For the country has embraced zero emission mobility like no other. The Nissan LEAF was Norway’s 13th best selling new car with almost 2,298 examples registered in 2012.
More impressively yet, LEAF is the second best selling car overall in Trondheim, Norway’s second largest city behind Oslo.
In total, more than 3,300 units have been sold in Norway since the battery-powered electric car went on sale in October 2011 and last year was Nissan’s second most popular model in the country, with sales just 599 units behind Qashqai.
Part of the reason for its success is that Norway’s five million inhabitants are among the most environmentally aware in the world and all have access to power created from renewable energy – hydroelectric plants generate 99 percent the country’s electricity, more than in any other country in the world.
Sales of the Nissan LEAF have also been boosted by the incentives open to buyers and drivers of electric vehicles in Norway. There’s no value added tax (VAT) on the car’s purchase price and no road tax to pay.
Toll roads, tunnels and ferries are mostly free to EV drivers while any driver commuting to work in an electric vehicle in Norway is allowed to use bus lanes: a typical rush hour drive might take as little as 20 minutes in a Nissan LEAF compared to over an hour in a conventionally powered car.
The EV driver also benefits from free parking while dedicated EV parking spaces usually include access to a charging post… and the electricity is free, of course.
Norway, in common with Nordic nations Sweden, Finland and Denmark, also has a growing network of Quick Chargers to allow EV drivers to tackle longer journeys. Quick chargers, which allow a depleted battery to be recharged to 80 percent of its capacity in as little as 30 minutes, can be found in shopping malls and car parks.
Currently Norway has around 3,500 publicly-accessible AC normal chargers and 65 publicly-accessible DC quick chargers, and by the end of 2013 there will be more than 200 DC quick chargers across Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.