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Will Norway become the first country to ban all petrol and diesel cars?

Norway has expressed plans to ban all cars that generate emissions, making it potentially the first country to reject the combusion engine.

This is according to Norway’s 2018 to 2029 National Transport Plan, made public earlier today, that states the intention to only allow 100 per cent electric cars, buses and small trucks to be sold by 2025.

The few exceptions would be coaches and larger, heavier trucks, but with a view to 75 per cent of all new sales to also become fully electric by 2030. Everything else must be emissions free by 2025, so that rules out hybrids or electric cars with range extenders like the BMW i3.

These changes will coincide with a plan to spend one billion euros on bicycle paths over the same time frame as the National Transport Plan, potentially improving the health of its nation.

It may seem like an unfeasible move to ditch fossil fuels cars altogether, but Norway has the right set of circumstances. For starters, the country is already a world leader in electric car adoption and it creates a lot of its energy through clean and renewable resources.

In addition, Norway made its money through offshore oil and gas production and both industries are taking a bit of a hammering, particularly where the per barrel price of oil is concerned. Adopting a more eco-friendly future is not only better for the planet, it helps protect Norway financially in the long-term.

Then there’s the fact around 150,000 new vehicles are sold each year, making converting all buyers into something hybrid or electric a less daunting task – especially if the government provides a financial incentive on top of the current reduction in taxes and ability to drive in bus-only lanes.

Reports say the proposal would only need approval in parliament to make it law so it could come to fruition, although it may be deemed unfeasible and rejected or even ignored.

Norway has already began preparation to make it a greener country in the form of a plan to make its capital city, Oslo, car-free by 2019. Critics have argued the move could harm local businesses and disabled people who rely on the access.

The Norwegian government is also working towards meeting its air pollution targets and has already met its sulphur dioxide target. You can read the National Transport Plan if you happen to speak Norwagian.


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