Norway has cemented its position as the world leader in electric vehicle deployment with the news that 31.2% of the new cars sold across the country last year were all-electric, a dramatic increase from 20.8% in 2017 and just 5.5% in 2013.
“In a bid to cut carbon emissions and air pollution, Norway exempts battery-driven cars from most taxes and offers benefits such as free parking and charging points to hasten a shift from diesel and petrol engines,” Reuters reports. The country’s goal is to phase out sales of new fossil-fueled vehicles by 2025, and the independent Norwegian Road Federation (NRF) reported last week that petrol and diesel auto sales have been plunging.
But NRF Director Oeyvind Solberg Thorsen noted that two-thirds of the nearly 148,000 new cars sold in Norway last year were fossils or hybrids—which means it’ll be some time before the entire new fleet is emissions-free.
In a separate story, Reuters reports that the United States’ $7,500 tax credit will be phased down on General Motors electric vehicles beginning this April, and disappear entirely in April 2020, after the company’s cumulative EV sales passed the 200,000 mark late last year. Electric car purchases in The Netherlands tripled last year, CleanTechnica notes, while EV subsidies are rising in Italy and declining in China.