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Norway: 37% of new vehicles sold in January were electric (electrek.co)
327 points by davidiach on Feb 19, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 173 comments

Expect the numbers to drop right back down again in a few years. A major reason for people owning a EV, a law that was introduced back when Thinks were the big deal EV to have (yeah, right) that allowed EVs to use the bus lanes and not pay a toll, have been repealed.

Note that it was only when Tesla made the EV comparable to a sportscar that it picked up in Norway. And that was because now the rich of the nation could bypass the rush hour traffic and not pay road tolls, while still own something that looked and drove like the neighbors gas guzzler.

Over time that thinking trickled down to the wider population along with more practical and cheaper EV designs.

But now the big incentive is gone, and thus i suspect the trend will reverse soon enough.

Tesla only sold 2 vehicles in Denmark in 2016, dropping from 2800 sold in 2015. This was after the Danish government added the regular registration tax to electric vehicles.

That supports the commentators point of view.


For those skeptical there could be such a big drop, useful background is that the Danish registration tax for new vehicles is 150% of the purchase price (with roughly the first €10k exempted). Previously it was 180% of the purchase price above €10k, but electric cars were exempted. An agreement was reached among several parties in 2015 to lower the overall rate from 180% to 150%, but to phase out the electric-car exemption. This hits Tesla's high-end cars especially hard, e.g. the model that used to cost €100k will end up costing €200k+ after tax, which obviously is attractive to many fewer buyers. Previously the €100k tax-exempt Tesla was effectively competing against gasoline models in the €40k pre-tax range.

I would expect a less dramatic decline for lower-priced electric cars, some of which do also have sales in Denmark, like the Nissan Leaf or Volkswagen e-uP, but I haven't found numbers.

A 150% "ownership" tax is also in effect in Singapore. The result is fewer cars, less congestion, and tons of tax money to be invested in public transportation.

I guess the system works as well in Denmark as it did in Singapore (I lived in Singapore form 2010 to 2012).

Wow these taxes sound out of this world (in my home country Poland, it's 3% or 17%, depending on the engine size).

Hasn't anyone attempted to go around it by finding someone in say Germany to register the car as a first owner and then immediately purchasing the car (as a used car now) from him?

Used car imports also get taxed by the same percentage. And you can't cheat, because they decide the value of the car, not your receipt.

What limitations are there for just using a German registered car?

That's one of the main arguments that is being brought up here in Estonia when the socialists try to create a car registration tax. The opponents claim that people will just go a bit south to Latvia and register their car there, and then just drive around with a Latvian registration. There aren't any restrictions that prohibit this.

Similar behavior exists with alcohol. The Finnish are especially well known for their alcohol-tourism into Estonia. They come here during weekends and buy multiple crates worth of alcohol and go back. Two-way ferry ticket from Helsinki to Tallinn can cost as little as 10 € during sales, so economy-wise it can be cheaper even if you just want a 6-pack of beer. The funny thing is that as years have passed and Estonian alcohol tax has risen, we're now in a situation where southern-Estonians drive to Latvia to get their alcohol. That's also why the car registration point is so clear to us, because we're already seeing it with consumables where you have to make regular trips instead of a single one.

You can drive a German-registered car as a tourist who isn't resident in Denmark, but if you move to Denmark and become a resident (or already were resident), you must register the car in Denmark within 30 days of bringing it into the country [1].

But yes, some amount of this happens. The easiest case to get away with it is probably if you are actually from another EU country, and just keep it registered in your home country at a relative's address, and travel back occasionally to keep your license, insurance, and registration up to date. If you're Danish and have no foreign address, it would be more complicated to get it sorted out, especially with insurance, but I'm sure there are people who do it. Police attempt to crack down on it by looking for foreign-registered cars that seem to be parked too regularly in the same residential area (e.g. in front of a block of flats in Copenhagen). That's not illegal per se, since you might be a longer-term visitor, but they investigate these cases and catch some number each year.

Besides foreign-registered vehicles, the other most common evasion mechanism is probably agriculturally registered vehicles (which are exempt from tax). Hard to do if you have no connection to a farm at all, but in families where some of the family are genuinely farmers, the rest of the family who aren't will in some cases end up with all their vehicles registered at the farm.

[1] https://www.skat.dk/SKAT.aspx?oId=2068721

I wonder what happens if you're leasing the car? Technically it's not your property, so you can't register it.

I'm sure there's some kind of mechanism to prevent people from driving cars leased in another country, but how does it work?

You're just not allowed to drive that car in the country. The European Union common market and free movement of goods doesn't apply to cars when the tax revenue of governments is at stake. Finland has had a somewhat similar car taxation as Denmark, and here the government breaks EU law at will; when some procedure is ruled illegal by EU courts, the government replaces it with a new wording and the circus starts all over. No official is ever held accountable.

How does police find those who drive a foreign vehicle illegally? Stop a vehicle in foreign plates, ask driver's license; if it is a local national driving, investigate. Police have very much powers in Nordic countries for these cases (they can always stop a car and investigate, there's no American type requirement for a probable cause.)

And of course, there are always people who report suspected tax evaders to the police.

There used to be a sort of a hunt for these cases between Sweden (who has no car sales tax) and Finland. E.g. there was a guy who lived in Haparanda on Swedish side and had a girlfriend in Tornio on the Finnish side, and stayed too many nights at the girlfriend's place. He got a big fine and had to pay back taxes because he should have registered himself as a local resident and imported and registered the car to Finland as well, including paying the car import tax.

I sold my first car to a Norwegian friend. It was a wreck so I sold it for the equivalent of 50 € (this was 1990). The friend then moved back to Oslo. She was asked to pay the equivalent of about 2000 € in car tax to register it in Norway. She gave it for scrap instead, of course.

Leasing is not that expensive in Denmark in comparison to ownership. Also, due to extreme rusting of your car after a few years due to road salt, I find it gives more peace of mind.

If you are a permanent resident, you can't drive a vehicle with foreign number plates. That rules out leasing abroad.

Many people live in Malmö but work in Copenhagen precisely to avoid this restriction.

You can't drive a foreign car if you are a permanent resident in Denmark, I think. People in my workplace used to try what you suggest, but it doesn't work. If police stops you and they discover you are in fact living in Denmark you will get an enormous fine.

Leasing is usually a better deal in this case. You can get a small car for around 1500 kr / month.

What if you work for a foreign company that gave you a company vehicle?

I did the same for about 3 years in UK, and it was fine,even the local police and DVLA confirmed that I'm not braking any laws doing it, even though the law is structured in the same way - if you are a permanent resident you can't drive a foreign vehicle in the UK. Except if you work for a foreign company that gave you a company vehicle to use then yes,you can, and there doesn't seem to be any restriction on it.

