The Oslo model: how to prepare your city for the electric-vehicle surge

Electric Cars Norway 2018

UN Photo/JC McIlwaine Electric cars.

This article is brought to you thanks to the strategic cooperation of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Sture Portvik, Project Leader Electrical Vehicles, City of Oslo & Emma Skov Christiansen, Community Specialist, Electricity Industries, World Economic Forum

An automobile revolution is coming our way – only you might have trouble hearing it this time. Oslo’s experience shows that it is possible to boost the sales of electric vehicles (EV), that they work in a rough Nordic climate, and that a major shift could be just around the corner. Rapid and promising growth in large cities in California, China, Korea and Europe is fuelling optimism across the globe.

For the first time in history, more than half of all new cars sold in Oslo are electric; the city is today often referred to as the EV capital of the world. With a record high of 39% of all new cars being fully electric, Norway is by far the country with the highest market share for EVs by capita globally, even if Los Angeles, Beijing and Shanghai have higher sales in absolute numbers.

 A graphic illustrating the rise in EV use in Norway. BEV stands for Battery Electric Vehicle, while PHEV means plug-in hybrid vehicle.

A graphic illustrating the rise in EV use in Norway. BEV stands for Battery Electric Vehicle, while PHEV means plug-in hybrid vehicle.
Image: The Norwegian EV Association

In Oslo, more than 50% of new cars sold in 2017 were either fully battery electric (37.5%) or a plug-in hybrid (14.1%), according to the Norwegian Road Federation (OFV). The exponential growth of EV sales in Oslo is continuing, with a 53% sales share for electric vehicles so far in 2018.

Today, electric cars make up 16% of total cars in Oslo, with 9% fully electric cars and 7% plug-in hybrids. It takes time to change the game completely and convert all cars from diesel and gasoline to electric. But a major transition towards zero emission cars is now well on track, with the growth much faster than anticipated a couple of years ago.

Based on the following evidence, green taxes (on less polluting vehicles) and other incentives have indeed worked. Consumers have embraced EVs in increasing numbers because the public sector has made it sensible, affordable and simple for people to make green choices in their daily life.

The Oslo model

The exponential growth of EVs, with annual sales increase of more than 100%, was surprisingly high, even for the most optimistic among us. Fantastic as it is, it also creates challenges.

For the first time since 2008, it is hard for EV drivers to find an available charging point in central Oslo; the number of available charging points per vehicle have dropped from one charger per four cars, to one charger per 10 cars.

However, there is a solution: not only to boost the number of chargers, but also to make the charging infrastructure smarter and more efficient. The city council recently decided to go up a gear and triple the deployment of new charging points.

In close cooperation with private companies, Oslo will build fast chargers in the corridors in and out of the city. A large network of semi-fast chargers (7.4-22 kW), with a higher charging speed and higher turnover of cars, is being deployed to ensure a more cost-efficient system and less use of limited public space. The world’s first indoor parking for EVs only, Fortress, has also been part of accommodating and supporting Oslo’s growing fleet of zero-emission cars.

A holistic approach to zero emissions

Everything is connected to everything else; to bring about a green shift in transportation, you need to think holistically. EVs are only part of the equation. Oslo will need to scale up green public transportation and public transport on demand, and increase the focus on pedestrians and cyclists, as well as autonomous vehicles and Mobility as a Service (MaaS). Increasing freight by railway and introducing green freight distribution in the city, zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles and zero-emission taxis are also part of the new Oslo model’s holistic approach to becoming fossil-free by 2024. Green public procurement, goods and services delivered by zero-emission vehicles and good park and ride solutions, in combination with EVs, and an increased use of intelligent traffic systems (ITS) and artificial intelligence (AI) to make the EV use swift, efficient and user-friendly, are equally necessary for the Oslo model’s success.

Incentives are important, but in order for them to work, we also need more regulations on car usage. In Oslo, several new measures are planned:

• A car-free city centre (inner city)

• New low emission zones (greater Oslo)

Residential parking zones with free parking for EVs (greater Oslo)

Congestion tax (non for EVs) (the whole city)

Increased numbers of toll gates/road throughout the city, with free passage for EVs

• A fossil-free city 2024 (greater Oslo)

• Only zero emission taxis from 2022 (the whole city)

Ban on sales of diesel and gasoline vehicles (all of Norway from 2022)

• Temporary bans on diesel cars on the most polluting days (the whole city from 2017)

The (smog-free) road ahead

Today, we have an historic opportunity to convert all vehicles to zero emission – private vehicles, commercial vehicles and public transport. But we need the right regulatory framework, public-private cooperation and the resilience to succeed.

