The drive toward electrified vehicles will come faster and easier for some countries and cultures than others. If legislation pending in Norway is enacted, it will be the first country to mandate the shift from cars with gas engines. Four major Norwegian political parties are in favor of laws to ban sales of new gasoline-powered cars starting in 2025, according to Electrek.
Let’s skip right by the irony that, according to a government report, Norway is a major oil producer and the world’s third-largest natural gas exporter. In 2015, oil and natural gas represented 39 percent of the country’s total export value. Though Norway is a big fossil fuel supplier, there are good reasons why it makes sense that the Scandinavian country could become the first to legislate in favor of all-electric vehicle sales.
Almost all of Norway’s oil and natural gas is exported to Europe, primarily to Germany, Belgium, France, and the U.K. Most of the natural gas is used for heating homes, factories, and office buildings and to fuel electrical power plants.
Norway isn’t the only country considering vehicle electrification. There are proposals to stop fossil fuel-powered car sales in The Netherlands also by 2025. The government of India is considering an all-electric fleet by 2030. However, according to Electrek, Norway’s proposed laws have the best chance of being enacted. Passage would make the country the first to halt gas car sales and require zero emissions for all new car sales.
Electric cars aren’t as revolutionary or unusual in Norway as they are in most countries. With 24 percent of the new vehicles sold in Norway already powered by electricity, currently the highest percentage in the world, e-vehicles aren’t a brand new concept for Norwegians to get their heads around.
Right now there aren’t many all-electric vehicles on the market. Consumer choices are limited in Norway as everywhere else. With the worldwide shift in the direction of electric cars, however, many more choices will be available in just a few years.
The new gas-powered car sales legislation passage in Norway isn’t a slam dunk, but even getting the proposal on the table is noteworthy and a likely sign of legislative agenda in other countries.