Norway’s global leadership in the transition to electric vehicles has become a problem for the country’s public transport system. Generous incentives offered by the government have made it easier to own an electric car and have made buying an electric car more advantageous than public transport.
The Nordic country already had one of the lowest public transport utilisation rates in Europe, but the situation is getting worse. Vox analysed the impact of electric car incentives on public transport financing. The result is an interesting picture.
Incentives for electric cars are making them more attractive for Norwegian citizens, while at the same time they are draining the financial resources that keep public transport afloat. In addition, funds allocated for the modernisation of the public transport sector have been reduced.
Norway can’t find money for infrastructure projects
One of the most important financial items for public transport is motorway tolls. The Norwegian government has exempted electric vehicle owners from this. With each new battery-powered vehicle purchased, public transport revenues are steadily declining. This practice has even become a threat to major infrastructure projects in cities. In particular, it is stated that the construction of the new metro line planned to be implemented in the capital Oslo is jeopardised.
The Norwegian authorities are making significant efforts to reduce traffic as well as to solve public transport financing problems. In Oslo, cycle paths have been built, pavements widened and thousands of parking spaces removed. As a result, citizens are encouraged to get out of their cars, as using public transport is still more environmentally friendly than driving any vehicle.