The new draft 2018 budget put forward by Norway’s ruling minority government includes a provision to reduce the incentives on offer for especially heavy plug-in electric vehicles — primarily as a means of cutting support for large, heavy, luxury offerings.
Unsurprisingly, the new proposal, which would affect large vehicles weighing over 2 tons, has been dubbed “the Tesla Tax” by some local media — as it seems to be aimed squarely at most of Tesla’s offerings, as well as similar offerings from other manufacturers.
As mentioned above, though, Norway’s ruling party is currently in a minority government, so it’ll need support from other parties if it is going to push through the current draft. Will the support needed be there?
“The fee would be based on the weight of a car, the theory being that heavy cars cause more wear and tear on the nation’s roads. Only cars that weigh more than 2 tons would be affected,” Gas2 reports. “The fee could add as much as $12,000 to the price of a Tesla Model X, while the Model S would pay a fee of about $5,000. Cars that are close to the 2 ton threshold would be charged about $900.”
“Environment Minister Vidar Helgesen has said that large electric cars wear out the roads just as much as normal cars,” Reuters reports. “And electric car subsidies in Norway were originally introduced to encourage small, domestically produced electric cars, rather than luxury imports for the rich.”
It’s a fair enough point, but it’s worth noting that even the use of large electric vehicles such as Teslas reduces local air pollution levels. And also that given the fact that almost all of Norway’s electricity is supplied by hydroelectric facilities, there are substantial carbon emission reductions from electric cars (even Teslas).
I’ll end this article by noting here that the number of Teslas sold during the first 9 months of 2017 in Norway was 4,717 — a 90% year-on-year increase as compared to 2016 (2,500 units during the first 9 months).