As far as I know, what you just described is the only "loophole" in existence, and it is supposed to work in any EU country because of some weird nondiscrimination rule. There was even some ECJ ruling on it, if I remember right.

For example: I know of a Dutch guy who leases a Ferrari through a Belgian company he set up for this, because it would cost him twice as much in the Netherlands. There are also examples of Belgian people driving cars with Luxembourg plates, etc. This is not illegal (though it's obviously a form of tax avoidance)

The Danish tax authority has this mentioned in their FAQ [1]. They claim that this is true but, 1) "it is a requirement that your vehicle is primarily used for business purposes abroad", and 2) you must "apply to be exempt from registration tax".

[1] See the question "Foreign company cars" here: https://www.skat.dk/SKAT.aspx?oId=2068721

Might just be their interpretation of the law though. It could very well be impossible in Denmark, but if some EU law is making it possible, local law can't block it (even though they might want it to). And even if local law is blocking it, it might be in violation of EU law.

Given we're talking a €100-120K tax difference on expensive cars, you can always consult a Danish tax lawyer and if he thinks it's doable do it anyway. If the tax authority has a problem with it then, then you just take it to court. Seems worth investigating.

How is this possible? How can anyone afford a car under such conditions? I believe you, I'm not saying you're making it up, but it's inconceivable.

So a $20k car is $45k? What the #(%^@! ???

They can't. The point is that you shouldn't have a car unless you absolutely need one(most people don't) and then when you do,you should buy a second hand car, that's far more ecological than production of a new vehicle.

I mean, I personally disagree with this approach as I love driving and buy new cars, but I can see and understand why they do it that way. Denmark has extremely well developed public transport and most people get along without cars just fine.

That was more true when it was introduced, and I think the taxation did succeed in slowing the mass adoption of cars in Denmark compared to in some other countries. But once Denmark got rich enough, much of the population bought cars anyway (now around 50%). It's a luxury, sure, but in a rich country, many people buy luxuries, even when there's a luxury tax. I think the tax mostly delayed the mass proliferation of cars to the 80s/90s, instead of the 60s/70s. And it may have also encouraged cheaper cars than would otherwise have been bought, since buying a $20k pre-tax instead of a $30k pre-tax car saves you $25k, not $10k.

Nowadays car ownership is popular enough that I'm not sure you could successfully introduce such a tax if people were not already used to it existing, and used to current new-car prices. When it was introduced, cars were seen as a rarer luxury than they are now, so a luxury tax was not too unpopular, and many people were also swayed by arguments that they had a significant negative social impact, on things like pollution and traffic and injuries, that should be paid for by taxing them [1]. But since it exists, if you cut it, you have to either raise some other tax, or cut some spending program, to account for the revenue; and you probably also have to build more roads and parking to account for the extra cars. That kind of change isn't so popular, and cars (especially new cars) are still culturally seen as not quite a necessity, so keeping the not-that-loved new-car tax remains less bad politically than the alternatives. Though it being lowered from 180% to 150% is a sign that consensus around it is not as strong as it once was, and I wouldn't be surprised to see more incremental cuts in the future.

[1] E.g. one 2009 analysis found that, even accounting for all the taxes, cars still have a 15% negative impact (costing society $1.15 for each $1.00 paid by car owners): http://www.copenhagenize.com/2012/10/danish-180-tax-on-cars-...

That article is from March 2016, so it was 2 cars sold by March. Would be interesting to see final numbers (12 cars?)

Indeed, the article does not represent the 2016 sales at all. Tesla sold 176 cars in 2016 in Denmark and 2738 in 2015 [0]. While there is definitely a drop, the sales of 2015 were probably also boosted by the fact that lots of Danes, who were interested in buying a Tesla, made sure to do so before the law took effect. In 2014 they sold 460.

[0]: http://www.bilimp.dk/statistics/index.asp

Possibly Fiscal Year, ending in March?

You'd expect that the impending new tax pulled a bunch of otherwise 2016 purchases into 2015, but still... yikes!

I bought a used Nissan Leaf last month. No way I am EVER buying another non-electric car.

It's quiet.

It's got surprising torque for an economy car.

It's got a lot of room for a compact car. I'm 6'5" and gave plenty of head room, legroom, and vertical field of view.

Have not been to a gas station in 5 weeks.

Most modern compact cars get 1000 km (or even more) on a single tank, so if you don't drive all that much, you don't need to visit gas stations more often than it's just wise to, to check tyre pressures and clean the gunk of your wind shield (this time of the year is pretty bad when it comes to mud flying on the streets).

The difference is, a compact traditional car sells for 15 k€ new, while Leaf goes for 40 k€. Even with European fuel prices, the difference is going to buy you plenty of power juice to drive around – and can get you to your cabin at the neck of the woods without having to stop for a charge if you so wish.

I don't know why you're getting downvoted - my commute is longer than the range of the Leaf. Not to mention that it's a lot more expensive than the petrol-powered competition,even after taking all tax breaks into account. I get that it's quiet and pretty sporty,but it's just not attractive financially in any way or form,unless you literally don't care about the purchase price.

Or if you get e.g. A nice parking spot at work + free charging from your employer + carpool lane access as a single rider + $7500 IRC 30D tax credit + value the smugness from a "zero emissions" vehicle which relies on fossil-fuel-centric energy production in the US and rare earth minerals from around the world where they care much less about greenhouse gas emissions.

I like to track the progress of disruptive tech by how extreme the "but it cant do X" comments get. If the big demographic problem for EVs is people who "don't drive all that much" but do drive a few hundred miles out to their cabin in the woods then it seems they're making pretty good progress.

When stepping out of the comfort zone (i.e. no crawling speed or disabling A/C or heating), Leaf's range is less than 100 miles on full charge.

It's not very much – in fact, quite the opposite. Unless you share the city you live in with, say, your parents, in most cases you probably couldn't make a trip to meet them without stopping to charge.

I'm not saying that the six-year-old Leaf is the answer to all vehicular needs, I'm saying that for people who need to fly to visit their parents, or have a range-extending hybrid as a second family car, or who just don't drive much beyond their commute, then EVs with sub 100 mile ranges still meet 95% or more of their daily driving needs without needing to recharge and there are many happy owners of such cars already.

The demographic that it serves successfully is growing every year, as more cities ban or fine cars with emissions, as battery prices drop, as people get less scared of the new, as people experience and like the peppy driving feel of an EV, as more models are produced by more manufacturers and more niches are filled and as charging networks expand.

