When it comes to nationwide transformation of electric vehicle adoption, Norway continues to lead the way. Since the early 1990’s, Norway has been developing substantial and comprehensive EV incentives programs. Such prescient thinking has paid off – a world record 69% of cars sold in Norway in 2020 have a plug.
So, what’s the secret to leading the world on EV transformation? Firstly, Norway has approached EV incentives differently to many other countries. Rather than big grants and subsidies to individuals, they offer considerable tax breaks, making it a lot easier for EV drivers to save money.
They’ve also invested heavily in public EV services and infrastructure, with substantial grants to housing associations across many municipalities.
Let’s take a look at the many tax incentives offered to EV drivers and find out how Norway has developed EV infrastructure from the ground up.
National tax benefits
- No purchase tax or VAT – drivers are exempt from both purchase tax and VAT when buying or leasing a new or pre-owned EV.
- No road traffic insurance tax – EV owners are exempt from paying annual road traffic insurance tax.
- Company car tax discount – depending on the year of manufacture, EV owners can receive a discount on company car tax. Check here to calculate your company car’s tax discount.
- Half price tolls – Norwegian law states that EVs owners should be charged a maximum of 50% of standard toll prices on roads and ferries.
- Half price parking – at the moment, it’s up to each municipality to set parking prices for EVs. However, a law has been passed and regulations will soon come into play stating that EV owners should be charged a maximum of 50% of the cost of standard parking.
- Use of bus and taxi lanes – EV owners have access to almost all bus and taxi lanes. There are occasions when access is not permitted, so it is advisable to look out for road signs that state limited or no access for EVs.
Local EV Incentives By Region
- Free parking – It’s free to park and charge EVs at some city charging stations. Check here for a map of charging stations in Oslo.
- Free parking – in green zones in the city it is free to park for EVs and hydrogen vehicles (not HEVs). Check here for a map of parking spaces in Fredrikstad and to find out which ones are free for EV drivers.
- Free parking – public parking is free for EVs and hydrogen vehicles (not HEVs). Check here for an overview of parking spaces, including those with charging stations.
- Free parking – there are free parking areas for EVs and PHEVs throughout the city. Check here to see what to look out for when searching for parking and charging spaces in Trondheim and here for a map of parking spaces.
EV Charging Incentives
There are currently around 16,000 charging points in Norway, an increase from around 3,000 since 2011. This represents more than 9% of the total charging stations in Europe – all the more impressive when you consider that Norway makes up only 0.7% of the total population of Europe.
In terms of national EV infrastructure, the Norwegian government has already established fast-charging stations every 50km on all main roads, including the world’s number one fast-charging station. The future of EV chargers in Norway looks very strong.
Here are the best ways to charge your EV in Norway.
- Electric Car Association charging chip – the Norwegian Electric Car Association (Elbilforeningens) gives users access to charging units all over the country at a reduced price.
- Charge and Drive Chip – order a free charging chip from energy company Fortum and you can charge at almost any charging station throughout the country.
EVSE Grants for Housing Associations
A centerpiece of Norway’s EVSE investment strategy is providing grants for housing associations.
- An EVSE grant for a maximum of 20% of the cost of EVSE purchase and installation, up to NOK 5,000 (€450) per charging point and NOK 1,000,000 (€91,000) per housing association.
- An EVSE grant for a maximum of 20% of the cost of EVSE purchase and installation, as well as the cost of professional consultation, up to NOK 5,000 (€450) per charging point and NOK 250,000 (€23,000) per housing association.
- An EVSE grant for a maximum of 50% of the cost of EVSE purchase and installation, up to NOK 5,000 (€450) per charging point and NOK 50,000 (€4,500) per housing association.
- Free charging – you can charge your EV for free (only pay for parking). Find a parking space using Asker municipality’s parking app.
- An EVSE grant for up to NOK 50,000 towards the cost of EVSE purchase and installation.
- An EVSE grant for a maximum of 20% of the cost of EVSE purchase and installation, up to NOK 5,000 (€450) per charging point.
Norway Surges Ahead in Electrification
Norway has paved the way for a greener future and continues to set an example for the rest of the world.
By devising and implementing a smart program of EV incentives and infrastructure over the last three decades, Norway has proven that replacing petroleum with electric vehicles is achievable. This is underscored by Norway’s most popular car, the VW Golf, shifting gears towards a greener fuel source, going from 90% diesel driven to 97% pure electric in under a decade.
In Norway, it’s now cheaper to buy and run an EV compared with equivalent petrol or diesel models. Their early adoption of the ‘polluter pays’ principle, deterring drivers from owning high emission cars with hefty taxes, has encouraged Norwegians to go electric.
As they edge ever closer towards full electrification, Norwegians now see EVs not as the radical alternative, but as the essential way to get around.
To learn more about EV and EV charging incentives in other European countries compared to Norwegian subsidies, read our complete EU EV incentives guide.