Norway in the front line for phasing out petrol and gas fuelled cars

TeslaA Tesla Model S is available for charging.Photo: Tore Meek / NTB scanpix

Norway has pledged to phase out petrol and fossil fuelled cars by 2025, which is earlier than most other European countries. But Arbeiderpartiet (Labour – Ap) and Høyre (Right – H) won’t legislate the proposal.

 

A unanimous parliament had gotten behind the pledge for the ban, with many parties promising that all new passenger cars produced must be emission-free by 2025. This is stated in a survey conducted by the environmental foundation,  Zero.

Norway and the Netherlands are currently the only countries that have pledged to stop the sale of fossil fuel powered cars by 2025. France and England aim for a stoppage of sales by 2040, and Germany by 2030.

Efforts are being made to make the electric car (EV) more attractive to Norwegian car buyers, including reduced tax, and VAT exemptions upon purchasing EVs. This has made Norway the country in the world with the highest percentage of electric car users among the population.

Refusal to legislate

However, H and Ap, Norway’s largest political parties, wouldn’t answer questions of phasing-out fossil fuel powered cars by 2025, although both parties have given support to the target of 100% emission-free new car sales by 2025.

It is symptomatic of Norwegian environmental policy, said acting communications manager at Zero, Per Kristian Sbertoli.

‘Norwegian politicians are happy to come up with very ambitious goals and promises, but when it comes to concrete measures, they become vague. If H and  Ap won’t legislate for emission-free cars by 2025, how is that going to happen? It doesn’t happen all by itself’, he said.

Sbertoli believes Norway now has the opportunity to show the way to other countries.

‘It’s far too late to wait until 2040 to phase out fossil fuel powered cars. If Norway goes ahead and shows that this is possible by the year 2025, it may be important to speed up similar decisions in other countries.

Unnecessary

Høyre’s Tina Bru thinks that legal legislation is unnecessary because the market is already  on its way to an emission-free production of vehicles.

‘Why use the whip when it’s not necessary? It’s possible to adjust policy without banning fossil fuel Powered cars. To get people shifting to the green direction, we can’t  just legislate a ban. We must make it cheaper to choose environmentally friendly vehicles,’ said Bru.

Ap’s Åsmund Aukrust agrees that environmentally friendly cars should be the cheapest. He said that they’ve not rejected the proposal for a statute, but that it is not necessarily the way to go.

‘There is no doubt that Ap’s clear goal, and what all policy has to move toward,  is that all new cars should be fossil fuel-free by 2025. But there are many ways to get there,’ said Aukrust.

Bru pointed out that it’s important to remember that a statute means fossil fuelled cars being banned.

‘I don’t think it’s possible to do it by 2025. Will we find zero-emission fire trucks, and ambulances? As of today there is no technology allowing all vehicles in Norway  creating zero emissions,’ she said.

 

 

© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today

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