Why Norway is rethinking its reliance on electric cars – Vox

The following link was sent to me by a reader regarding EV’s in Norway.  When looking at the statistics in the article, particularly the 87% EV sales rate, and believing that can be easily translated to the U.S., consider the following facts.

  1. The population of Norway is 5.4 million people, compared with 19.5 million people in NY State.
  2. There are 5.4 million registered vehicles in Norway, approximately one per person, compared with 11.3 million registered light duty vehicles in NY State.  Of the 11.3 million, 404,000 are electric and 10.9 million are fossil fuel powered.  (Data in the table below and on the attached spreadsheet)
  3. If you look at the map below, Oslo, Norway and Stockholm, Sweden are 326 miles apart by road, 80 miles closer than NY City and Buffalo, so driving distances in Scandinavia are far shorter than in the United States.  That makes the range limitations of EV’s less of an issue.  People in NY State often drive long distances out of state.


The Vox article addresses the inequities and unintended consequences of subsidies for EV purchases and how they disproportionately benefit the wealthy and discourage mass transit.  In the U.S., rifts are already occurring because the vehicles don’t pay gas taxes that support highway maintenance.

While I am a proponent of EV’s and have driven one for six years, at present they are not for everyone because of the cost, the range limitations, and the charging times.  When I was younger, I would drive 525 miles with one 10 minute stop and I would never have been able to tolerate a 90 minute charge stop.  At present, there is no EV being sold that has a 525 mile range.  The Lucid vehicles are closest with about 430 miles of range if you are willing to spend about $125,000.  When my daughter interned for Lucid this past summer, I visited their design center in California and saw the vehicles. They are magnificent pieces of machinery but they don’t come cheap.


Realistically, Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicles  (PHEVs) with a 100 mile battery range would allow for electric travel for 99% of vehicle trips made in the US.  They would also increase vehicle efficiency by recovering energy when the vehicle stops and when going downhill, even in gasoline mode.  The gasoline engine would eliminate range anxiety on long trips.  With smaller batteries, they would be less expensive,  weigh less, and could be charged much more rapidly.  That would allow more time for battery and vehicle technology to improve which would be a necessity because widespread adoption of PHEV’s will reduce gasoline consumption by 80% to 90%.

Over time, with about 80% – 90% of gasoline sales vanishing, would the gasoline station network be able to remain viable anywhere but on major highways ?

There are no ideal solutions.


Norway Number of Registered Vehicles was reported at 5,410,000 Unit in Dec 2022. This records an increase from the previous number of 5,354,451 Unit for Dec 2021. Norway Number of Registered Vehicles data is updated yearly, averaging 3,776,424 Unit from Dec 1990 to 2022, with 33 observations.

See Table of 2022 Light-Duty Vehicle Registration Counts by State & Fuel Type: