If you’ve been paying attention, electric vehicles are slowly taking over our roads. The electrified counterparts of internal combustion vehicles are everywhere, and it’s very difficult to go very long without hearing the electrified buzz of an EV zooming past.
Some countries are doing everything in their power to ensure that EVs are the new norm in transportation, including everything from cleaning up their grid to offering financial incentives. These measures will ensure that EV adoption will continue to boom worldwide.
Many countries are trying to promote fully electric vehicles, but Norway is a true pioneer. Norway is like that hipster friend that’s always ahead of the curve, but in this case, in regard to early EV adoption.
Many people became familiar with EVs as a mainstream option thanks to Tesla. But the incredible thing is that Norway has been implementing incentives to buy electric vehicles, import and VAT tax exemptions in this case, since the 1990s.
These measures were revolutionary when you consider they began way before the current EV revolution, and it also shows just how far behind most of the world is in EV adoption compared to Norway.
It’s actually more economical to purchase an EV in Norway versus a comparable gasoline car due to the incentives. This is achieved by exempting EVs from certain taxes that normal cars are subject to, such as the VAT and the CO2 tax.
The VAT alone is 25%, and EVs are completely exempt from this tax (at least until early 2023), which makes a huge difference when purchasing a new vehicle.
Many people talk about Norway’s rapid EV adoption as if everyone decided to buy EVs for the heck of it, but the fact that buying an EV is cheaper in many instances is one of the biggest reasons why these measures are working. In addition, Norway has also implemented other perks, like reductions in the prices paid for tolls and public ferries compared to traditional cars.
The country is currently considering new measures to incentivize people to use public transport and to free up cities from the congestion related to heavy vehicular traffic. According to Life in Norway, the VAT tax will most likely be implemented once again for electric vehicles, but only over a certain price point.
The government now plans to introduce VAT on the most expensive electric cars. VAT will be charged on the portion of the sale price of new electric cars above NOK 500,000.
For context, NOK 500,000 is around $50,000 at the time of writing. Regardless of any potential rollbacks in EV ownership perks, it’s clear that Norway is still king when it comes to the EV ownership experience.
2. The United States
The United States is also one of the best countries to own an EV. It might not be the EV haven that Norway is, but the US offers many benefits for EV owners, starting with its huge charging infrastructure, which counts with vast networks like Electrify America and Tesla’s own Supercharger Network.
An EV driver can realistically travel from coast to coast using public chargers for the duration of the trip, something that was unheard of a few years ago. Electrify America also teams up with many EV manufacturers to offer free charging incentives, something sure to appeal to new EV drivers.
The US government has also chipped in when it comes to promoting the purchase of new EVs. The original EV tax credit helped many taxpayers get a credit worth up to $7,500 when purchasing a new EV. The great thing is that if you’re considering purchasing a vehicle that qualifies for the newly overhauled EV tax credit, you now have the option of choosing a used EV and still qualifying for a credit of up to $4,000.
The United States has a lot of work to do regarding EV adoption, especially in cleaning up the grid that powers these vehicles. But, many moves are being made to steer the ship in the right direction, and the effort to increase EV adoption deserves praise. It will be interesting to see if the US can promote greener forms of urban transport that aren’t EVs, especially in congested metropolitan areas.
3. The Netherlands
The Netherlands is arguably the king of bike-friendly countries, and the European nation is doing everything possible to be at the forefront of worldwide EV adoption. The Dutch government offers various incentives for consumers considering buying an electric vehicle.
The first incentive is a subsidy to promote the purchase of electric vehicles. This subsidy amounted to €3,350, but according to Dutch News, the allocated €71 million has been spent for the year 2022, so the next chance to get the subsidy will be next year.
There is also a used car subsidy that will strike €2,000 from the purchase of a qualifying second-hand EV. It’s great that the Dutch government also accounts for people shopping for second-hand EVs. According to ACEA, the Netherlands is also ahead of every other European country in terms of the number of EV chargers, with more than 90k.
This is an amazing number and even better than the approximately 59k chargers in Germany. The difference is even more dramatic when you consider that a comparatively large country like France only has around 37k chargers installed. Clearly, EV charging infrastructure is something that the Dutch government takes very seriously, and range anxiety in a country with such a robust charging network is not a problem.
There’s still some work to be done in terms of European charging infrastructure parity. For example, Lithuania boasts around 200 chargers, according to ACEA, which is a stark contrast to the Netherlands. For the EV experience to be rewarding, robust charging infrastructures are mandatory. If you’re considering purchasing an EV in Europe, the Netherlands is definitely among the top places to own an electric vehicle.
These Countries Are Spearheading Global EV Adoption
The US, Norway, and the Netherlands are among the best places to own an EV worldwide. These nations are spearheading the global EV movement and are actively enacting policy that helps move this goal forward.
Owning an EV in any of these countries is a great experience due to the massive charging infrastructure and government-sponsored incentives for EV purchases.
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