I think we can all look back and see amazing progress from cars like the EV1 and how many assumptions have been shattered in the last decade or so. It just amuses me that as this kind of progress happens, then there will always be something to complain about (and the complaints will often be geniune and factual) that just a short time ago would have seemed like science fiction. Like the comedian that talks about his seat-neighbour complaining that the airplane wi-fi is slow.

My personal issue with EVs is that most people who like them don't really understand or refuse to acknowledge that their cars also run on fossil fuels, they're just not doing the combustion under the hood.

  The three major fossil fuels—petroleum, natural gas,   and coal—accounted for most of the nation's energy   production in 2015:

  Natural gas—32%
  Petroleum (crude oil and natural gas plant liquids)—28%
  Renewable energy—11%
  Nuclear electric power—9%
src: http://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/?page=us_energy_home

It might help reduce emissions directly in city centers, but the power plants are generally not that far from large cities anyway. Since EVs are also much heavier in general (Tesla P85D is ~4936lb vs a Corvette at ~3347lb or a Civic at ~2738lb), even though they are pretty efficient, they're still pretty close (when I ran the numbers before, they were higher) in greenhouse gas emissions once you factor in how much energy it takes to drive one vs an ICE vehicle. Batteries are also pretty nasty to dispose of and have a comparatively short lifetime -- a well-maintained car from the 90s is still very much drivable today (and cars without batteries can be maintained almost indefinitely), while battery packs aren't very useful past 7-10 years.

In that same vein, rare earth minerals are required in much larger quantities for EVs due to the batteries and the motors. Many countries mining and processing those don't care much about the environment, so they're mined and processed in environmentally-irresponsible ways, and we're now massively increasing demand for them. This is from 2010: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/forget-lithium-its-rare-earth-mi...

Because they're sold as "green" and "zero emissions", and due to the various government tax breaks (which even applied to >$100k Teslas and >$1m Porsche 918s), single-driver carpool lane privileges in California (significant because about 50% of EVs sold in the US are in CA), priority parking spots, free (employer-subsidized) charging at many workplaces, EVs are ever more popular despite them being about even from what I can tell for the environment when you look at the total lifecycle vs normal cars. This bothers me. Many EV drivers do not seem to understand the impact their vehicles have, seemingly because it says "zer0 emissions" on the license plate frame.

>It might help reduce emissions directly in city centers, but the power plants are generally not that far from large cities anyway. Since EVs are also much heavier in general (Tesla P85D is ~4936lb vs a Corvette at ~3347lb or a Civic at ~2738lb), even though they are pretty efficient, they're still pretty close (when I ran the numbers before, they were higher) in greenhouse gas emissions once you factor in how much energy it takes to drive one vs an ICE vehicle.

Bigger issue with weight is the road wear and tear it causes. The effect isn't even just linear, but much more than that – some studies have calculated that road wear increases to the fourth power in increased vehicle mass[1].

By that account a 5000 lb. Model S causes 16 times the road wear compared to a 2500 lb. compact car. Also, cars do not “eat” the road, they pollute the local air with it (especially the smaller particulates are very nasty stuff indeed in heavily trafficked areas).

[1]: http://archive.gao.gov/f0302/109884.pdf

And check out the resale value on that Leaf. They should have called it the Brick :)

Tesla roadsters, OTOH, are holding their value very well despite being basically a collector's item at this point.

EVs are currently more expensive than fossil counterparts, but that is projected to change in time as economies of scale start influencing the manufacturing costs.

Service and operational costs are already lower on EVs than fossils, and that is unlikely to change significantly.

For example, with current gasoline and electricity costs in Norway, powering an EV costs 10% of what a fossil cost per kilometer.

So incentives might be necessary right now, but not for much longer.

As a Norwegian expat: I think this ignores just how big of an impact the VAT (MVA) and other taxation exemptions are. You'll get much, much better cars for your money buying electric - rather than the anaemic, underpowered standard that is the result of the heavy CO2/performance taxation, with an electric car you'll end up with something zippy and fun to drive.

Comparing e.g. Norway and Australia; the standard (petrol powered) engine models in Norway aren't even offered here, no-one would buy them. Sure the cars are loaded with every conceivable luxury option, yet ultimately even your base BMW has less power than the average Toyota Corolla in Australia. (Whilst you might say that this is bad, please don't get me started on the horrible idea Europe had to promote the use of toxic diesel cars over petrol ones; I used to ride a bicycle in Oslo, and it was foul.)

I think the move to make electric cars so affordable is great. Whilst the more prosperous buyers were the first to benefit, there's now a generation of cars moving into the 2nd hand market making the cars more affordable for everyone. Also, with their hydro power, it is truly green energy.

This is repeated around the world. Incentives are designed under the assumption that certain vehicle types need a leg up. Then car companies build cars to that specification, with an associated cost, and sell them to those who can afford. So the hybrid ferrari gets a break, but the non-hybrid but nevertheless more fuel efficient honda civic doesn't. Parking for electric vehicles. Bus lane access for hybrids. hov lanes now filled by rich people in limos (i saw a limo block a bus lane recently for 10 minutes. People on the buss were livid). Tax breaks for strapping a duracell to your SUV and calling it a hybrid. All started with good intentions but were corrupted by those with the resources to hack the rules.

Yep, better not do anything. Right?

Or... you close loopholes as they appear. Which happens in countries with a functional political system, unlike the US.

Or be tech neutral and instead write standards narrowly focused on a paticular evil. Give a bonus for measured low net emmisions, not a paticular engine tech.

Nonsense. Growth may slow down, but why in the world would you expect numbers to drop? Do you consider that internal combustion stuff to somehow have advantages over contemporary technologies?

ICE vehicles are still considerably cheaper compared to EV. Show me a 10,000-15,000 euro electric hatchback that I'd be able to drive for 10+ years without having to purchase expensive batteries every 4-5 years and I'd buy it.

In Norway a Golf costs $50k, a family sedan $80k and the most powerful 7-series can be $300k. This is because ICE vehicles have huge taxes in Norway.

A pure EV basically gets a 50% tax cut, which can be $100k if you were looking at a comparable ICE car to the Model S.

So in Norway the opposite is true "ICE vehicles are considerably more expensive".

You can also ask yourself this: what value you get for your money on a given budget if you buy a Golf at $50k which is half taxes, versus a Bolt at a similar price with almost none of it being tax? I'd choose the Bolt any day.

Obviously none of this translates to anywhere else. It's a lot easier to give a massive tax break if you had a huge tax initially, than it would be for e.g the US to slap on a 20% tax on new ICE vehicles. (Unless of course they are made in Mexico in which case it's apparently easy).

