At first sight, Norway doesn’t seem like a natural stamping ground for electric vehicles. A big oil producer, it has a low population density, with urban areas separated by mountainous terrain. Not a place where you’d want to worry about running low on battery juice, something that will happen much more quickly in the harsh Nordic winters when turning up an electric car’s heating can dramatically reduce its range.
But despite the obstacles, huge oil wealth, an egalitarian, civic-minded tradition and a culturally ingrained stubbornness have come together to make Norway the world’s number one country per capita for monthly electric vehicle sales and overall ownership.
So how did Norway get to this point? Perhaps more interestingly, what does a country where 10% of all vehicle sales are electric actually look like? And how can the rest of the world avoid the problems that are now threatening the Norse transport revolution and even casting doubt on the very idea that greater electric vehicle use is good for cities and the people who live there?
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