Electric vehicles in Norway: A qualitative study of the electric vehicle market in Norway

Ida Furnes Breivik & Malin Olsson Volder

Student thesis: Master thesis


The Norwegian Government has set a goal stating that by 2020, emissions from new passenger cars shall not exceed an average of 85 gram CO2/km. To meet the goal the Government is dependent on a large amount of EVs1 in the national vehicle fleet. In this thesis we will use theory on path dependence (PD) and socio-technical transitions (STT) to examine what the Norwegian Government should do to support the emergence of EVs as an alternative to the ICE2. The Norwegian EV policy, with its many incentives, is said to be the world’s most favorable. EVs are exempt from all non-recurring vehicle fees, including purchase taxes and 25 percent VAT on purchase. Modifying the extensive EV incentives, as the adoption rate of EVs increases, may be a major challenge. The incentive scheme is applicable until 2017; however there is considerable uncertainty about what will happen with the EV incentives after 2017. The success of the EV in Norway brings substantial costs for the Government, which has been the center of a series of public debates. This debate caught our attention and we started our research journey with the aim to identify what the Norwegian Government should do if they want the EV market in Norway to become sustainable. In this thesis we have conducted an in-depth analysis of the Norwegian EV market and more 20 interviews with central industry actors, policy makers, and EV owners. Our results show that the Government must introduce a long-term plan for the incentive package that extends beyond 2017. The financial incentives have major influence and should be extended until EVs are price competitive, which we argue will happen in 2020. Furthermore, a modification of the operating incentives should be introduced. Additionally, the development of charging infrastructure, mostly fast charging, needs to keep up with the number of EVs on the market. We believe the Government should look further into the challenge of free charging and lack of standard points and plugs in order to enhance the development of the charging infrastructure and create a sustainable EV market. KEY WORDS: Electric Vehicle (EV), Norway, Grounded Theory, Path Dependence, Socio Technical Transitions, Multi Level Perspective (MLP)

EducationsMSc in Management of Innovation and Business Development, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2014
Number of pages138