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What India can learn from Norway’s electric vehicle policies?

Norway’s electric vehicle policies

India has an ambitious target to sell only electric cars by 2030. This target is ambitious and bold, because, Norway, which was one of the early adopters of electrification of vehicles, starting in the late 90s and boasts of a robust infrastructure to support e-vehicles, has a target just five years short of India’s 2030 vision.

What do Norway’s electric vehicle policies mean?

Norway’s electric vehicle policies

Norway’s Government, in the form of tax incentives and other benefits, harmonious public-private partnership for building and maintenance of charging infrastructure. The citizens also seem to have played a key role by being more environmentally conscious. Surveys suggest that Norwegians do not mind polluting vehicles being heavily taxed or being curtailed from plying especially on days when there is a spike in pollution levels.

Indo-Norway bond-

Norway’s electric vehicle policies

Norway’s Climate Minister Vidar Helgesen said that the country was willing to collaborate with India and handhold it, as India of over a billion tries to make the shift to electric mobility.

“Norway is certainly willing to share its experience and to look at ways in which it can collaborate on this,” Helgesen said.

Current Situation of India-

Norway’s electric vehicle policies

Charging infrastructure in India at the present time is very poor. Earlier this year, in Mumbai,  Tata Power launched a commercial EV charging station. Tata has also, in fact, engaged in talks with a Norwegian company that builds charging infrastructure.
State-run NTPC, earlier this year has installed two charging stations for EVs in Delhi and has said that it has plans to install 20 more.

India’s Car-market-

Norway’s electric vehicle policies

In India, Mahindra is the only carmaker that sells electric cars right now and it recently said that it will have three new offerings by 2020, apart from the two cars it already has.
While Tata Motors too has hopped on the e-vehicle bandwagon although they are not commercially selling yet. Earlier this month, the company rolled out the first batch of Tata Motors Tigor EV. Tigor, like Mahindra eVerito, is a compact sedan. The batch that rolled out of the company. India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki has said it is ready to comply with the government’s target for 2030. However, it has not shared any concrete EV plans yet.

Norway does not manufacture any e-vehicles itself-

Norway’s electric vehicle policies

“What we have done is to put in place tax incentives so when you buy an electric vehicle you will neither get a VAT (value-added tax), nor get the registration tax and we have fairly high car taxes, to begin with. So, there is a strong tax incentive and we have invested a lot in charging infrastructure,” Helgesen said. Mahindra Electric Mobility CEO (chief executive officer) Mahesh Babu also believes that the key to making the shift lies in building a robust charging infrastructure and a major policy push. “Charging infrastructure is the key challenge. A huge policy push is also needed. We have struggled for the last seven odd years. We have been trying but have only achieved that much,” Babu said.

Tax is the KEY-

Norway’s electric vehicle policies

Polluting cars are taxed heavily in Norway, while ZEVs (zero-emission vehicles) are exempt and there are free parking, tolls, access to bus lanes for them. According to Norway’s Climate Minister, it takes about 10 Norwegian Krone (around Rs 70) to pass a toll road, but it’s almost six times more for a diesel car. In India though, irrespective of whether you drive an electric, diesel or petrol, you pay the same toll tax.


Mahindra believes that by 2020 battery costs will substantially come down, making it possible to offer electric cars at a cheaper price. This theory is shared by Bu, who says in the future, producing e-cars will be cheaper than fossil fuel (petrol, diesel) cars. Currently e-vehicles in India are expensive owing to the fact that lithium-ion batteries cost high and have to be imported that make it more expensive. Mahindra’s e2o, for instance, starts at Rs 7.46 lakh (ex-showroom), which compared to a regular hatchback comes at quite a premium.

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