Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Tesla Model 3 accounted for over 12% of Norwegian auto market in Jan-July (cleantechnica.com)
126 points by rawland 36 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 96 comments

It's depressing looking at the other EVs on that list. Where's my electric BMW 3 series?

Over the last decade people have been quite rightly pointing out that Tesla are in trouble because sticking some batteries and electric engines into a car isn't actually crazy difficult and all Tesla's production problems will kill it in competition with real car manufacturers. Yet somehow that just hasn't happened at all. The people who talked about the inability of large incumbents to react were dead right.

I'm still bearish on Tesla - I think they've pumped their share price with false claims about self-driving, but they have really dominated electric vehicles.

I'm actually bullish on Tesla because what I see is a couple of very high risk investments actually starting to deliver on their promises against what 'sane' investors have been saying was not possible. You might actually consider Tesla's stock undervalued if you believe that Tesla still has a few high risk investments left that are about to start paying off.

IMHO their investments in solar are problematic but also not without merit if they manage to turn this around. It's a huge growing market and they seem to have some interesting products and ideas to reduce cost.

Their acquisition of Maxwell is looking like it might give them another competitive edge with batteries with a feasible path to 400g/kwh and beyond. IMHO that's is going to give them a huge edge for the next decade where most of their competitors do not have access to in house battery designs or production capacity.

They have a giga factory coming online soon (China) to address supply issues. Model y, the truck, and pickup truck coming to the market soonish and are already generating plenty of hype.

Then there's the powerwall situation and the notion that lots of energy companies are discovering that they love owning batteries.

Even the self driving car thing might still work out. I hear people claiming that this is impossible. But I'm actually more and more convinced that self driving cars are happening sooner rather than later. Maybe it's not going to be all that it is hyped up to be right away but even level 4 autonomy is going to be pretty nice.

All these things are sucking up a lot of investment money and it is obviously a risky investment. But their track record of eventually delivering working stuff is not completely horrible.

I'm actually thinking the opposite.

Tesla strategy was to put the first desirable electrical car on the market, which they succeed at doing.

The strategy of most traditional manufacturers is very different. They want to make the most profitable car. And it seems like no EV will be as profitable as ICE vehicles until batteries will be more or less price competitive with ICE.

I'm pretty sure that their target is to release an EV when batteries will be so cheap that it wouldn't make sense to buy an ICE car anymore. And this is not yet the case, as it will most probably happen in the early 2020s. Before that time, any manufactured EV has a pretty high opportunity cost compared to an ICE car. e.g. BMW still makes a such high margin (almost 10%) on ICE cars that selling unprofitable EV just does not make sense from a business standpoint.

The model 3 is estimated to have a 30% gross margin [1]. So it seems incorrect to say that the traditional manufacturers are waiting for battery prices to fall, as it’s clearly possible to build a high margin EV today.

[1] https://jalopnik.com/engineering-firm-that-said-tesla-model-...

It's profitable is you remove management, R&D, supercharger and sales costs. Which is like saying that Uber is profitable if it's not for driver compensations.

no that's non sense. R&D is a huge fixed upfront cost while Uber's drivers are an ongoing cost that scales linearly. Just like Intel (huge upfront cost to design chips) VS Victoria's Secret , the former has unlimited upside, the latter doesn't and cost scales linearly.

in the car industry where R&D is largely incremental this doesn't really apply. the research costs in the automotive industry aren't fixed, it's billions after billions year after year to stay competitive, it's not like you build the car platform and then infinite cars start rolling off the conveyor belt. Which is why large car companies don't have the margins of facebook and why many of them are a hundred years old rather than ten like your average software company.

Which is why I said gross margin. And isn’t the point that traditional manufacturers like BMW are also going to have to invest in similar levels of R&D, superchargers, and sales cost? Except they’re 10 years behind.

An important difference: Tesla can produce all their own batteries, and none of the competitors are even close to Tesla's production levels. So Tesla gets better batteries for cheaper.

Panasonic actually makes all of Tesla's batteries currently.

