Since 2008, Norway has offered the most generous incentives for electric vehicle buyers. The result: 50,000 EVs on the road as of last month – almost a quarter of all new cars on the road. The problem: the country has lost a massive chunk of revenue and there are Tesla traffic jams. Whoops.
If you bought a new EV in Norway you got a pass on the “value add tax” and assorted vehicle taxes, which would generally increase the price of a car by half. You were also exempted from road tolls, tunnel and ferry charges. Oh, and you could park for free. And get free charging. And use the bus lanes in the city.
Now bus drivers are complaining about congestion (surprise) and legislators are complaining about lost income (bigger surprise).
The country’s right-leaning government has partnered with its center-right allies to begin winding down some of the exemptions, according to the AFP.
The current breaks will continue through 2017, but after that EV owners will pay half of the yearly road license fee by 2018 and the full rate in 2020. There’s also talk of making up for the VAT exemptions with a subsidy – similar to other countries, including the U.S. – which would be capped at some point in the future. As for parking and charging, those are both still being debated, particularly in cities like Oslo, which now has the highest concentration of EVs in the country.