If you thought Norway was the poster child for zero-emission vehicles you’ve just seen the beginning assuming a proposed National Transport Plan for 2018-2029 is fully implemented.
The country already buys nearly one plug-in electrified vehicle (PEV) out of every four sold, has over 3 percent PEVs on the roads now, and its plans far excel even California’s which is considered radical for mandating one-in-seven zero-emission cars by 2025.
In Norway, plans are by 2025 to have seven out of seven – 100 percent – of new passenger cars, buses and light commercial vehicles be the zero emission variety and comprised primarily of battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
The overarching plan that’s subject to parliamentary approval was released Feb. 29 and touches every aspect of transportation including rail, trucks, ships, airplanes, and … bicycles.
Regarding zero-emission vehicles that one pedals, Norway plans to spend close to $1 billion constructing bicycle highways for safe commuting – and despite mountainous terrain between cities, and cold and dark much of the year.
All told, emissions from transportation in the country of 5.1 million people are to be halved from present levels by 2030.
And, Norway’s planners want net zero growth in car use between now and 2030.
Also by 2030, the plan proposes all new heavier class vans, 75 percent of new long-distance buses, and 50 percent of new trucks be zero emission vehicles.
By 2030, 40 percent of all ships in short sea shipping lanes are to be using biofuels or be low- or zero-emission.
According to Elisabeth Enger, who leads a national transportation steering committee, a rapid shift to zero emission transportation is a priority for the climate in the oil-rich country whose GDP is the highest in Europe next to Luxembourg.
As zero-emission vehicles have been incentivized to date, the plan is to keep these going while over time tapering them off.
Electric vehicles, including fuel cell vehicles, will adjust from no fees to some fees, and from no fares in toll rings around cities to low fares around the same.
Other adjustments include payment by EV drivers on regular toll road projects and ferries. Bus lane access also will increasingly be assessed on the basis of whether the favored cars are an obstacle to public transport.
Similarly, free parking in municipal seats is to be replaced by “environmental differentiated parking fees based on emission levels,” authorities say.
At the same time, plug-in hybrid adaptation is expected to continue to be “light.”
To date, Norwegians have favored pure battery electric cars over plug-in hybrids.
While articles are coming out highlighting Norway’s attempt to fashion itself into a far-more bike-friendly nation, zero-emission cars are the transportion sector’s most important climate initiative, said Christina Bu, General Secretary of the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association.
As electrified vehicles are expected to get better, and battery costs are to come down, the value proposition is also hoped to grease the tracks to a zero-emission future.
Norway’s plan specifically proposes to ensure electric cars will be price competitive and cheaper to use than gasoline and diesel cars.
They already in cases are as evidenced by the virtual sea change of buyer preference to plug-in vehicles, but it has only been the past 2-3 years in which rapid growth has been seen.
That dent is now more than 90,000 light-duty vehicles registered according to global sales tracker Mario R. Duran.
Norway’s National Transport Plan is open for public consultation among local governments until July 1. Following feedback and potential revisions, it will need to be finally approved to be made official policy for 2018-2030.
A further look at Norway’s ambitious plan (you may beed to translate) indicates the country is just getting started, and in the next 14 years it could further distance itself as a model of zero-emissions sustainably.