Electric car sales skyrocket in Arctic Norway

Car sales in Finnmark, a region in Arctic Norway, have jumped 140 % for the first half of 2019 compared to the same period last year. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)
Sales rose 140% in the first half 2019 in Finnmark, Norway’s northernmost region, compared to the same period last year.

Long distances and cold climate seem to be less worrying for drivers above the Arctic Circle.

Sales figures from the Information Council for the Road Traffic show an increase in sales of 140% for the first six months this year in Finnmark County, a part of Norway where electric car sales hasn’t previously peaked like in the rest of the country.

Last week, electric vehicle No. 250,000 was registered in Norway. The fast growing sales are accelerated by the country’s VAT exemption for zero-emission vehicles, exempt from the annual road tax, toll payments and other benefits.

The Norwegian Government has set an ambitious target of 100% electric car sales by 2025. In the country as such, full-electric cars counted for 45% of all new sales in the first half of 2019. No other markets are buying more EVs per capita than Norway.

Commenting on the sales in Finnmark, Prime Minister Erna Solberg told NTB that people’s range anxiety becomes less relevant as new and better EVs are coming to the market.

She says electric vehicle sales will continue to grow.

“It will always be more profitable to buy electric car than a car with CO2-emission.”

Finnmark to get advanced charging network

As reported by the Barents Observer in June, Finnmark County is now about to get the world’s most advanced charging network with 17 high-power 150 kW chargers and eight fast chargers spread at key cross-roads across the county.

“Finnmark has been like a desert in regards to charging infrastructure for a long time and now they will get the world’s most advanced charging infrastructure. They will get a lot of high-power chargers and chargers everywhere,” said Ole Gudbrann Hempel with Fortum, the energy company that has teamed up with local energy utilities to build the network.

Finnmark is 13% bigger than Denmark in size, but its population is under 75,000.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Communities in northern Canada struggling with high fuel prices, CBC News

Finland: Finnish housing companies hesitant to install charging stations for electric cars, Yle News

Norway: Challenges ahead for electric car chargers along Europe’s northernmost highway, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Arctic electric rally hits the road towards Northwestern Russia, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Northern Swedish city launches battery-powered bus route, The Independent Barents Observer

United States: Alaska’s first, electric public transit bus ready to hit Anchorage streets, Alaska Public Media

Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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