Panasonic makes the battery cells. Tesla builds them into the battery pack that goes into the final products. And this happens under the same roof, and the cell design is a joint venture. Tesla's battery cell manufacturing far from a black-box process where Tesla wrote a check and a third party delivers battery cells with no other involvement.

It’s a partnership right? Not the same as calling up a batter vender in the phone and asking for wholesale price.

>The model 3 is estimated to have a 30% gross margin

And yet Tesla is always on the verge of shutting down due to lack of funds, so the gross margin doesn't tell the whole story...

Tesla has $4B in the bank and their debt levels are tiny compared to VW, Toyota and Ford.

2018 VW made a profit of about 17.7 billion Euro while Tesla lost ~1 billion dollars. Comparing debt alone is a very stupid metric.

That’s non-GAAP. Google says VW 2018 profit was actually. €13.92 billion, on revenue of €235 billion.

Most of that difference was due to €3 billion in fines for lying about the level of toxic emissions of their Diesel engines.

Apparently they feel like that shouldn’t fully count against them in their annual report. [1] Maybe a company which has demonstrated it is willing to commit fraud to coverup its level of pollution shouldn’t be able to call the fines “one-time” charges, since the likelihood of recidivism is high.

VW shipped 10.8 million vehicles to Tesla’s 245k. So to be sure, Tesla is currently about 2% the size of VW.

[1] - https://annualreport2018.volkswagenag.com/

And if sales halved? 2008 took out 2 of the big 3; which companies would a similar recession in 2020 take out? Tesla would be vulnerable, but far from alone.

I was talking to a big wig at Ford the other day, without too much detail, he works on their EV program. He admitted they are behind and Tesla is actually way ahead of the competition in many areas.

It _is_ difficult to put a battery and electric engines in a car and they've run into difficulties. Though it sounds like they're on their way to putting out a decent EV, and he thinks they and others will eventually catch up.

He also thinks Telsa will ultimately be killed by Chinese battery manufactures, which I thought was interesting.

Did he say what areas Tesla was ahead in?

The established car manufacturers are too highly optimized for their specific suppliers. Over many decades an internal culture appears within these companies that immunizes against heavy risks. This is done by (unconsciously) selecting for certain personality traits in upper management and by forming certain specific ties to the first and secondary surroundings of the company.

In short: companies petrify around local optima given time.

I think people really underestimate the engineering and manufacturing that goes into an electric car. Tesla got the jump, and now they're ahead of the competition.

For example, the gigfactory is the world largest car battery manufacturer by a factor of 2. That's a massive and slow investment any competitor needs to make to sell EVs in volume.

And making an EV is not trivial. Let's compare the Tesla model 3 and Nissan leaf 2, which are in the same price range:

- Tesla has better range.

- Tesla is the faster car.

- Tesla has much faster charging.

None of these things are revolutionary, but taken together it's clear to the consumer that Tesla is further ahead than the competition. I'm not going to buy a slower, less efficient car for the same amount of money.

Edit: formatting


- Tesla has a working fast charging infrastructure

- Tesla has the better AP

Also, the Model 3 is a desirable, attractive car and something of a status symbol. The Nissan Leaf 2 looks like an appliance in comparison.

"quite rightly", "sticking some batteries"... Its fascinating that you do realize that the people who disagree with you have been right, and yet you're not updating your model. Look up Sandy Munro, a car guy's car guy, talking about his teardown of the model 3[1], or even just focus on his comment about the superbottle, and perhaps you'll get a better sense of why nobody has matched the 2012 Model S yet, nevermind the 2019 one.

[1]: https://cleantechnica.com/2019/04/06/auto-industry-expert-in...

You have to consider that if a car becomes attractive only after a country removes the 25% VAT on it and then taxes competing products (ICE) up to 100% then the business model of the classic manufacturers still very much makes sense everywhere else in the world where this isn’t the case.

So depending on how you pick and choose the data you want to consider you can paint absolutely any picture you want.

What’s your personal take on why people would go for other new cars that don’t match even a 7 year old model but cost the same(ish)?

I think he is just too sensational. Is this guy doing actual engineering?

From whomever I talked, I hear the same: Tesla's engineering leaves mixed impressions.

