Imagine walking into every Chevy or Ford or Toyota dealership in the country and seeing wall-to-wall electric vehicles, Volts and Fusions and Priuses, but nary a traditional gas-powered Impala or Focus or Camry in sight. Imagine that happening in only six years. Sound impossible? Not really, at least not in Norway, where the Socialist Left Party has proposed a ban on new gas-powered vehicle sales beginning in 2015.

This ban may sound odd coming from a country that is the world’s sixth largest oil exporter, but it would certainly go a long way towards encouraging the purchase and use of alternative fuel vehicles. That would, in turn, potentially aid automakers struggling to make the change from producing fossil fuel vehicles. The ban would not take existing fossil-fuel burners off the road, but would make it impossible to sell new cars that burn fossil fuels only. That would mean that only new battery electric, gas-electric hybrids, hydrogen, and biodiesel vehicles would be available for purchase, unless one wanted to buy a used vehicle.

The ban is still only a proposal, and not a very popular one at that, but it does add an interesting new dimension to the electric vehicle debate: how involved should any government be in promoting the switch? It’s rather reminiscent of the debate over increased safety and environmental controls of U.S. in the 1970s, with some updates. Obviously, those increases in regulation were successful…perhaps legislation such as the proposed ban in Norway are the necessary next step.

Source: Reuters UK