Why are electric cars so popular in the Arctic Circle?

Norwegian city Tromso, also referred to as the ‘Gatarctic circleeway to the Arctic’ is the focus of the electric car industry with
the recent opening of a Tesla showroom.

Norway is currently the world leader in electric cars per capita and has just been announced as the 4th country in the world to have an impressive 100,000 electric cars on the road.

The country itself has a strong environmentally focused government with a number of politicians wanting to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2025, an goal supported by Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk who tweeted “What an amazingly awesome country. You guys rock!”

However, it’s not just environmental concern driving the electric car market forward, but also the economic incentives offered to those who purchase electric vehicles, including:

  • Exemption from 25% VAT on purchase
  • No purchase tax
  • Free public parking
  • No charges on toll roads or ferries
  • Access to bus lanes

Norway’s electric car popularity can be pinpointed down to its low-cost and renewable hydro power production. If every single one of the three million cars on Norwegian roads were electric, they would use only 5-6% of the annual hydro power electricity production. It’s clear that Norway is affluent enough to fund an electric car lifestyle.

Are the population of Norway are not worried about running out of power?

Cities in the northern regions of Norway have not been as supportive as the south about electric cars which could be explained by their tough terrain and fears that a flat battery with leave them stranded in arctic conditions. This worry is understandable considering that electric car performance can deteriorate faster in extreme cold or hot conditions.

Nevertheless, with the introduction of Tesla’s new showroom and the steady growth of public charging points, Norway is demonstrating a clear commitment to the expanding electric car market. Regardless of the environment, citizens may just find themselves persuaded by the benefits of an electric vehicle.


Chris Gibson. (2016). Why do they love electric cars in the Arctic Circle?. Available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36402942. Last accessed 1st July 2016.

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