Why Does Norway Have So Many EVs?

Visit Scandinavia’s western peninsula nation, the kingdom of Norway, and you’ll see electric cars. You’ll see rows of small, efficient electric vehicles lining city streets, and zooming along Norway’s scenic highways.

Norway may only have around 5 million residents, but it’s a big adopter of plug-in cars.

Experts estimate Norway now has over 100,000 all-electric vehicles on the road. This makes up almost half of all new car registrations in the country.

By the Numbers

Worldwide, China is the leader in EV use, with an estimated 600,000 EVs on the road.

The United States isn’t far behind, with around half a million EVs.

But for a country with only a minuscule percentage of the population, Norway is far ahead of both China and the U.S.

Europe as a whole has about 500,000 electric vehicles.

So when you think about Norway making up one fifth of all European adoption, that’s pretty significant.

Street-side charging stations in Oslo, Norway. Carlos Bryant/Flickr

Building the Infrastructure

One reason that Norway is a big EV adopter is infrastructure.

  • The country has invested in special parking for EVs.
  • There’s also a vibrant network of charging stations.
  • New stations under development will be able to quick charge dozens of vehicles.

For this ground-breaking electric car support, Norway has earned the admiration of Tesla’s Elon Musk. The Tesla founder was so impressed that he tweeted: “What an amazingly awesome country! You guys rock!”

Government Incentives

All of this change in Norway isn’t happening without determined official promotion.

Norway’s government is working to meet its climate goals according to United Nations agreements.

There is also the massive amount of hydropower contributing to the country’s energy grid. This provides a level of synergy with Norway’s EV car program. It delivers “clean and green” power to the roads – with zero emissions.

Norway cleverly entices its residents to shell out for plug-ins.

If Norway can do it, so can the U.S. and other large countries. In fact, there is a real sea change right now, for more American EVs.

You can see it in the charging stations springing up on U.S. roads. You can see it in the new models coming to market.

Think about jumping on the EV bandwagon now, as more options become available.

By Justin Stoltzfus
Updated: February 22, 2017