Why Teslas in Norway are a Sign of Good Government Policy

Sydney White – Mr. Aparicio – Afternoon Summer School – Honorbound

With global temperatures rapidly increasing, ice caps melting, and sea levels rising due to climate change, many countries around the world have made an effort in going green. One country that appears to go above and beyond accomplishing this task is Norway, whose “top three sources of energy are “hydroelectric, geothermal and wind,”[1] with 99 percent of its power being hydroelectric.[2] It’s no big surprise then that so many Telsas are a common sight to see on the roads of Oslo. In March of 2014, Tesla moved over 1,500 Tesla Model S cars to Norway, which is “not just more cars than any other [brand] sold in the country in one month, that’s the most cars sold in one month in Norway, ever.”[3] Why all these Tesla’s? Even though “Norway is a pretty wealthy country, relatively speaking, and it values its reputation as an environmentally friendly country,”[4] a Model S has a base price of around 70,000 dollars in the United States, so they are by no means cheap. However, if you were a government seeking to reduce your country’s carbon emissions, what would you do? One word: incentivize. This is the key to why there are so many of these electric cars in Norway. To start, the government offers huge subsides to those who buy electric cars, as well as numerous perks, like waived annul registration fees, access to less congested traffic lanes, free parking, exemption from heavy tax sales, access to the numerous free charging stations found all around Norway, and even an income-tax reduction. [5] The government is able to pay for all these things thanks to something called their sovereign wealth fund, which is worth almost a trillion dollars. With this money, Norway is able to fund all the subsidies for electric cars. The irony of this fund, however, is that most of its money comes from fossil fuels like oil. Norway has lots of natural resources, which it excavates then sells to other countries. It then takes the revenue made from selling these fossil fuels and puts it into the sovereign wealth fund, which in then funneled into subsides for electric cars. [6]

The thousands of Teslas, and on a bigger scale, the thousands of electric cars that are so popular in Norway, are an example of great government policy at work, because it heavily incentivizes people to buy green cars. However, most of it is made possible from the money earned from oil. So while Norway may not be the greatest role model when it comes to being eco-frinedly, we can definitely learn a thing or two from them when it comes to government policy.

 

 

 

[1] “Countries with 100% renewable energy.” Make Wealth History. July 25, 2016. Accessed June 24, 2017.

https://makewealthhistory.org/2012/07/09/countries-with-100-renewable-energy/.

[2] Johnny Harris, “Why Norway is full of Teslas,” YouTube video, 7:09, posted by “Vox,” June 9,

2017,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSjYra7cYqY

[3] Ballaban, Michael. “Here’s Why The Tesla Model S Is The #1 Selling Car In Norway.” Jalopnik. October 27,

  1. Accessed June 24, 2017. http://jalopnik.com/heres-why-the-tesla-model-s-is-the-1-selling-car-in-no-1651261025.

[4] Ballaban, Michael. “Here’s Why The Tesla Model S Is The #1 Selling Car In Norway.” Jalopnik. October 27,

  1. Accessed June 24, 2017. http://jalopnik.com/heres-why-the-tesla-model-s-is-the-1-selling-car-in-no-1651261025.

[5] Johnny Harris, “Why Norway is full of Teslas,” YouTube video, 7:09, posted by “Vox,” June 9,

2017,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSjYra7cYqY

[6] Johnny Harris, “Why Norway is full of Teslas,” YouTube video, 7:09, posted by “Vox,” June 9,

2017,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSjYra7cYqY

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