The end of gas-fired cars?

oslo downtownNorwegian Liberal Party MP Ola Elverstuen announced today that Norway’s four leading political parties have agreed on a ban of gasoline-powered cars by 2025. “After 2025 new private cars, buses and light commercial vehicles will be zero-emission vehicles. By 2030, new heavier vans, 75 percent of new long-distance buses, 50 percent of new trucks will be zero emission vehicles.”

Norway already has a good leg up on this transition.  Approximately 24% of its cars are electric. Oslo has debated banning cars completely (including e-vehicles) in downtown, while building 35 miles of bike lanes by 2019 to complement its public transport array of buses and trams.  The national government has provided incentives for purchasing e-vehicles for several years, including tax exemptions, extra parking, and bus-lane use.  Nudging consumers in this climate neutral direction is made easier by Norway’s copious hydroelectric power (96% of its electricity production energy mix, according to IEA). Consequently, the Tesla or Nissan Leaf has been the country’s top selling vehicle.

Nonetheless, today’s announcement has made car manufacturers see green – kroner, that is. Tesla CEO Elon Musk praised it, calling Norway an “amazingly awesome country.”