Some thoughts about EV’s and charging points from Norway

In Norway have EV’s a quite big share of the new cars being sold. When the numbers for october was ready, they said
that so far in 2012 the Norwegians had bought 116 612 new cars, of those 3 404 are EV’s, that’s about 2.92% of all new
cars in Norway in 2012. Compared to the same period last year this is +138%.(!!)
So, why have Norway a higher share EV’s than the rest of Europe?

Some of the answer is that the government set the taxes for EV’s low.
Norway have some of Europe’s highest tax on new and used cars, if you buy a car with petrol or a diesel engine you have
to really open your wallet, for example a 2011 9-5 Aero Turbo6 cost 1 017 900 NOK before extra equipment (EUR 138
000/USD 179 500). Also more normal cars like a 2011 9-3 SC Vector 1.8t aut. BioPower are also expensive, 464 900 NOK
(EUR 63 000/USD 82 000) with no extras. The reason is that Norwegian gov calculate taxes on CO2 and noX values,
horsepower and weight of the car, plus the general VAT in Norway, 25%.

So if you buy a EV, the govs have decided you can buy the car without the special car tax and the general VAT.
What you pay is the factory price plus the importer and dealers share of the cake 🙂
There’s also some other benefits;

  • The annual tax to have a car in Norway is 2 885 NOK/year (390 EUR/510 USD), if you drive a EV you pay 405 NOK/year (55 EUR/70 USD).
  • You don’t pay in tollplazas (Norway has many of that stuff)
  • Free parking and “slow charging” on public places
  • Free ferries for the car, you only pay for passengers
  • In the city you can drive in lanes for buses and taxi

So in sum, the govs are giving subs to those who want to buy a EV, and many Norwegians are getting their eyes up for EV’s, as least as a second car in the family.

But now you may wonder, how do we solve the “problem” with charging?
Many public parking lots and shopping malls have reserved places for EV’s, with opportunity for charging. Some companies
also have charging points in their parking lots, so employees can charge their cars during the time at work. But mainly
most of the owners of a EV have a charging point at home so they can charge during the night.
This is “slow charging”, since it takes about 8 hours for a normal battery to get full charged. Personally I think the
future is “quick charging” or a “semi quick charger” in public areas, or battery swapping like NEVS was talking about in
the Octoberfest.
The difference is that a quick charger gives 80% capacity in 15-30 minutes, a semi quick charger needs 30-120 minutes to
give full capacity, which are perfect for shopping malls or other places you spend an hour or two.

I know my local Nissan-dealer have a “quick charging”-point that’s open 24h to customers that have a access card.
If you bought a Leaf through that dealer you have free access to the charging point, those who drive other brands can buy
access and still use that point. There’s right now popping up quick charging points many places in Norway, in
petrol stations, and dedicated charging stations. Many are free to use since it’s someting new and the manufactures
want to test it. I know Statoil (a big Norwegian oil company) take NOK 45 (EUR 6/USD 8 ) for 15min charging, and other
have plans to a subscription scheme with a monthly fee and a lower price for charging.

Another challenge is to know where to charge. As I started to dig, I came over a website that have all public charging
points on a map, they also offer a iPhone and Android app and POI’s for GPS. If you want to try the app, search for
“LadeNå!” (sorry, just Norwegian language) in Appstore or Google Play.
The website also shows if a quick charger is “taken”, so you can check if another charger in the are is available.
They claim they know about the most of the charging points in Norway, the website counts 1 004 charging stations with 3 444
charging points, but mostly it’s “slow charging”. If you’re just interested in the quick charging points you can choose
to just view those on the map.

Personally I think a SAAB EV will be cheaper then a SAAB with petrol or diesel engine here in Norway, and around the biggest cities in
Norway there is a good network for charging the batteries, but for us who don’t live so urban we have to wait for longer range on the batteries.
It will for sure be interesting to see how big piece of the EV-market SAAB will have!

In the end, I found a route planning tool for EV’s. You can set start and end point, set average speed and number
of passengers, then choose a EV from the list, and the route planner will calculate how much battery you have left or
are short to do your trip. Pretty cool, and when I play with this for a while I actually realise that a EV have longer
range then I tought before, but not long enough for my needs yet…
If you want to try the route planner, check this out:

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Jesse Crandle

Wow, in Norway is depressingly high. I bought my last Saab for 8,000 USD, paid 500 in tax, 30 for inspection, and maybe 100 to 150 for paperwork. Insurance is 1,200 a year, so in total the car costed about 9,000 USD for me to actually acquire it and get it on the road.

Jesse Crandle

Wow, in Norway tax is depressingly high*


Market wise, how big of a market is Norway for the Swedish brands?


EV’s are a response to government shortsightedness in that they are deluded and actually think EV’s are actually environmentally friendly. EV’s use power stations to ‘charge them up’ and you need to look at the pollution caused by lithium batteries. The only reason they are popular in Norway? Price. Thats it.

Angelo V.

In the end, for me, it comes down to whether or not the EVs can meet my needs. At the minimum, they need to go 300 miles on a charge. They have to be able to get a charge from a standard household current. If there’s an unexpected snow emergency and severe traffic, the car has to be able to run for hours on a half-charge, with heat and radio on. Not important for me, but important for some: Can they tow a trailer?


Surely shortsighted governments will eventually ‘force’ large parts of the motoring public into electric vehicles. By that time the average car will be just another ‘appliance’, one that just get you from A to B. Already we see a huge decline of young people interested in cars (or planes !); their most important thing is their cellphone and iPad, so they can constantly tell everybody what they’re doing, where they are and all kinds of other irrelevant information. Times are changing for sure…. Luckily I still have my trusty old 9000 2.3T from the ‘good old days’, I’ll never ever… Read more »


People in Norway must make about 5 times what people in the US make. There is no way that an average family in the US could afford those car prices, whether new or used.

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