The global future will depend on a lot of variables including: the political willingness to use green taxes, regulations and other incentives to make the shift; technological developments for vehicles, batteries, chargers, autonomous vehicles, AI and ITS; global price developments for alternative fuel such as gasoline and diesel; national and transnational cooperation, involving local government, national government and private businesses; global cooperation and free exchange of examples and ideas – like the World Economic Forum’s report on Electric Vehicles for Smarter Cities: The Future of Energy and Mobility; and sound business models that can help finance the green shift in transport.

Factor those in and a newer, cleaner age of motoring will be available to everyone.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

We can feed the world in a sustainable way, but we need to act now

European Youth Forum demands immediate action & binding agreement on climate change

Greece’s last Eurogroup or the beginning of a new solid European Union?

Trump’s Syrian hit the softest option vis-a-vis Russia

Doctors are humans too: the benefits of embracing your mental status

Greece lost a month that cannot be found neither in “mini Summits” nor in Berlin

5 ways for business leaders to win in the 2020s

Commission calls on Leaders to pave the way for an agreement on a modern, balanced and fair EU budget for the future

What the next 20 years will mean for jobs – and how to prepare

6th Edition of India m2m + iot Forum 2019 concluded, in association with The European Sting

COP21 Breaking News_08 December: Cities & Regions Launch Major Five-Year Vision to Take Action on Climate Change

Trump systematically upsets global order and trade: Where does this end?

Give a chance to the brothers of Ailan: reception of refugees in Greece

Indonesian tsunami death toll climbs over 400 as Government-led relief efforts are stepped up

Mental health in medical students: the deciphered quandary

Do we have to choose between creating jobs and protecting the climate?

Breaking news on European Youth Employment: European Youth Forum Guide tackles poor quality internships!

They won this year’s Nobel for economics. Here’s why their work matters

Eurozone: Disinflation engulfs the industrial goods sector

‘Many challenges to overcome’ at UN, in fight against abuse: victims’ advocate

Be a part of the World Forum on Future Trends in Defence and Security

Consumer protection: Deal on EU-wide rules for those sold faulty products

EU adopts retaliative measures in response to US steel and aluminum tariffs

Greferendum: the biggest political gaffe in western modern history to tear Europe apart? #Grexit #Graccident

Gas pipeline in the European Union. (Copyright: EU, 2012 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Ferenc Isza)

EU Investment Bank approves € 1.5bn loan for Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP)

Brain Drain remains a crucial and unresolved issue

Anti-vaccination: a private choice leading to collective outcomes

‘Worst devastation I have seen,’ says UN refugee envoy Angelina Jolie, as she visits West Mosul

How Germany strives to mold ECB’s monetary policy to her interests

MWC 2016 LIVE: Stripe gives payments leg-up to startups in emerging markets

Nokia wins Commission’s approval for Alcatel-Lucent acquisition: a new way for antitrust cases?

Texting is a daily source of stress for 1/3 of people – are you one of them?

To all far-right partisans who exploit Charlie Hebdo atrocity: a peaceful reply given by a peaceful student

China-EU Relations: Broader, Higher and Stronger

Who should be responsible for protecting our personal data?

On youth unemployment: unemployment is even bleaker for youth with disabilities

CO2 emissions on the rise for first time in four years, UN agency warns

GSMA Announces Speakers for Mobile 360 – Russia & CIS 2018

Healing of ozone layer gives hope for climate action: UN report

This is what happens when a school swaps french fries for quinoa

The two big uncertainties shaping our future

The European Brain Drain: hard facts and harder truths

EU adopts rebalancing measures in reaction to US steel and aluminium tariffs

Eurozone: Retail sales betray economic frailty

The vehicles of our future

This is how travel hotspots are fighting back against overtourism

A European student just sets the question of the day: What kind of education policies are missing in Europe?

Eurozone: The crisis hit countries are again subsidizing the German and French banks

Yemen talks: Truce agreed over key port city of Hudaydah

Romanian Presidency priorities discussed in committees

Human traffickers in Libya are posing as UN staff, says Refugee Agency

This project in India helps people and tigers co-exist peacefully

Humanitarian Aid 2016: The needs, the highlights, the crisis and the relief

EU27 leaders unite on Brexit Guidelines ahead of “tough negotiations” with Theresa May

Remembering Kofi Annan

Sudan: UN rights chief alarmed over ‘excessive force’, alleged use of live fire against protestors

Why Europe’s high productive performance is discredited?

The AI moment: preparing for the revolution

Islamophobia is driving more US Muslims to become politically engaged, suggests report

YO!Fest back in Strasbourg for the 2nd edition of the European Youth Event – 20-21 May 2016

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s