One can say that the range is definitely good - Tesla scores very high in getting most range out of kw/h. But things like poor metalworking would be a recall worthy flaw for every other automaker.

For the interior, Model S feels way too American. Compare its interior and an actual luxury car, like a maxed out Benz S600.

Its engineering in overall is nothing groundbreaking, and saying that EVs are way more straightforward to engineer is true. Telsa just stands out as one EV maker that didn't make some "showstopper" omissions, unlike almost every other competitor.

Chinese and Japanese EVs are dead on arrival in US because most of them are really small for Americans... If an American buys an expensive car, it will most likely be a BIG car.

Poor driveabiliy chases other competitors. There are simply not so many makers with experience making 2.5t+ full sized sedans, nor compact car makers which can make a compact car suspension not to croak under 1.7t+ curb weight.

NIO for examples despite making a quite marketable SUV for China was delayed launch for 2 years because their first attempt at making SUV got so much bad reviews from test drivers, that they had to near completely redesign the body and suspension twice. Reportedly, after finding out that live axle is a completely inadequate for a 2t+ vehicle, and that unibody design can't handle the weight of a battery pack.

Leaf had both tiny battery, poor chemistry, and poor thermals.

Bolt - all bad things you normally expect from a US car maker other than Ford.

And so on.

Mind substantiating the whole "recall worthy metalworking" claim? First I hear of it. Are you sure it's up to date?

All these flaws you talk about on other cars are not accidents. Everyone is running up against the same fundamental tradeoffs, and only one company has done the insane optimization of everything to get to the other side. It's not a matter of just deciding to do so. The nio example you mention for instance, Tesla famously was initially planning to use the lotus Elise body for the roadster, but ultimately had to redesign essentially every part to get to production, since the weight changes invalidated all the assumptions of the original.

Yes, they're not the best at every single thing. But producing the safest car ever for a newcomer is pretty nuts. Producing the most efficient electric car ever is pretty nuts. Producing the best OTA story ever is nuts. Producing the most advanced driver assist feature is pretty nuts. Doing all these things together requires explanation. It can't just be "oh, the others just made bad choices".


> It can't just be "oh, the others just made bad choices".

I'm afraid this is exactly what it is.

When the team works from a bigger setup of existing auto company, they will be held back on most expensive, but necessary design decisions.

In from-scratch EV companies, on other hand, lack of experience in everything else, and lack of manufacturing resources, is usually the origin of failure.

All big misses in EVs in recent years were conventional auto makers making silly stupid mistakes in electric drive trains, and "from scratch" EV makers making cars that are either unmanufacturable, or undriveable.

Leaf Plus is showing some promise.

Not cooling their battery is a showstopper in my opinion. Great car otherwise.

This a testbook examples of things not being "though through" and "MBA driven development."

Air cooling alone can be fine if battery chemistry is stable enough (lifepo.)

Using a novel battery chemistry in production with highly controlled settings is also fine enough.

Parachuting "big name management specialists" into an engineering project mid-way, and putting novel chemistry battery into an assembly specially designed with LiFePO cells in mind to send a PR signal of how "sophisticated you are," is not fine at all, and is a recipe for disaster.

Anyone who says that an electric car is just some batteries and an electric engine should read about the massive, complicated supply chains necessary to build cars at scale. Throw in regulations and taxation issues - which are different in virtually every market - and you have a huge operational nightmare.

It's one thing to build a car in your garage by sourcing parts from around the world, and another to build 1M cars in a giant factory

If it were about supply chains, Apple would do it.

Your average iPhone uses nowhere near as many parts and partners as even a mid-range car.

Plus, the iPhone doesn't have to go through rigorous crash testing, pass environmental regulations, and deal with entrenched lobbies.

The automobile industry is over a hundred years old. There are deeply entrenched players, unions, etc. that Apple would never want to deal with. Besides, profit margins on cars tend to be crappy, at least for anything with any mass appeal

Cars are hugely complex, regulated, expensive, relatively low-margin products. Many parts are outsourced to subcontractor firms. So a lot of manufacturer success actually does come to supply chain management.

If the rumours are true Apple tried.

