Analysis of Electromobility in Six Countries— Where to Invest Next
Electromobility in Norway
Demand in Norway
Thanks to government funding, electric cars are very popular in Norway. On the one hand, electric cars are exempt from sales tax, registration fees and import duties. On the other hand, owners of e-vehicles can use public parking spaces free of charge, they do not have to pay tolls and are allowed to drive on bus lanes. More than every second new car registered in Norway in 2017 had an electric or hybrid drive, not least for these reasons. Compared to the previous year, the BEV portfolio increased by more than 40 % to about 140,000 cars. Purely electric drives thus achieved a market share of 20 %. Plug-in hybrids achieved a share of 18 %.
For 2018, the Norwegian e-vehicle association expects an increase in newly registered BEVs of up to 30 %. The main reason for this is the launch of new models. "140,000 BEVs are already driving on Norway's roads, and we want to increase this number to 400,000 by 2020," Christina Bu, General Secretary of the Norwegian e-car association, told the media. The e-Golf from VW is a big seller. According to the e-vehicle association, 6,600 units of the e-Golf were sold in 2017. The BMW i3 (5,000) and the Tesla Model X (4,700) are also popular.
Production in Norway
Norway does not have a domestic car manufacturer, but Kongsberg Automotive is a major automotive supplier. Paxster, part of Loyds Industri, offers small electric delivery vehicles. As a production site, Norway is insignificant. Only the electric vehicle manufacturer Buddy Electric has a production site there. But the last Buddy has already left the production line in 2015, so that only repairs are carried out. "Since then, we have been trying to sell parts of our old factory and the production rights to countries that can produce cheaper," Oyvind Ursin Kavag, senior consultant and former CEO of Buddy Electric, told Deutschlandfunk Kultur. The company was particularly affected by the high labor and production costs in Norway.
Another Norwegian automobile manufacturer (Think Global) already went into bankruptcy in 2011. In order to improve cooperation between science and industry, Norway has been supporting a cluster of excellence initiative for years. Most of these clusters were established in the vicinity of the capital Oslo.
Infrastructure in Norway
The number of charging connections in Norway is planned to rise to 25,000 by 2020, compared to 10,500 in February 2018. According to experts, the expansion will be possible without significant grid reinforcements. The charging infrastructure has grown considerably in recent years. Above all, however, this is due to the fact that many operators are now also building new high-speed charging stations without public subsidies, especially in the larger cities and along important transport axes.
In Oslo, however, the expansion of the network of charging poles is not keeping pace with the development of new registrations. Norway and the Netherlands are the undisputed leaders in terms of the density of charging stations per inhabitant. Norway currently has a connection density of just under 200 per 100,000 inhabitants. The Netherlands reached 192 in 2017 compared to 30 in Germany.