Large municipalities not best on electric cars

Postal service mail mailbox empty mailboxesElectrical Postal service vehicle. Photo: Norway Today Media

The largest municipalities are not best on electric cars

An overview of electric cars in Norwegian municipalities shows some unexpected results. The capital is surprisingly far down the list.


Oslo is only sixth in the list of electric car ownership in Norwegian municipalities with more than 30,000 inhabitants. On Top is Asker, followed by Bergen and Bærum. The self proclaimed capital of the west, Bergen, is sensationally high up on the list, says General Secretary of the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association, Christina Bu, which is responsible for the municipal report on electric vehicles.

– I think one important reason is that the electric car benefits really are effective Bergen. You do not have to pay road tolls, as an example. And people have better access to home charging as fewer live in apartments there than in Oslo, she believes.

Quick Chargers are not essential

The overview shows that it is not necessarily the access to quick chargers that is of significance when people choose between electric and fossil car purchases. At the bottom of the list is Gjøvik. The proportion of electric cars is only 1.1 per cent in the Oppland municipality, despite the fact that the possibility of fast chargers is relatively good in the vicinity.

Nordland County has inferior access to fast-chargers than Oppland, but Bodø still lands in 9th place. There are far more charging stations than in Tromsø, which is a much larger municipality. Tromsø is in third but last place.

Bu believes the various electric car benefits are an important incentive for the purchase of electric cars. Bodø got a toll road system in 2015; something Bu believes plays a big role in the high proportion of electric cars there.

– In Gjøvik there are no toll plazas, and that shows that local incentives are important. Local politicians thus have a great deal of power of influence regarding the number of electric cars in a municipality, she says.

Island municipalities at the top

If you look at all the municipalities in Norway, and not just the biggest, there is actually a completely different trio in the top places. Three island communities, to be more precise. Finnøy, Askøy and Averøy throne on top, in descending order. Finnøy, just outside Stavanger, with a little more than 3,000 inhabitants, has a share of 20 percent electric cars.

The fact that the island communities are so high up on on the list is not surprising, Bu says. Ferries have for a long time been free of charge for electric cars.

– The decision by the Parliament has been that the national ferries are to be free of charge for electric cars, and therefore it has been the norm that the county ferries have followed suit, but that is now changing, explains Bu.

She warns against believing that electric car sales now are self propelled and that the electric cars can compete on their own.

– Norway has an ambitious goal of stopping the sale of fossil cars by 2025, and we can not rest in that development. We must work hard to achieve the goal, even locally, says Bu.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today