That is true, albeit it's slowly changing. I recently drove the VW eGolf and it was a really nice experience. I also drove the Model 3 which has better range and is faster, but also more expensive. I prefer the interior quality of the Golf though. There are also alternatives from the Japanese companies.

I think the reason is rather the immense popularity and hype around Tesla that makes it the number one choice for most people that have money and want an EV.

I think Tesla needs even cheaper/smaller model. 3 is pretty big and expensive for majority of Europeans, especially with little incentives.

Do they, though? Won't that problem fix itself with ever decreasing battery costs and a European manufacturing plant? A 35k € base model 3 would be a tremendous improvement.

Next year will be a big year for EV where loads of new electric models will be available in the EU. Tesla will probably still dominate, I think they’ll mostly take market share from gasoline models.

In the same comment you say you're bearish and yet admit they have a massive EV tech lead over BMW and the ICE feet draggers. The reality is those companies make money off fossil fuel drivetrains, and Tesla makes money off battery drivetrains, so even if FSD doesn't deliver Tesla simply continues to make way more efficient cars with a much better charging network.

For Norwegians currently looking for an electric car, it's a no-brainer. It's slightly more expensive than the Nissan Leaf 2 that has similar range, but you also get the option of a tow hitch, and the driving experience is in a different league. Plus access to supercharger network that actually works and doesn't require fifteen minutes of fiddling every time.

My parents just bought one in spite of having initially dismissed it as likely too expensive. Turned out to be perfectly competitive with everything that's comparable in range and features, and a much better user experience overall. We'll see how the service and reliability turns out, that's the only wildcard I can think of.

Can you expand on a few of your comments. I have an older Leaf in Japan and I've never seen a Model 3 before, so I'm curious about the difference.

- "the driving experience is in a different league". In what way? I was surprised at how much I enjoy driving the leaf (except for very poor turning radius, which I can't quite understand). What's better in the Model 3?

- "doesn't require fifteen minutes of fiddling every time". What does that mean? I don't have trouble charging my Leaf. Is that something specific about the supercharger network (which isn't in Japan), or are you referring to something else?

Not OP, but..

The superchargers just work. Arrive, plug in, it's charging.

Other fast chargers are often much more cumbersome, requiring you to installing an app, registering an RFID tag, adding your credit card, etc. I've 6 different apps installed on my phone for different charging networks here in Norway, and 2-3 RFID tags in my car.

Many of them are also unstable, or have terrible UX and weird quirks. If you need to make a seven minute video[1] to explain how to use it, you're doing it wrong..

It's getting better though, software is improving, growing pains handled. A future CCS revision (the most used charge plug in Europe) will include "plug&charge" with payment handled by the car - making it more super charger like.

[1]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLe5jvx0NkI

Really interesting. In Japan, the navigation unit on the Leaf has all of the charging stations built in. Then you plug it in and put your charging card on the proximity sensor (well, you have to push a button 3 times as well). But that's it. I think that's probably the advantage of owning the charging infrastructure. I'm very much wondering how the landscape will change once Toyota enters the fray (which I think it later this year if I'm not mistaken).

I own a Model 3 Performance. I have owned a lot of muscle cars and legitimate sports cars that cost a lot more than the Model 3 over the years. I could have comfortably bought a Model S with the best performance package (costing twice as much and going a bit faster than M3 Performance), but I picked the Model 3. It is hands down the best performance car I have ever owned for day to day driving. There is little difference between my Model 3 and the base level ones in terms of drive feel. They are amazing cars for day to day driving scenarios. When a car is just more fun to drive than high end Porsche or tricked out muscle cars it’s just a good car. Model 3 has its warts, but they don’t really impact the driving experience IMO.

Not the parent comment, but having driven the model S, X, and 3 (and decided against buying for reasons completely unrelated to the cars themselves), I can probably offer the following insight:

The center of gravity for a tesla, regardless of model, is absurdly low. The end result of this is that driving one feels like the car's running on rails, even with the tightest turns. Couple that with the use of electric motors with instant torque (providing likely north of 750 hp/torque with the model S), you've got a car which gives you options.

You can race it around and drive like a jerk, sure. But even as a civilized driver, the capability to do almost anything with the car is an enabling factor.


