The Norwegian Government’s recent commitment to phase out all new fossil fuel vehicle sales by 2025 is the most ambitious in the world.
Research by the Australia Institute’s Nordic Policy Centre shows Norway’s 2025 goal is bolstered by a package of incentives that reduce the upfront and operating costs of electric vehicles. In comparison, Australia lacks a single national incentive and a national electric vehicle strategy.
- Multiple jurisdictions such as Iceland, Sweden and Canada have targets to phase out the sale or use of new fossil fuel vehicles, including 17 national-level governments.
- In November 2020, the United Kingdom brought forward by a decade a ban on the sale of new fossil fuel vehicles to 2030.
- Norway’s goal is the most ambitious in the world. It is aiming for all light vehicles sold, including passenger cars, taxies and lorries, to be zero emissions in the next five years.
- The Norwegian Government offers incentives to purchase electric vehicles including exemption from registration tax and GST, circulation tax reductions, reduced fees for toll roads, ferries and parking, access to bus lanes, and subsidised public charging infrastructure.
- Australia’s lack of a federal electric vehicle strategy and light vehicle emissions standards are impeding electric vehicle uptake in Australia.
- Australia has some of the most high polluting vehicles in the industrialised world, and is the only OECD country with no fuel efficiency standards
“Five years is a small window to completely decarbonise new car sales but with the right policies and incentives in place, Norway is on track to achieving its goal” said Christina Bu, Secretary General of the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association, the largest EV association in the world.
“If Norway can do it, so can Australia. But not without Government support,” Ms Bu said.
“When it comes to electric car ambition, Norway is in pole position with Australia at the back of the pack, struggling to even start its engine. The upcoming electric vehicle strategy is Australia’s opportunity to play catch up, but only if it’s supported by effective policies and incentives” said Richie Merzian, Climate & Energy Program Director at The Australia Institute.
“Transport is the fastest growing sector when it comes to carbon pollution and Australia lacks a single national policy to slow it down. Now that Australia is a car-taker, not a car-maker it’s about time it takes a leaf out of Norway’s book and adopts a sensible policy on electric vehicles,” Mr Merzian said.