause for its halt. Nobody buying an EV checks into the capacity of their local power grid.

    Grid demand is a straw man argument. And, TTAEVs is that they don’t tax the grid like the detractors claim they could. The additional burden of EVs on the grid is a small fraction of the total consumption already consumed by homes and businesses.

    I’m not saying EV demand would be nothing, but it will grow so slowly that grid expansion can easily keep up.

    • 0 avatar
      wolfwagen

      IF IF the grid expansion is kept up. Thats a big if. Here in the northeast, where we get snow, nor’easters and the ocassional hurricane, they didn’t even keep up with maintenance. When Superstorm Sandy hit it was a disaster. So I dont put much faith in the utilities expanding at the needed pace.

  • avatar
    deanst

    The best forecast I’ve seen is that EV sales could be the majority in 10 years. Grid expansion can be horrifically slow, so let’s hope the existing grid can accommodate most of these vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      In the US? Just look at what happened in California last Summer. The grid is rickety, and the state government is making it worse with renewable mandates getting the green light over expansion of base load.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    Couple of glaring omissions here. The biggest: gasoline in Norway is over $7 per gallon.

    You don’t think tripling the price of fuel will “help” people adopt EVs?

    Also, gasoline is priced (taxed) to this high level despite the fact that Norway is self-sufficient in oil and gas. In fact, per Google, oil and gas are Norway’s biggest exports.

    We are told it costs less per mile to propel an EV using grid electricity than consuming gasoline in a small car. And that’s in here in the big PX, where last I looked, regular is $2.00 to 2.50 a gallon.

    Yes, let’s triple the price of fuel. American’s really don’t need to drive so much. Hooray. Lol!!!!!

  • avatar
    CaddyDaddy

    I saw this commercial and it made CaddyDaddy think of how childish and silly advertising has become and the general decline of maturity in society. Please compare to the 59′ Chevy ad of Dinah Shore going top down around the Pacific Palisades singing a positive uplifting “See the USA in your Chevrolet”. The main message was Norway good USA bad, which was really the general theme of the SB in total.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      Proposed QOTD: Best Road Trip Ideas (complete with insider tips)

    • 0 avatar
      redapple

      >>CADDY

      Yes. They think you have an IQ of 75. I think this is an American thing. Commercials in Europe are very different.

      Topic #2. Will Ferrett. My goodness. The most unfunny person I know. I recoil when seeing him.

      #3 RE: BEV
      My IQ – i think is 3 digits. Michael Moore’s movie on youtube – PLANENT OF THE HUMANS makes a lot of sense.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “My IQ – i think is 3 digits. Michael Moore’s movie on youtube – PLANENT OF THE HUMANS makes a lot of sense.”

        If one considers the spelling and grammar exhibited in that comment combined with the fact that most systems have “spell check”, “i think is 3 digits” would be overly optimistic.

    • 0 avatar

      “general theme of the SB in total.”

      What SB means? SoB? I find that add funny. Yeah America become a laughing stock of the world but that is the reality. Don’t you find what’s going on in “free” country is ridiculous beyond imagination? TV looks like non-stop comedy show or movie about alien invasion. It seems like grown ups left the country. Consider that idiot Blazio – even NYSE wants to leave NY and country altogether.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        World:. US is a joke.

        US: let’s cut back on things like NATO

        World: Why isn’t the US leading like they should

        I’d say screw it and let them figure it out, but God knows what happens when you let the Europeans take the lead. Archdukes start dropping like flies and after the dust settles from the “war to end all wars” the Germans start stuffing people in ovens.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          “…God knows what happens when you let the Europeans take the lead…”

          My musical answer:
          youtube.com/watch?v=HPXHRX8Q2hs

          I particularly like the part at 2:08. It’s like, “are they really gonna do THAT? Oh, dear God, no, they aren’t…yep, they are…”

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    To me, this commercial was a subliminal attempt to associate GM’s new blue logo with Norway’s rugged beauty and perception of an advanced society.

    I could be wrong but that is the way I perceived it. To me the duo-tone blue logo reminded me the sight of a Fjord in the summer with its intense blue waters and bright sky.

  • avatar
    Garrett

    Well, at least the ad is still up since there is no reason to believe that their spokesperson has a recent DWI.

    The same cannot be said for Jeep’s ad.

  • avatar
    Ralahamy

    Barron’s Article today “Electric Vehicles Were a Nonstarter—Until Tesla Came Along”.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      @Ralahamy, thanks.

      From the Barron’s article:
      “Fast-forward to 1968… …and Detroit’s Big Three had nothing of their own to offer except vague promises of electric passenger vehicles that might be ready for commercial production in “10 or 15 years,” Barron’s wrote. That was optimistic.”

      And then the reporter falls for the same shtick in his last two paragraphs. Classic.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Dear Barrons,

      Still are and likely well remain, which is why technocrats and tyrants will continue attack the competition. Because the message is clear: the beatings will continue until morale improves.

      Thanks,
      28

  • avatar
    jdmcomp

    The idea of a oil rich country claiming to be green is a laugh. The oil they are selling and funding the EV program with will be used by others and Norway will be affected by it. And using government power to force a solution on its population goes against the grain for most. Norway is a very small country (5 mil), and what ever it does is not a model for the rest of the world. One only has to look at the mental illness rate and suicide rate to wonder what is going on.

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