The Mahindra e2o Plus is priced between 10-15K USD (but currently only available in India I think) https://www.mahindrae2oplus.com/

I've owned an older model for 4+ years now. I haven't seen any drop in battery performance yet and the company says the battery should last 8+ years without problems. I can believe that based on my experience.

The older model is available in the UK. https://mahindrauk.com

How safe it is? Indian cars are infamous for their zero star safety rating.

I'm going to be honest that looks awful and not comparable to a cheap car like a Micra, Twingo or any of the other cheap city cars. Seems like you're losing a lot just to save a few quid on petrol.

This trope of having to replace EV batteries every 5 years is so prevalent, and so wrong, that I'm beginning to be suspicious as to its use.

It happens in laptops. Why should cars be any different?

Because electric cars don't actually use 100% of the battery.

If the battery is only charged to say 80%, and only discharged to say 30%, instead of doing full charges and discharges, it'll last longer. EV manufacturers know this trick and stop charging at something like 80%, while telling the user it's fully charged.

See for instance this article: https://cleantechnica.com/2016/05/31/battery-lifetime-long-c...

Why can't that be an option on laptops? I'd take that trade off.

The BIOS in modern Dell laptops (e.g. XPS 15), at least, allows you to configure different modes of operation to make the battery last longer. You can choose to charge more slowly but have the lifetime of the cells extended, or charge quickly which will yield less cycles. I'm guessing other manufacturers allow some control over these things as well.

It is on pretty much any quality laptop from this decade. I don't remember the last time I've had to replace a laptop battery.

I toast mine every 6mo-3 years if I actually use it on battery often (i do). Most laptop owners just want a compact desktop, and use theirs as one. Obviously batteries last longer than the tech is viable in that case. Smart usage used to make a larger difference, but the new batt tech seems less sensitive to heavy useage.

While the initial cost of EVs is higher the idea that you have to buy new batteries every 4-5 years is completely wrong. There are LEAFs with over 100k miles on their original batteries still running strong.

I think it's unfair to add battery purchases to the purchasing cost. They are effectively fuel costs because they depend on full charge/discharge cycles (and thus on distance driven).

Where are you getting your "some people replace their EV batteries after 4 years" fact?

A Used Renault Zoe can be bought for well under 10k EUR. In five years, replace the battery for an extra ~5K EUR (you probably won't need to, my EV battery is 4+ years old with 50k miles on it and still works great, but we'll include it in the cost just to calm your fears)

Even including a brand new battery, total cost is still well below your 15K EUR max budget, using real-world numbers you can actually purchase with today :


I was talking about prices of new cars, for 4,000 euros I bought a pretty good 7-year old ICE hatchback which does its job pretty well. I saw that Zoe is priced at around 23,000 euros new, which for a mini-car is really expensive (if you're not a SV engineer, that is)

>"I was talking about prices of new cars, for 4,000 euros I bought a pretty good 7-year old ICE hatchback which does its job pretty well."

I don't know what the second hand car market is like where you live, but just in case it's similar to the UK, it's possible to get a second hand hybrid electric car for similar money in the UK. For example, can get a second hand Prius for less than £3k if you shop around:


Well, sure, a 7 year old used car costs less than a 3 year old one does.

I'm not sure that's a fair comparison though. a Nissan LEAF or Renault Zoe will probably end up around your 4k euro price when they get to be 7 years old too.

My point is that if you want an affordable EV option, they exist. You don't have to be an engineer to afford an electric car anymore, they've become reasonably cheap, and prices seem to slowly be dropping every year

>A Used Renault Zoe can be bought for well under 10k EUR.

What? Where? Denmark? I'd seriously consider. Here (Finland) they are completely unavailable as used, and new ones start at 32 990 €.

The GP linked to a UK website in their comment.

Oh. Right-hand drive. Not very good here.

It looks like a new Zoe sells for exactly half the price in UK (14 k£ , 16 400 €) than here in Finland (33 k€). Is there a substantial subsidy on electric cars in UK? Here they have less tax than others.

There is a substantial subsidy, but not one that covers the full price difference you've highlighted:


> A Used Renault Zoe can be bought for well under 10k EUR.

Bear in mind that with many examples of Renault and Nissan EVs, you also have to pay a mandatory monthly battery leasing fee - even as the second or subsequent owner. So the headline purchase cost is only part of the price.

There are some Zoes, and a larger proportion of Leafs, in which the battery is owned outright but one has to check before purchasing.

Does that mean they replace the batteries at no cost when they start to fail, as you're leasing them and don't own them?

My sincere guess is we shall reach the crossover point long before those ten years are up. Your new batteries won't cost you all that much in five years. But your petrol will.

... without carbon taxes.

Seriously people, everyone driving ICEs is using a massive subsidy loophole with respect to carbon emissions.

Outside of the US, very high gasoline taxes are common, even in the absence of more general carbon taxes; while gasoline users may still benefit from externalized costs, I think the case is less than clear-cut.

Aren't normal luxury cars also crazy expensive in Norway because the state levies additional taxes on them? I read somewhere that a Porsche Cayman, which costs €70k in Belgium, would easily be €175k (converted in its NOK equivalent, of course) in Norway?

Not directly luxury cars, but cars are taxed based on engine volume (and thus fuel consumption) afaik.

Not just engine volume, but also on horsepower, CO2 emissions and total weight.

You are thinking of Denmark.

Just checked: a Porsche GT4 (€88k in Belgium) costs €180k in Norway. So might be both Norway and Denmark.

I have an honest question (and don't downvote me for this), but how do you enjoy life in Scandinavian countries?

Everything seems to be taxed to hell: income, wealth, cars, alcohol, etc. Does that actually leave any room for fun that involves spending money?

People don't need to be living in massive luxury and you don't always need to spend money to enjoy yourself, but aren't these countries pushing it?

> People don't need to be living in massive luxury and you don't always need to spend money to enjoy yourself, but aren't these countries pushing it?

I think a lot of it comes down to material vs non material quality of life.

First of all, very little of taxes evaporate in e.g wars. That helps. Most of it seems to fund things that make me happy or at least not worried. I'm not worried about getting sick, old, whether my kids can go to university etc. At least I don't worry about the economics of it. In the US I'd live in a house twice as big and I could likely drive a fun car on the weekends. On the other hand I wouldn't be doing 8w of time off every summer and 2 years off with the kids. I honestly don't mind 30% income tax and a large chunk of payroll tax, just so I don't have to pay health insurance companies, do pension saving or save for college.

All the money I have at the end of the month is basically for spending. There is no need to save it other than in case the car breaks down or similar. I keep a months salary or two on hand for that. I don't need a pile of money for growing old or being sued or sending the kids to college.