Don't get me wrong; you can get this from a few other electric cars (the Jag i-Pace comes to mind). But that's probably the advantage the Model 3 has over others; it can maintain the driving dynamics/experience against competition a few Toyota Camrys more expensive.

Keep in mind that I don't own any of these cars (or any car). I am not a car guy. I have spent many hours in first-generation Leafs and a couple in Leaf 2 & Model 3, mostly through my local micro-rental service. You really should try this out for yourself :)

Not being a car guy, it's hard to explain, sort of like the difference between Android and iOS, or even more uncannily, between iPhone 7 and iPhone X, which shouldn't feel so different but do. It's like there's many small details that are below the threshold of perception which come together to make it an overall pleasurable experience.

The Leaf is fun to drive. The Leaf 2 is also fun, both feel like completely ordinary cars. Perfectly good driving experience. Preferable to gasoline cars, I would say. But the Tesla 3 is even more fun to drive, and feels like a more luxurious and relaxed experience, with many annoyances that you didn't know you cared about, removed.

Just to list some that are obvious: Nissan are terrible at software and UX. The screen reacts slowly, with low FPS, does counterintuitive things and is confusing. The gear indicator light cannot be read in direct sunlight. The motor makes a high-frequency sound when accelerating, even from a standstill. The charge lid must be closed manually if you open it by mistake. The instrument panel is cluttered and unintentionally visually stressful, in the way almost all cars' are. Handling is subtly less pleasant in all conditions. Acceleration is not as powerful, and somehow feels less controlled and more jerky, even at low speeds.

Contrasting with the Tesla: Regenerative breaking when letting up the gas feels more subtle. Suspension feels less wobbly. The accelerator doesn't cause a jerking feeling unless you want it to. Can get you up to the required speed faster than you'll know how to make use of, unless you've deliberately practiced that kind of performance driving. The screen software is more intuitive. Has high FPS, reacts instantly. Visually much more peaceful, minimalistic, beautiful. Ditto for the interior design. Speed indicator manages to be at the exact correct spot in your field of view, somehow encouraging you to look out the front window more and keep attention on the road. The panoramic glass roof is just so peaceful if you stop somewhere to enjoy the scenery.

There's stuff to be annoyed at with the Tesla too, there's room for improvement many places. The collision avoidance warnings in particular felt too loose to me, and the sometimes-inconsistent placement and interpretation of the traffic around you on the display doesn't inspire confidence wrt. self-driving. (Although, the fact that it's there at all is pretty cool though, it's fascinating to see the streaming output of a neural network vision system in a real product. It's obvious that Tesla is building this system from real-world usage data and the progress will be fascinating to follow).

Overall, it's a much more pleasant experience, IMHO. I recommend you get a couple of hours to test-drive and see if you agree, or if I'm just caught up with a weird case of the fanboyism.

pi-rat explained my comments about charging while on the road better than I could. The key point is terrible and inconsistent user experience among other vendors. And I've seen examples of people plain being unable to charge at the single charger that's available. Not a fun thing to worry about when 40 miles from home at low battery.

Thanks for the info! Unfortunately I've never seen any sort of Tesla in Japan anywhere. Maybe next time I go to the UK I'll see if I can rent one for a while.

A couple of quick points: the high pitched whine of the Leaf is actually a recording. It's legal requirement of all electric vehicles in Japan. All Japanese cars have exactly the same sound when accelerating, no matter what the make or model.

I've never had any trouble with the gear indicator light. But then, there are only 2 gears :-) Forward and Backward (and it beeps when you are going backward), so I'm not sure I've ever looked. I've also never had any of the problems that you describe with the navigation screen. However, I'm pretty sure that the Japanese version of the software is totally different. I've seen videos of US versions of the navigation unit and I don't recognise it at all. It seems a shame. The biggest problem I have with the Japanese software is that adding way-points to your journey is insanely confusing. But other than that, I don't have any complaints at all. Especially, I have never noticed any issues with FPS.

