Tesla takes Norway

Norway’s subsidies make electric cars a smart choice, and Tesla is among the top sellers

Photo: siggywinter / Wikimedia Commons The Tesla Roadster is so popular in Norway that it’s even used as a Taxi in Oslo.

Photo: siggywinter / Wikimedia Commons
The Tesla Roadster is so popular in Norway that it’s even used as a taxi in Oslo.

Rasmus Falck
Oslo, Norway

Sales of electric cars are setting records in Norway. By the end of August we had 12,509 such cars registered in addition to 1,769 used cars imported. This means that we now have 34.000 registered electric cars. The number may pas 40,000 by the end of this year.

This shows how well our public incentives are working. You do not pay value added tax (25 percent) when buying an electric car. Other advantages are free toll roads, access to the bus and taxi lanes, free parking, ferries, and electrical charging stations. The government’s first goal is to reach 50,000 cars before evaluating the policy.

35 percent of electric cars sold in Western Europe so far in 2014 ended up in Norway. Number one, with a market share of 25.7 percent, is the Nissan LEAF. The runner up is the Tesla Model S, with 5,347 cars sold and a market share of 19.9 percent. A total of 3,134 of the cars were sold in Norway. Tesla was founded in 2003 by a group of Silicon Valley engineers who set out to prove that electric vehicles could be awesome. The Roadster hit the streets in 2008 as a sport car. The Model S arrived in 2012 a premium sedan. Tesla has been awarded the Car of the Year.

Serial entrepreneur Elon Musk is the CEO and product architect of Tesla, and the CEO and designer of Space Exploration Technologies. He has overseen product development and design from the beginning. Transitioning to a sustainable energy economy, in which electrical vehicles play a pivotal role, has been one of his central interests for almost two decades, stemming from his time as a physics student working on ultracapacitors in Silicon Valley. He has a physics degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a business degree from Wharton.

Co-founder and technical officer is J.B. Straubel. His career started at a junkyard in Wisconsin, where, at the age of 14, he discovered a discarded electric golf cart and decided to rebuild it. This was the start a lifelong fascination with energy work and electrical vehicles. He is overseeing the technical and engineering design of the vehicles, focusing on the battery, motor, power electronics, and high-level software sub-systems. Earlier he too worked for an aerospace firm. He has a bachelor’s in energy systems engineering and a master’s in energy engineering from Stanford. He has left the cold winters in Wisconsin and now lives in Menlo Park.

Oslo has the most electric cars per capita among the capitals of the world and was nominated for C40 and Siemens’ “City Climate Leadership Award.”

More than 100 years after the invention of the internal combustion engine, the industry has a historic opportunity to lead the next technological era of the automotive industry!

This article originally appeared in the Nov. 21, 2014, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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Rasmus Falck

Rasmus Falck is a strong innovation and entrepreneurship advocate. The author of “What do the best do better” and “The board of directors as a resource in SME,” he received his masters degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently lives in Oslo.