When it comes to "taxes on fun" I'm inclined to agree a bit more - some things feels like gov't parenting, but it has some nice side effects such as making people drink nicer wine (a $2 bottle of wine would be $8 in Sweden while a $10 bottle might be $10 in Sweden. So understandably the $2 bottle isn't even imported).

What you described is a life of a house cat, happy that the food's always there and that there's lots of time to sleep. A bleak life devoid of any ambition and goals.

I can't imagine the brainwashing required to make people accept that.

I see the opposite - I don't have to worry about the food being there so I can choose to take risks such taking a year off with kids, or starting my own company. I think that the separation of my health insurance from my employment for example, is very important in that respect.

What I described is basically the reality in any oecd country (there is one outlier and it's not Sweden). If it's a brainwashing scheme it's a pretty large one.

Life in the US must be that of a stray cat, then; running in fear every night, not sure where your next meal is coming from, survival the only thing on your mind, fighting over scraps. That life is reality for many unemployed and under-employed in the US, so that a select few may be very rich and powerful, mostly due to inheritance and favorable conditions / opportunities during childhood.

I can't speak for everyone in Sweden, but I'd rather pay high taxes and enjoy the benefits of free healthcare, education and providing everyone with equal opportunities than end up like the situation in the US.

How do you enjoy life having to worry about health insurance and saving your whole life to pay for your children's education? Have a look at the World Happiness Report [0]. Of course we are perfectly capable of enjoying life.

[0] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Happiness_Report

You do realize that taxes don't just disappear, right? Tax revenue pays for things like child care, health care, universities etc. That means the average consumer can spend more on frivolous things even if they are more expensive. So yeah us Scandinavians are living a pretty sweet life :)

You pay for child care, health care and universities, whether through taxes or your pocketbook. Paying through your pocket book just means you have freedom of choice.

True, but e.g. the tax difference between an average salary in Norway and the US is far too small to even make up the private healthcare costs and other additional costs, and Norway has a far flatter salary structure - far more more peope are close to the average salary.

The effect is that very large proportions of the population end up with a better standard of living.

In America we have low taxes but not choice. You can choose to drive in America but you cannot choose to ride the high speed rail instead. Our choices are limited by our regime.

I would say that you have "choice", but not "freedom". Choice, in that dichotomy, refers to being able to draw from a set of pre-determined options (e.g. the choice of cereal brands in the supermarket), whereas freedom refers to the ability to follow one's desires, ambitions and morals.

Just the other day, I watched a documentary about the protests that led to the opening of the Inner German border and the demise of the GDR. It was kind of sad to see people protesting for various kinds of freedom, knowing that most of them will only get choice (e.g. the choice of which country they cannot afford to travel to because their jobs were not competitive anymore).

By the way, I don't think that Europe has systematically more freedom (by the above definition) than the US. There are some life plans that you can only carry out in the US, and some that can only be realized in Europe.

I don't think many people in Europe envy the US healthcare system.

Choice of what? I don't really care what brand my antibiotics are. Whether the government pays for it via taxes or me out of pocket, I only care if they work.

Same with universities, vacation, labour laws etc...

Consider if one is unable to afford health insurance premiums and has a pre-existing condition which is expensive to treat. This person is not likely to have credit to be able to afford more than a few months of treatment. What choice do they have left other than to die (which is also not typically legal to accelerate)?

I don't get your point. I also think choice is overrated when it comes to treatment. Having a treatment is more important.

Unless you don't have enough money to pay for those things, of course. And that is the whole point of the system.

As for sweet life, speak for yourself, please.

You don't seem to agree. From your side do you believe taxes are too high for what you're getting back? Is it hurting the country?

Let's presume that 40% taxes are optimal for Sweden / Norway, and that the U.S. tax rate is 30% [A]. That does not mean that increasing the U.S. tax rate to 40% is optimal for the U.S. - do you think the current U.S. government, Donald Trump, military industrial complex, etc. should get more money to work with?

A. These numbers are made up

Yes I totally agree that there can be problems with high taxes (the Laffer curve, corruption, tax avoidance, etc). I was mainly refuting the idea that high tax rates must lead to "poorer" citizens. In many cases the money is just passed around, and if so it's a zero sum game.

It’s not just a zero-sum game. Extra costs include the salaries of civil servants who administer the funds, including the many people whose job is to print out a report and put it in a drawer where nobody will see it, and the blatant cronyism in public contract awards.

Extra benefits include the infrastructure, technologies, and knowledge that we develop, that would not have existed because no businessman would have considered them to be profitable.

The government of the USA is filled with lots of pointless but well-paid jobs, and there is a noticeable small-government-conservative faction that is constantly harassing the government with their counterproductive regulations.




I think his point is that instead of giving the government less money you should work on making sure that the government actually does the right thing with the money it gets.

I have a suspicion the US is way too far gone to try that - the adversarial model (the societal idea of "people vs the Government", rather than the Government being a representative of the people) is not going away any time soon.

It's easy to see government as representative of the people when you live in a small country, or if you're thinking about your local government.

When a government has 300 million+ people to represent, it needs to have very limited responsibilities and powers, because the common interests of so many people are very limited.

That is (cargo culting political attitudes aside) largely why the American relationship with the federal government is "adversarial"- the larger it grows, the easier it is for special, non-representative interests to take advantage of.

There's a similar story played out among union participation here; the larger the union, the less individuals feel that it is working exclusively in their best interests. Likewise: approval for individual congressional representatives is typically high, but Congress itself invariably has very low approval ratings.

When a government has 300 million+ people to represent, it needs to have very limited responsibilities and powers, because the common interests of so many people are very limited.

I'm not sure I agree with that. The common interests of people are basically the same - education, health, housing ...

There are over 80 million people in Germany. Not in the same league as the US, but still a huge country. And I don't think (obviously this is not data) that people here feel the government don't work for their interests. In a very small country like Ireland (where I'm actually from) the government seem to me to be much less 'representative' of the people, due to cronyism and corruption (see current Irish gov scandal expected to bring down the government within weeks - http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/fintan-o-toole-the-maurice...)

I’m not sure that the total size of the population is what matters here. It’s the lack of representation. Back when the USA started, we had 33,000 person-units per Representative. Now we have over 700,000 people per Representative in all but the tiniest states, and those Representatives are only going to listen to the biggest and most obnoxious voices out of those 700,000.


Alternatively, shift the center of power that has become entirely too federal (IMO) back to the states, whereby it's easier to actually listen to your constituents on matters that could be done just as well (in some cases better) at a more local level.

I don't think we can really communicate how different things are to f.ex. the US. I enjoy paying lots of taxes and still have lot's of money after doing so. For me the stability and predictability of society is worth contributing to.

