Thursday, February 22, 2024

How Norway Built An EV Utopia While The USA is Struggling To Go Electric

See How Norway Built An EV Utopia While The USA is Struggling To Go Electric - CNBC Documentary.

CNBC on Youtube has the story.

Norway boasts the highest electric vehicle adoption rate in the world. 82% of new car sales were EVs in Norway in 2023. In comparison, 7.6% of new car sales were electric in the USA last year, according to Kelley Blue Book estimates. The Norwegian government started incentivizing the purchase of EVs back in the 1990s, but it wasn’t until Tesla and other EV models became available about ten years ago that sales really started to take off. Norway’s capital, Oslo, is also electrifying its ferries, buses, semi trucks and even construction equipment. Gas pumps and parking meters are being replaced by chargers. It’s an electric utopia of the future. CNBC flew across the globe to meet with experts, government officials and locals to find out how the Scandinavian country pulled off such a high EV adoption rate.

A so-called electric vehicle (EV) is a vehicle that uses one or more electric motors for propulsion. It can be powered by a collector system, with electricity from extravehicular sources, or it can be powered autonomously by a battery (sometimes charged by solar panels, or by converting fuel to electricity using a generator (often known as a hybrid) or fuel cells. EVs include but are not limited to road and rail vehicles, and broadly can also include electric boat and underwater vessels (submersibles, and technically also diesel- and turbo-electric submarines), electric aircraft and electric spacecraft.

Electric road vehicles surely include electric passenger cars, electric buses, electric trucks and personal transporters such as electric buggy, electric tricycles, electric bicycles and electric motorcycles/scooters. Together with other emerging automotive technologies such as autonomous driving, connected vehicles and shared mobility, EVs form a future vision of transportation called Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric (CASE) mobility.

Early electric vehicles first came into existence in the late 19th century, when the Second Industrial Revolution brought forth electrification. Using electricity was among the preferred methods for motor vehicle propulsion as it provides a level of quietness, comfort and ease of operation that could not be achieved by the gasoline engine cars of the time, but range anxiety due to the limited energy storage offered by contemporary battery technologies hindered any mass adoption of private electric vehicles throughout the 20th century. Internal combustion engines (both gasoline and diesel engines) were the dominant propulsion mechanisms for cars and trucks for about 100 years, but electricity-powered locomotion remained commonplace in other vehicle types, such as overhead line-powered mass transit vehicles like electric trains, trams, monorails and trolley buses, as well as various small, low-speed, short-range battery-powered personal vehicles such as mobility scooters. Hybrid electric vehicles, where electric motors are used as a supplementary propulsion to internal combustion engines, became more widespread in the late 1990s. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, where electric motors can be used as the predominant propulsion rather than a supplement, did not see any mass production until the late 2000s, and battery electric cars did not indeed become practical options for the consumer market until the 2010s.

Government incentives to increase technology adoption were indeed first introduced by Norway in 1990, followed by larger markets in the 2000s, including in the United States and the European Union, leading to a growing market for vehicles in the 2010s. Increasing public interest and awareness and structural incentives, such as those being built into the green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, are expected to greatly increase the electric vehicle market. During the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns reduced the number of greenhouse gases in gasoline or diesel vehicles. The International Energy Agency has stated that governments should do more to meet climate goals, including policies for heavy electric vehicles. A total of 14% of all new cars sold were electric in 2022, up from 9% in 2021 and less than 5% in 2020. Electric vehicle sales may increase from 1% of the global share in 2016 to more than 35% by 2030. As of July 2022 the global EV market size was $280 billion and was expected to grow to $1 trillion by 2026. Much of this growth is expected in markets like North America, Europe, and China; a 2020 literature review suggested that growth in the use of four-wheeled electric vehicles appears economically unlikely in developing economies, but growth in electric two-wheeler and three-wheeler is likely. At more than 20%, two/three-wheelers are already the most electrified road transport segment today, and are projected to continue being the largest EV fleet among all transport modes. Bloomberg reports that in 2023, 292,423,403 bicycles and tricycles sold, representing 49% of the total market. The same report noted that 666,479 buses were sold, with 38% of the market (these are higher priced vehicles, so actual numbers are lower than the percentage of sales), 26,583,856 passenger cars at 14% of sales, and 965,442 vans and trucks with 3% of sales.

Electric vehicles exist around the world, such as:
- Electric car, a Mercedes-Benz EQS
- Electric aircraft, the Solar Impulse 2, which circumnavigated the globe
- Electric tram, a Wiener Linien ULF-B in Vienna, Austria
- Battery electric bus, a BYD bus in Landskrona, Sweden
- E-bike in Manhattan, New York City
- Electric truck, Class 8, a Tesla Semi in Rocklin, California
- Electric cart, an Italcar Attiva C2S.4
- Electric boat, the Tûranor PlanetSolar, the first solar-powered boat to circumnavigate the whole world

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