The charging infrastructure in Japan is all controlled by Nissan and Mitsubishi (joint venture) and it is incredibly good. There are none of the issue that it sounds like exist in the US. Controlling the charging infrastructure seems like it's going to be a very important battleground, so Tesla seems to definitely have the upper hand there. I'm curious to see what Toyota does when they roll out their all EV cars (which should be soon, I think... possibly at the end of this year???)

I was speaking to a Norwegian friend last night and she confirmed it. There are so many incentives like paying less/no vehicle tax and yeah, they are 100% hydroelectric so they are perfect place. Might have to move there!

The Teslas are not more affordable there than in the US, they're just less of a bad option - petrol cars are taxed so heavily in the Nordics that it makes an electric a good value for money. You're still better off in the US though, where electric costs the same, but you have an option of reasonably priced petrol cars.

Nordics is actually too general. Denmark and Norway do this, Sweden does not.

(Guess which one has a car industry)

Denmark also taxes vehicles heaviest of all, with no relief for EVs.

Well that’s good that they’re racing petrol cars and I applaud them for doing it. They’re wealthy enough to be able to afford it. It’s what’s necessary to move away from carbon.

> It’s what’s necessary to move away from carbon.

You hear that a lot and yet the second someone poses the hypothetical question of whether everything should be taxed according to its actual “carbon lifecycle”# (and perhaps even beyond carbon) you usually get a “weelll... buuuuttt...”.

#That [whatever] that came on the most polluting cargo ship humans could build? Add $xxx to the price tag.

I gather you are referring to the oft-quoted stat about the cargo ship being "more polluting" than so many millions of cars? That is referring specifically to SOx I believe. It definitely is not referring to carbon emissions. Container ships have the lowest gCO2/(km*kg)

It was more generic than that (see mention of beyond carbon). Otherwise we’d still be heavily promoting diesel as the clean alternative to gasoline. The cargo ship was just something to exemplify the point of taxing for destroying the environment. You’re free to pick any example you feel suits better and the principle will still apply.

I'm all in favour of carbon tax to reduce emissions. They would result in pressure for electric vehicles of all sorts, improve the economics for renewable electricity, maybe increase funding availability for carbon capture research. Cargo ships would likely stay the same for a long time in the future (but might implement fuel reduction techniques that are at a lower TRL (thinking specifically of a long lead parasail/kite that I read about a couple years back)

It makes cars less affordable for everybody. Not everyone lives in an area with good (or any) public transport.

This is effectively a very heavy tax to "save the planet", which won't have much of an effect (Norway is too small to have any impact on global CO2 emissions), except for Norwegians having to work more in order to pay off this tax.

Unfortunately, you don’t have the option of not breathing in the exhaust of everyone else’s petrol cars.

1. 100% taxes on petrol cars

2. no VAT on electric cars

3. average income of $3500 in Oslo, one of the highest in the EU

4. total population of 5 million, less than Denmark, less than the city of Hong Kong

considering these facts i would say it is a bit surprising they didn't sell more than they did. but still great to see those number.

On point 3: Norway isn't in the EU.

On point 4: what does the population have to do with it? If they had a population of 50 million, would that negate points 1-3 in some way? Another way of describing their population might be, "roughly the same size as the average US state".

Looks like a quite different car market. The first 3-row SUV is the Mitsubishi Outlander in 6th place. The market looks like mostly compact sedans and compact/subcompact SUVs. There is a lack of pickups and mid/large SUVs.

From other sources, it appears that the VW Transporter/Caravelle and the VW Caddy both sell in volumes that would put them in the middle of the list. So there may be a difference in how light vehicles are classified between the US and Norway. https://www.statista.com/statistics/731767/number-of-sold-va...

Different than North America maybe. Not different from most of Europe.

With the price of fuel in Norway, it's not surprising to see people turning towards EV.

It's mostly taxes, EV cars have no extra tax which makes them cheaper than petrol cars which often have 100% tax added to their price, which is not really the case in most other countries.

True, also there is no VAT (which is 25%) on EV cars, and it used to be free to drive on toll roads (this year we have to pay, but much less than the petrol cars). Also, we can drive in the bus/taxi lanes.