I live in Belgium, which is also a high tax country (but not as much as Scandinavian countries). The way it seems to me in Belgium is that the average person is barely getting by, which in part has to do with the high tax rate. As a resident, you do get back a lot, but I'm unsure whether it compensates for the lack of additional net income.

Belgium is the highest taxed OECD country by a substantial margin when looking at total tax wedge. Far higher than the Scandinavian countries for an overall tax wedge of 55.3% of labour costs (2015) [1]. For comparison the next two are Austria at 49.5% and Germany at 49.4%. Sweden 42.7%. Norway is at 36.6%, Denmark 36.4%.

The thing is you obscure it with an unusually high employer social security contribution.

But even looking at "just" income tax and employee contributions on an average salary, Belgium ends up at 32.4% of total employee costs (so these numbers are lower than the percentages paid of gross salary) vs. Norway with 25.2%, Sweden with 18.8% and Denmark at 35.8%.

If you instead of looking at total labour costs, you look at gross wages, Belgium is at 42%, vs Denmark 36%, Norway 28.4%, Sweden 24.7% (for comparison: US: 25.6%). This also places Belgium as the highest taxed OECD country,

Denmark is the extreme opposite of Belgium, in that Denmark has extremely low employer social security contribution and no employee social security contributions (it's baked into the income tax).

[1] http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/taxatio...

Belgium is high tax for people who earn money through labour, but relatively low tax for people with capital / significant wealth.

If you are worth €5m, you can honestly get away with paying almost no tax. If you earn a salary however, you pay ~55%. There is no capital gains tax, which does attract wealthy people to move and spend here, so that's a definite positive.

I would argue we’re a high tax country, that is also a tax haven for some. I think that for most people, the high overall tax rate + employer cost is hurting.

It's not really comparable. The political cultures in the two countries are very different. Belgium is a high-tax country only for those who pay their taxes in full, which many are able to avoid. The Norwegian real tax base is broader, so the load is more evenly distributed which gives the government more money which gives you more stuff back.

This is correct. Employees generally can't avoid taxes, whereas (self employed, or wealthy) people who understand the tax code are able to pay very little.

At the same time, most of the things the government is giving back tend to go to employees, so the people that pay most generally receive the most back from the system, which is good.

You know how Denmark is one of the best countries to cycle in? How so many danes commute to work on a bike? Sure some it has to do with nice lanes and beating traffic, but a lot of it comes from 170ish % tax on cars. I own a car, but it is tiny one that I paid more for than most US cars.

Mostly you have fun by doing things that are cheaper - you might play a table top game rather than go to the cinema, or watch the movie at home; eating out happens of course, but it is typically much rarer than in the US.

The upside to happiness is that the downside is somewhat limited - if I end up with no money at all I can go to the city and get Kontanthjælp (cash assistance, though that is transferred to the persons bank account), which will be paid out so long as I don't have a job and participates in certain required things that is supposedly going to get me a job. Unemployment insurance is paid out for two years, and would be about 60% of my income. Of course we also have tax paid health care, but while that is okay for immediate crisis (I can get a heart attack right now, have somebody call an ambulance, spend two weeks in hospital, and paid them nothing) it sucks for chronic issues because you will end up being placed on a waiting list, which means you could end up getting your treatment six months from now.

Norway here. The taxes are higher, but to a fair comparison you gotta add all the expenses you have living in the US that you don't have in Scandinavian countries. Stuff like health insurance, medical bills, saving up for college, etc.

It's better than that.

Tax on average Norwegian salary: 28.4% on an average USD PPP adjusted salary of $60233 [1], for a net PPP adjusted salary of $43127

US: 25.6% of an average USD PPP adjusted salary of 50964 for a net PPP adjusted salary of $37917

Norway is not a particularly high tax country even in percent tax paid for an average earner, but even less so when considering the high salary levels. And despite having one of the most expensive socialised healthcare systems in the world (to a large extent due to high average salaries).

The salary curve is also far flatter in Norway - for good or bad far more people earn near the average salary.

[1] http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/taxatio...

No one mentioned the U.S.

Incomes tend to be better as well. Most people I've met from the Nordics seemed to be pretty happy with how things are. The attitude towards work/ money seems generally more relaxed and people tend to value time outside work a lot higher. Due to the lower inequality and very high standards of life there seems to be very little people would be missing (not everyone needs a Porsche to be happy)

Much of the taxes are there, at least in concept, to cover expenses society has when dealing with the "externalities" of said fun.

Some of it though is a remnant of a more "puritan" time.

What are the externalities resulting from purchasing a Porsche besides the usual culprits such emissions etc etc?

I'm genuinely curious.

The same as for any other car: road accidents, road maintenance and so on.

Most countries, in practice, actually subsidize car ownership by taking back in road tax less of what is actually spent on caring for externalities.

Add to that that, in most of Europe, population density is such that lots of people are actually able to live without a car. Buying a car if you live in a medieval city centre is 100% "for fun" and makes life awkward for everyone (parking and so on).

There is also an argument that many "luxury" goods are "positional", as in you get value from a big house or an expensive car, not just directly from providing shelter or transportation, but by signalling that you are better off than the people with the smaller, cheaper items.

Some economists argue that by taxing these goods, society as a whole spends less on them, but people still get the positional benefits, because the person with the biggest house still can look down on the person with the smaller house, even if the house is only 50% larger, rather than 100% larger. If those goods also have other externalities, like cars do and sprawling suburbs full of mcmansions, then you get a double benefit.


This is true.

I doubt that. Growth may slow but I have a hard time believing the market share would contract (that's a dramatic shift!).

Edit: Removed paragraph about market share.

Marked share is the number sold, not the number in use.

The timeline makes no sense. Clearly people buying a car in January 2017 would have been aware.

I doubt the rich account for much of that 37%.

Figure is too high for that hypothesis.

Maybe the solution is to reverse the lane regulations so that only EVs are allowed in the main lanes, everyone else go in the side lane. (Still needs a solution for buses.)

This might be the end-game, but you cannot do that right now. 37% of new vehicles might be EVs, but non-EVs are still the overwhelming majority on the road. If you limit those to one road, you just create a permanent nation-wide traffic jam. Just on one lane per road, though. :)

The headline and article are a bit misleading, the share of completely electric cars (no internal combustion engine) is actually dropping compared to last year as there are some newly introduced tax-reductions and benefits for hybrid plug-in vehicles as well. Many of the top-selling cars on the list that is counted as electric are actually cars with a small battery and electric motor along with a traditional ICE. [0] The topsellers of "electric" cars are actually big cars like the VW Passat GTE and Volvo XC90, both of which will probably produce more emissions than smaller ICE-only vehicles through their lifetime (unless the owner is very concious about charging the battery all the time.) [0] http://ev-sales.blogspot.no/2017/02/norway-january-2017.html

Having owned a Nissan LEAF for the last 2.5 years has been really great. Maintenance is almost nothing, the battery has held up fantastic and the car is a real pleasure to drive. Never having to stop for gas or get oil changes sounds like not a big deal but it is really nice. Every morning the LEAF has a full charge.

