I wonder whether there is an official statement that some electric car incentives in Norway were stopped, because they were too costly. I came across this document, that states at the very bottom (I had it automatically translated, so maybe it does not) that there might be some loss in tax income. https://www.venstre.no/assets/BilavgiftsgjennomgangENIGHET_0605_2015.pdf

Would be delighted for any suggestions!

  • It was the main reason in The Netherlands - but the answer for Norway may differ.
    – Sjoerd
    Aug 6, 2019 at 18:47
  • @sjoerd thank you! This is interesting, could you provide any reference please? Aug 6, 2019 at 20:58
  • Seems I was confusing hybrid for electric. I'm afraid that I'm limited to Dutch news articles, e.g. nrc.nl/nieuws/2019/06/26/… . The article mentions that the government limited the fiscal advantage for hybrid cars after a report in 2013. Nevertheless, for full electric cars it's still in place: the article states that the subsidy in 2018 still amounted to 2000 euro per ton CO2 avoided (700 million euro for 25,000 cars - that's nearly 30k per car!). So it's gone for hybrid cars and somewhat limited for electric cars.
    – Sjoerd
    Aug 6, 2019 at 23:02

2 Answers 2


There seems to be two reasons. First, as you surmised, is cost to the Norwegian public coffers coupled with a desire for commercial independence and sustainability. Emphasis added, and did not use the FT as primary source because of paywall issues.

The cost of these subsidies is becoming contentious as cited by quotes from politicians in Norway as reported by the Financial Times. The paper prepared an extensive article on the subsidy issue versus the dream of shifting Norway’s car fleet away from fossil fuels.

As Andreas Halse, the environmental spokesman in Oslo for the opposition Labour Party, said, “What we have proven in Norway is that if you give enough subsidies and impose enough restrictions on fossil fuel vehicles, people will buy electric.” He went on to say, “If we want to continue to be an example for the rest of the world, we need to show how this can be commercial. We need to get there because we can’t rely on public finances forever.

But another reason should be added to the mix

Norway plans to trim lavish tax breaks for Tesla and other electric cars that have given it the world’s highest rate of battery-vehicle ownership, the right-wing government proposed on Thursday.

The draft 2018 budget would mainly affect large cars weighing more than two tons, it said. Norwegian media dubbed the changes a “Tesla Tax”, intended to cut down on sales of luxury models such as Tesla’s Model X sport utility vehicle.

Norway seemingly doesn't want to be giving tax breaks to the affluent, or at least not subsidizing the purchase and usage of affluent cars.

  • Do the changes to subsidies specifically target expensive cars, or are they just saying that since electric cars are still more expensive (on average) than ICE cars? The article implies that expensive cars are targeted, but provides no details.
    – divibisan
    Oct 3, 2019 at 17:44
  • @divibisan In the 2018 budget, just high priced SUVs (they did it by weight, but it targeted solely Teslas).
    – user9790
    Oct 3, 2019 at 17:46
  • 1
    It's a great example of an internal conflict within an ideology. On the one hand, electric cars should be subsidized. One the other hand, rich people should be taxed to death. Hence Norway's clumsy attempts to rectify the law. Oct 3, 2019 at 17:54
  • @K Dog: Why would weight target solely Teslas? Most variants of the Model 3 come in under the 2 ton limit in the quote (3,627 to 4,072 lbs), while many non-electric SUVs are heavier.
    – jamesqf
    Oct 3, 2019 at 19:09
  • @jamesqf Only applies to electrics.
    – user9790
    Oct 3, 2019 at 19:34

This 2018 report by Ecofys und adelphi suggests that the original objective of the policy was to reach a certain market penetration and resulting network effects to kickstart electric vehicles.

[A] consensus was reached to uphold the financial incentives until at least 2018, or until a total EV car stock of 50,000 vehicles is reached. […] The fiscal incentives were intended to be upheld until 2017 or until the benchmark of 50,000 was reached (Zeniewski, 2017) but have been prolonged. Some argue that the EV market in Norway is now mature enough to gradually phase-out incentives, but the Norwegian EV association and environmental organisations argue that the level of support will need to increase to ensure a breakthrough of e-mobility beyond early adopters and second or third cars.

The reason for a phaseout would hence be that the agreed objective of the policy has been achieved.

That said, to my knowledge the phaseout has yet to happen, see e.g. this article from January 2021.

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