One can only imagine this will change once EVs will start making financial dent. In many European countries there is ridiciolous rule to tax your new car based on the size of ICE. Its for example 2.5% for less than 2000ccm, and can be 18% or more if your engine is bgger than 1999ccm. This for decades was the main reason why all the 1.2, 1.4, 1.6 and 1.8 litre cars were so popular. This and highly tax gas can make for good argument for EVs. However one has to be naive not to think eventually with enough share market both EV cars and charging your car battery will be taxed thru the roof similar to how petrol is taxed. The value of EVs will get regulated downwards then of course. We also have so much oil left in Earth it will be sufficient to power cars for another 30 years.

> ridiculous rule to tax your new car based on the size of ICE

Not ridiculous at all when thinking of the environment or having cars that are friendly towards cyclists and pedestrians.

This taxation is why European cars gets so much better mileage than US cars.

regarding environment, the difference between 1999ccm and 2000ccm engine size is non existant.

You're absolutely right about the financial aspect. Once EVs hit a certain percentage of vehicles on the road, governments are going to notice that their tax revenue from gas powered cars will be in freefall due to loss of VAT on new vehicle sales as well as dropping fuel revenues.

At that point they'll definitely reinstate VAT for electric cars, and possibly levy a tax on public chargers based on how much electricity you use.

Surprising. Most oil-producing countries have dirt-cheap domestic fuel prices.

Norway is more forward thinking than most countries.

They know that oil is not going to make their country rich forever.

But domestic fuel is not cheap here (Norway). Petrol is nearly USD 2/litre, close to USD 8 per US gallon.

Electricity is slightly cheaper than some other European countries but that is changing as more and more HVDC interconnects are built and the prices are affected by the market.

It's actually interesting that there's no major American car in that list. Not even Bolt or Volt. :-/ Might not be much of a signal, but might be that the big 3 have really missed the road on EV.

A car sold today is more likely than not to still be on the road in 2030. Meeting our 2030 goals would be a lot easier if the majority of cars sold this year were zero-emissions world-wide.

In the UK company car market, Tesla 3 seems be making a smash for similar reasons - a friend currently pays almost 6k in tax on their car - but is changing their fleet to Tesla's - and that 6k cost vanishes for same price to the company - effectively a 6k salary hike.

That will make a huge difference if marketed right.

Tesla sales in Norway are down quarter over quarter. See http://eu-evs.com.

I do wonder how the electrical grid in Norway is going to hold up to the massive increase in demand that EV charging will cause.

We're handling it with smart grids and variable pricing.

My power company has a GraphQL API[1] where I can read my current consumption (5 second resolution), they also offer up the current price, including an indicator of the price level compared to how they see the rest of the day (CHEAP, NORMAL, EXPENSIVE).

All houses/apartments in Norway got new smart power meters installed the last couple of years. They standardized on a data interface (a bus you can connect to using a RJ45 plug), so you can access your own data if you don't want to go via your power companies API.

There are EV chargers[2] and other appliances (Heat pumps/ACs) that can react to this price indicator, charging your car when power is cheapest.

It will also load balance based on how much the rest of your house is using, they're moving towards an "wattage" fee here, to avoid massive loads at peak hours. If you get near the limit, the car charger can slow down.

Here's some images of what their app gives me[3]. It's easy to pull their data into home automation systems, here's mine[4].

You can do pretty smart stuff like: Charge my car when it's cheap, but it must be ready by 07:00.

Public parking garages with hundreds of chargers install battery banks to even out the load. See a video tour of one of them[5].

[1]: https://developer.tibber.com/docs/guides/calling-api

[2]: https://norge.tibber.com/products/easee/

[3]: https://imgur.com/a/RYYqcjY

[4]: https://imgur.com/a/8ef0jck

[5]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktNKWLwjQJM

In NZ they recon that electrifying the entire vehicle fleet will only add about 25% demand to the grid, this is somewhat mitigated by the vehicles charging mostly off-peak and when hooked up to a smart meter would actually feed electricity back into the grid when required making the grid more efficient.

This is the future, a vast fleet of mobile batteries that smooth out the grid enabling renewables that only work when the sun shines or the air moves to supply all the electricity we need.

