Norway's Goal: All New Cars Will Be Emission-Free By 2025 To Cut Carbon Page 2

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Oslo street scene: Nissan Leaf, Volkswagen e-Golf, Tesla Model S, July 2015

Oslo street scene: Nissan Leaf, Volkswagen e-Golf, Tesla Model S, July 2015

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On the financial side, there is no road tax (or registration fee), no sales tax, no value-added tax, and the corporate-car tax is lower.

Public parking is free; tolls on roads, bridges, and tunnels are free; ferry transport is free; and public charging is free. Electric cars can also travel in restricted bus lanes.

MORE: One Percent Of Norway's Cars Are Already Plug-In Electrics (Apr 2014)

And it's working. Norway already has the highest percentage of electric cars per capita, and this year, almost one in five new cars sold in Norway is electric (18.4 percent as of June).

Electric-car sales have doubled every year for three years now, and as of June, 2.1 percent (or 54,000) of Norway's 2.5 million vehicles were electric.

Electric-car sales in Norway, 2007-2014

Electric-car sales in Norway, 2007-2014

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(A comparable figure for the U.S. would be about 5 million electric cars. Actually, the total U.S. plug-in car population is now approaching 350,000.)

With that kind of momentum, Elvestuen said, the country can see a future in which its goals are met--and indeed the carbon footprint of transportation in Norway can be radically reduced.

As the numbers of electric cars grow, the incentives will gradually be dialed back.

Already, he said, control over bus-lane access for electric cars is being given back to Oslo's neighborhoods, which can restrict it if the impact on bus schedules becomes too great--as one area already has.

How Norway plans to dial back its electric-car incentives

How Norway plans to dial back its electric-car incentives

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Meanwhile, electric buses are being rolled out, and the country's legendary marine industry has just launched its first battery-electric ferry--an area in which Norway can lead, Elvestuen said, since the country no longer produces cars.

(The pioneering Think electric car was produced in Oslo from 1995 to 2011, when the company went into bankruptcy for the final time.)

RELATED: Electric Ferry In Norway

By the end of Elvestuen's keynote, it was clear: Noway is serious about cutting its carbon emission by 40 percent.

It has identified its unique circumstances, developed a plan to electrify transportation, and is implementing it rapidly.

If only it were so simple in North America.

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