Nathan Jardine writes leaders for The Information Daily and Council News Monitor. After a lifetime in Fleet Street he now divides his time between homes in France and the north-west of England. He enjoys drinking, eating, sleeping and poking fun. His autobiography A Dog's Life is unaccountably out of print.


Norway proposes "Tesla tax" on heavy electric cars


© cchana, Tesla, February 2016

A controversial tax proposal has been put before the Norwegian Parliament by the minority government that would impose a tax on electric cars over two tonnes.

Norway is a world leader in zero-emission vehicles and in 2017 20% of all cars registered in the country were electric. However, a controversial tax has been put forward that would remove the tax exemption granted to electric cars over two tonnes.

Dubbed the "Tesla tax" due to the fact that it would mainly impact the American manufacturer's high-end Tesla X vehicle, the new tax would increase the price of a new Tesla by 70,000 kroner (7,500 euros). 

Norway aims to end the sale of combustion engine vehicles by 2025 and provides many incentives for citizens to purchase electric vehicles. In addition to generous tax exemptions, Norway's electric car drivers benefit from free city tolls, free parking and the possibility of driving in the bus corridors.

Arguing for the introduction of the tax, Finance Minister Siv Vensen argues that these heavy vehicles wear out the roads as much as petrol and diesel cars, and therefore drivers should be obliged to pay for their maintenance.

However, the proposal has sparked a heated debate.

The Local.No reports that Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association Secretary-General Christina Bu told the AFP press agency that this proposal was "unexpected by both the drivers and by the car industry and it sends a bad signal to the Norwegians and the world".

The minority government still needs the support of other parties to get its budget approved and is already facing opposition from some traditional allies, citing legislation that gives tax exemption to electric vehicles until 2020.

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