I think the Bolt and other 200+ mile range vehicles that are fairly affordable will help get more people into EVs. The other thing I think we need in the US is an affordable EV crossover. There's rumors of Nissan doing an EV Rogue. If they put a 60KWh battery in it, I think it would sell like gangbusters.

Obviously the last hurdle, and a serious one for many people, is that owning an EV without owning a house is really impractical in most places in the US. We need charging stations at apartment complexes, but that's one of those things that is unlikely to happen until EV ownership is widespread enough to make it a feature potential renters will care about.

I think widespread charging plugs in apartment complexes and car parks come with demand and some encouragement with tax breaks over time. People that may already have an EV will prefer complexes with available plugs when moving flats, the government may encourage new complexes to add plugs by default, etc.

But it may take time if not general incentives to increase market share of EV are made. I know by my parents 'housing estate' in Norway the cars there are now around 1/3 EVs (mix of eGolf, Leaf and Teslas), and in the indoor basement carpark, there is now a plug to charge the cars by each spot. (Also helps to heat up conventional cars in the morning...). And they are just rebuilding the external garages to include proper plugs due to demand by the residents.

Ps. I am looking forward to the Jaguar I-Pace (http://www.jaguar.co.uk/jaguar-range/i-pace-concept-car/inde...) Though not perhaps an affordable crossover. Especially as Im in the not so EV friendly UK).

> the government may encourage new complexes to add plugs by default, etc.

No need. Any semi-premium builder is more than happy to add features to their spec sheet, and 240V outlets are nothing special. Retro-fitting older places is where things get expensive and iffy.

Keyword: semi-premium. Electric vehicles are only accessible to the rich at the moment. We need to make it possible for poorer people to get electric vehicles too.

I always find myself chiming in that poor people typically buy used cars. And that you can buy a slightly used Nissan Leaf off craigslist for less than $10,000 USD. Financed over 5 years that's about $150/mo.

Or a civic for $2500 that is even cheaper to maintain.

Disclaimer, I bought a civic for $800 and put over 300,000 miles, with an average of 36mpg. Sold it years ago for a used toyota (now with 368k), it is still on the road. Proper maint is cheaper than buying a virtue signalling fashion accessory.

The difference is $10k USD buys you a used Nissan Leaf with 20-30k miles. For a person of limited means that's a good deal since the cost per mile is maybe $0.10/mile vs $0.40/mile.

> We need charging stations at apartment complexes

Not only stations, but all parking spots at the apt complexes should be electrified. And some way to authorise the charge to make sure a friendly neighbour doesn't leech off somebody else's electricity.

It's less of a problem than it seems. I have an EV living in a large apt complex. There's an EV charging area with stations accepting tokens that you buy from the housing coop. The tokens pay down the cost of the stations and of electricity, so they are not an externality imposed onto ICE vehicle owners. Zero problems.

To be fair, most of the apartment blocks I'm aware of in Norway don't have any dedicated parking, but there are large amounts of free on-street charging points at least around Oslo.

I'd buy electric BMW X1. I don't get why BMW has to put an electric motor in something as ugly as i3. Why not put it in 3 series?

In Cambridge, MA, my perception is that the "ugly" of hybrids and full electrics is a feature/benefit due to the signaling effect.

The original Prius (that looked like a normal Toyota) sold less well than the second generation that was conspicuously saving the environment.

Disclosure: I drive a LEAF and live in Cambridge. When my wife and I swapped cars for the day and I asked her how she liked the LEAF, her answer was, "I really liked the idea that I was saving pollution and that my friends could see me getting out of a LEAF."

That was my biggest beef with electric cars. I found all these new designs repulsive and was puzzled by the fact that by some universal law, any electric car must come with an ugly design. As soon as regular-looking ones started appearing, I got one (an e-Golf) and a year into it, cannot be happier with it.

BMW make a plugin hybrid 3 series, and there's a proper electric one coming in 2018.

Right? It's not like they didn't know that people /want/ normal looking cars (ehem, the Model S proved that). Why didn't they adapt a Mini or something else more familiar for their first kick at the market?

Norway is an example of a "great rotation" from gasoline cars into diesel and electrical vehicles. What's also interesting is that it is happening quickly:


Keep in mind, that Norway has abundant hydropower capacity. The wholesale settlement price for electricity out of Norway has fallen from 50 to 30 eurocents over the last 10 years for a variety of reasons such as Denmark's successful foray into offshore wind energy production.

As for Tesla, it made it to top-10 by new registrations in 2015:


The annual statistics for 2016 will be released at the end of March, so it would be interesting to see the progress the country has made last year.

Diesel is on its way out now too. Creates too much carbon monoxide and other stuff. Had our first day this winter where diesel cars were banned from municipal roads in Oslo, the capital. Got a lot of people scared away from buying diesel.

30cents a kWh? That seems crazy expensive for wholesale electricity?

Sorry, it's EUR/MWh: from 50 EUR/MWh to 30 EUR/MWh.

I wonder how many electric cars Norway would have bought if it didn't made that much money selling oil...

The main reason for the many electric cars are the tax incentives. It would certainly been a lot fewer Teslas and more Nissan Leafs or similar cars if it had not been for the oil. The tax incentive came when the Think City line of cars was produced in Norway (starting in the late 90s) and was introduced to establish a market for electric cars. Since very few electric cars was sold, this was not very expensive, and few took electric cars seriously at the time.

Nobody had anticipated Tesla and similar cars, but now a lot of people had electric cars, and then it was politically difficult to remove the tax incentives.

I see what you are saying, but they could have chosen to pump oil and drive guzzlers too. Yet they didn't.

EVs are a status symbol, either of wanting to protect the environment or project your pocket book, often at the same time.

Oslo is basically one big outdoor showroom for Tesla. Four of them passed me while I was waiting for a bus.

And yet, what is a status symbol is a product of the culture.

red herring

Seems like much of the move to electric vehicles in Norway has been driven by tax incentives (vehicle purchase and fuel). Is the strategy to keep ramping up these incentives until the vast majority of cars are electric in 2025 then simply outlaw new ICE sales?

Norway keeps working so hard at building an eco-friendly image.

In reality the oil they pump up from their territory makes them one of the world's most environmentally unfriendly countries (both in absolute numbers and particularly per capita).

Annual CO2 emissions per capita, according to World Bank [1], for 2013 (metric tons), top 51:

     1	Qatar                40.4
     2	Trinidad and Tobago  34.5
     3	Curacao              34.1
     4	Kuwait               27.2
     5	Bahrain              23.6
     6	Sint Maarten         20.8
     7	Brunei Darussalam    18.9
     8	United Arab Emirates 18.7
     9	Luxembourg           18.7
    10	Saudi Arabia         17.9
    11	United States        16.3
    12	Australia            16.3
    13	Oman                 15.6
    14	Gibraltar            15.4
    15	Kazakhstan           15.4
    16	Estonia              15.1
    17	New Caledonia        14.6
    18	Mongolia             14.5
    19	Canada               13.5
    20	Turkmenistan         12.7
    21	Russian Federation   12.4
    22	Faroe Islands        12.3
    23	Korea, Rep.          11.7
    24	Norway               11.7
    25	Palau                10.6
    26	Netherlands          10.1
    27	Greenland            10.0
    28	Japan                 9.7
    29	Czech Republic        9.3
    30	Singapore             9.3
    31	Cayman Islands        9.2
    32	Germany               9.2
    33	South Africa          8.8
    34	Israel                8.8
    35	Aruba                 8.5
    36	Finland               8.5
    37	Belgium               8.3
    38	Bahamas, The          8.2
    39	Libya                 8.1
    40	Malaysia              8.0
    41	Iran, Islamic Rep.    7.9
    42	Poland                7.9
    43	New Zealand           7.6
    44	Ireland               7.6
    45	China                 7.5
    46	Austria               7.3
    47	Seychelles            7.1
    48	United Kingdom        7.1
    49	Slovenia              7.0
    50	Equatorial Guinea     6.7
    51	Denmark               6.7
Total absolute emissions puts Norway at 52.

Carbon intensity [2] for 2011 was the third lowest in Europe among measured countries.

[1] http://databank.worldbank.org/data/reports.aspx?source=2&ser...

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_in...

For some odd reason this does not include their oil extraction.

As a Norwegian, I find it fascinating that Norway has an environmentally friendly image. I wonder how much is the "pristine" fjords, and how much is because of the hydroelectric plants.

Don't forget Thorbjørn Jagland.

Wherever you are writing this, the problem is you buying the oil, not them selling it.

If they didn't extract the oil it would obviously not be burned.

Can someone provide data showing how electric cars reduce emissions overall? Having something like this ready would help when discussing with people who are not sure of the benefits of EVs ("it still uses energy right?").

Charging at night time uses base load, so greater proportion of nuclear power.

Maximum efficieny of a gasoline engine is about 30%, versus 96% for an electric motor, though the battery does have less efficiency.

Electricity generated at a power plant using fossil fuels and steam turbines is more efficient than locally in an engine.

It's cheap to transport electricity over wires. Fuel still needs to be piped and trucked.

So even if your electric car was powered by fossil fuels at the power plant, it's still more efficient.

If one strives to reduce emissions from their EV, it would be better to use a charger at the workplace when plenty of solar energy is available during the day.

You can get chargers that connect to the internet and track the carbon content of your electricity on a minute by minute basis, allowing you to charge when it is best for the grid and for the planet.


"Over their lifetime, battery electric vehicles produce far less global warming pollution than their gasoline counterparts—and they’re getting cleaner."

The also have a tool that has info about specific car models and state by state grid carbon production:


"Electric cars tend to produce less carbon pollution than gas-powered ones—but just how much less? Enter your ZIP code below to see how different types of vehicles stack up in your area. Entering a make, model, and year will narrow results to a specific EV model."

I haven't looked up the figures for you, but a lot of it is based on future decarbonisation of the electricity grid.

Depends on which country you live in of course, but right now in most countries the carbon factors for petrol or diesel will be lower than those for electricity.

Norway is probably an exception to this: it has lots of wind, lots of rivers, and lots of money.

The answer depends on source of electricity.

I live in California and charge my Tesla with electricity from solar. The emission profile will look very different if electricity came from burning coal.

Even in the worst case with coal:

> In coal-fired Colorado, a gasoline car with fuel economy better than 35 miles per gallon will be better for emissions than the average electric car, according to calculations from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Does your gasoline car get better than 35 combined mpg…? Mine doesn't.

And selling 1.6b barrels of oil per day. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_oil_expor...


How many new power plants are planned? Or do many houses have their own photovoltaic.

Optimally, one has a house with 10+KW/H photovoltaic panels at home, an battery storage and an electric car. The battery storage is needed, as one is usually away at work when the sun is shining. And if you deliver the eletricity to the grid provider you get little money, so it would make sense to use the power yourself or store it to power up your car for next day. And of course your employer would need parking lots to power up electric cars.

(what would be not optimal to have huge coal/atomic power plants in the neighbourhood that produce the electricity for your car - then a petrol powered car would make more sense)

And if you own an electric car, do you own the battery pack too? Or do you have lease the power pack for something like 100$ per months plus all the costs electricity to recharge? - I would like to buy an electric car, and want to own the battery myself.

PV in Norway sounds like a bad joke. The northern parts get zero daylight hours for 2 weeks in midwinter.

Not a joke at all. Oslo gets more sun than Hamburg.

Also take a look at the Energibygg: https://translate.google.no/translate?hl=en&sl=no&u=https://...

The problem is that Oslo, like all the Nordics, gets more sun in the summer when it's less necessary, and practically none in the winter when energy is needed.

Norway has so much hydroelectric capacity that it doesn't matter, though.

The nice thing about hydroelectric is that the energy you use from photovoltaics during the summer means you don't have to drain the dams as much during summer, which means you'll have more power in store for winter (unless you've decided to sell it to Europe first). There's also at least one hydroelectric plant in Norway that supports storing energy by pumping water into the basin, although that feature is rarely used.

> Norway has so much hydroelectric capacity that it doesn't matter, though.

We have substantial DC interconnects to countries that have little or no hydro so our prices are no not much different from the rest of Northern Europe. Any excess solar would be sold to Europe just like excess hydro is now. It could also be used to drive pumped storage to ensure that the reservoirs are full for the winter.

Sure, but it tends to be summer in Germany at the same time there's summer in Norway. Pumped storage is a nice thing when the nature allows it, and Norway has plenty of opportunity there.

The centre of population is well, well south of the Arctic Circle. Heck, almost half the population of Norway live in the metro area surrounding Oslo.

Norway has lots of hydroelectric power. A lot of it's exported, though, so using more of it will make the countries that would otherwise use Norwegian hydro use something dirtier instead.

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