People also overlook the costs of refining petrol and getting it distributed preferring to stress out about how on earth are we going to charge every car. This latter point is quite simple albeit requiring infrastructure. Lamp-posts are charging points in the making as are car parks. We dug up the roads to put in broadband internet quite recently, it is for the politicians to rig the market for EV cars and charge points so that there is a similar roll out.

Norway is in a great position, they're world leaders in hydro and their geography makes that a great source of energy. In 2015 Norway's Hydro-electric generation accounted for 95.8% of it's electricity generation. Norway accounts for half of Europe's entire hydro reservoir capacity. Meanwhile if demand rises they can also import electricity via the North Sea wind power hub, or from Sweden.

That's one of the great things about electric cars in Norway - you're actually going to get electricity from renewable sources.

> That's one of the great things about electric cars in Norway - you're actually going to get electricity from renewable sources.

This is true in a way, but only part of the picture. While virtually all the electricity that is produced in Norway does come from renewable sources, Norwegian energy producers sell a lot of their “guarantees of origin”[1] to energy companies in other European countries, who are then in turn allowed to market their energy as renewable. You can think of these as a kind of “virtual export”: Norway sells its energy to the rest of the continent and receives the “European Attribute Mix” in return. Since it would be pointless and inefficient to physically transfer this energy, virtual certificates are traded instead.

Because of this, the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate declares the energy consumed in Norway as being 58% fossil, 33% nuclear, and only 9% renewable[2], but Norwegian politicians and energy companies tend to forget this and prefer to emphasise the point that 98% of all energy produced in the country is renewable. Both claims are true, but somewhere someone is getting screwed over.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guarantee_of_origin [2] https://www.nve.no/energiforsyning/varedeklarasjon/nasjonal-... (in Norwegian)

What is the ecological impact of hydro there? In the US PNW we seem to be taking out hydro due to fish rather than putting in new dams, although I haven't followed it closely

Building damns have a huge impact and there have been many fights over them as in Alta [1]. They also have a large CO2 cost [2] when being built as it requires massive amounts of concrete.

However they are now built and there is still plenty of capacity so there have been no new major ones built for a long time.

There are some smaller privately owned ones being built but not on a big scale.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alta_Hydroelectric_Power_Stati...

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

Not all that massive: 6% increase if all cars and vans (excluding e.g. big rigs and tractors) go electric, according to the Norwegian national grid institute[1] (in Norwegian). Some local grids will need an upgrade, but the national transmission and distribution grid can handle it if 'smart' charging solutions shift the bulk of the charging to happen at night and other low-demand periods.

Norway uses a lot of electricity even without EVs, so it's not a very large increase percentage wise. E.g. we don't have gas pipes to homes like some places in the USA, so stoves are all electric and a lot of heating is electric as well.

[1] https://www.nve.no/nytt-fra-nve/nyheter-energi/stromnettet-e...

I'm waiting for a reliable long range battery vehicle. Most vehicles in Indian market have to replace batteries in 5yrs.

Didn’t the Hyundai Kona launch recently in India? I’m super happy with mine here in Norway. Comes with a 8 year battery warranty here. Easily does over 500 km per charge on Norwegian roads.

It did. But the issue is the price. It costs equal to an entry level Mercedes or Audi

I still feel that only EV is not the answer. You have also get the electricity somewhere so some investment in modern nucler power plants and fusion would be even better then just blindly pushing EVs.

To get to zero carbon emissions we'll need both zero carbon transportation and zero carbon electricity. $100B's are being invested in zero carbon electricity, so your suggestion that EVs are taking away from that are mistaken.

As for nuclear, the US and Europe have been unable to build plants that do not go 3x+ over budget and time.

Even if you get the electricity from burning fossil fuels it is a win because electric cars are a LOT more efficient, and it's more efficient to generate electricity from a single, large generator than by shipping fuel to gas stations and powering many small ICE engines.


Plus, as a Model 3 owner, it's really great car.

Chickens and eggs?

Perhaps in an ideal world, pushing demand for electrical power is how we would get to investing in clean electricity generation.

The electricity produced in Norway is 95% hydroelectric, so it makes all the sense to push EVs there.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact