Norwegian minister attacks petrol and diesel as ‘thing of the past’

September 19, 2016

The end of the new car market for petrol and diesel vehicles in Norway in just seven years is ‘achievable’, according to Vidar Helgesen, minister of climate and environment. He has warned that politicians need to be less concerned with ‘protecting the polluting industries of the past’ and instead invest in the future by prioritising green transport options and speeding up the transition to electric vehicles. Speaking at a conference in Slovakia organised by EurActiv, he pointed out that ‘tax systems are essential’ as they can stimulate the right consumer and business behaviour. In Norway, this led to electric and hybrid cars accounting for 28% of the new car market and a target of moving away from the sale of fossil-fuelled cars by 2025. He said: “We have indications that by 2023, electric vehicles might be outcompeting combustion engine vehicles on price. I think that target of 2025 is achievable. Petrol and diesel engines in cars are a thing of the past.” Clarity and certainty are important, he said, adding: “We do not need to think about massive changes from one year to the other, but the direction must be set. When we say in Norway that in 2025 we want no fossil fuel cars, everybody knows that maybe it might not be very smart to buy a diesel car tomorrow.”

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